We list down 5 tips on how to properly care for your tyres so that they can last you a longer time.
While most of us pay serious attention to our cars' engine, interior, and bodywork, some of us neglect the tyres. This shouldn't be the case because properly cared for tyres is the difference between a good day and a bad one plus will save you money in the long run.
Generally, new tyres should be able to work efficiently for up to six years, which is why most extended tyre warranties are for six years. After that, it's worth getting a professional to check the condition of your tyres just to be sure they can still operate efficiently.
You should probably replace tyres that are ten years old just to be on the safe side. Besides, old tyres don't offer you the performance or efficiency you crave, so it's best to change them if you care about your safety.
Sometimes, however, tyres can't even last past three years, and one of the reasons for this premature failure is down to tyre care neglect. If you're surprised that tyres need to be cared for and not sure what you have to do to keep them tip-top so that they have a long life, these 5 tips will bring you up to speed.
1. Tyre pressure maintenance
We can't stress enough how vital tyre pressure is. This is probably one of the most significant oversights, especially when our cars have been through a lockdown where it has been left parked for a long time. Parked vehicles over a long period usually lose more tyre pressure than daily driven ones.
Air pressure in tyres allows the tyre to support load, grip and absorb road imperfections. An underinflated tyre will be compromised and not be effective at doing the things it should be doing. You can find the exact tyre pressure your car needs on the placard placed on the driver's door.
It is generally recommended that you check your car tyre pressure once every two weeks, but since our vehicles are sitting still quite a bit these days, perhaps it's best to check them every time you roll out.
For best results, tyre pressure must be checked while the tyre is cold. If the tyres are hot, add 4-5 psi to the measurements provided by the manufacturer. You should also get an air pressure monitor tool to check the air pressure manually as the meters at petrol stations are usually not very accurate. Very rarely are the meters at these stations calibrated which might give a false reading.
2. Get your wheels aligned
Wheel alignment is the process of getting your wheels angled correctly and pointing in the right direction. If you hit a bump, curb or pothole, it could throw the wheels out of alignment. Misaligned wheels accelerate tyre wear and affect your car's stability on the road.
Alignment is something you should be doing at least once every 7000 kilometres to prevent premature and uneven wear of tyres. Poor alignment signals include vehicle pulling to the left or right, irregular or rapid tyre wear, squealing and crooked steering wheel when driving straight.
Other key indicators of misaligned tyres are differences in driving quality, uneven condition of the tyre tread on the outside of the tyre, the steering wheel of your car does not return to its original position after turning, or when the position of the steering wheel is tilted when driving on a straight road.
3. Get your tyres rotated
Just like the name implies, tyre rotation is the process of rotating your tyres. It is necessary because your tyres wear unevenly depending on the type of vehicle you have over a period of time. For example, a front-wheel-drive car puts more stress on the front tyres, and they tend to wear out faster than the rear tyres.
Therefore, rotating the tyres helps even out tyre wear, which ultimately will get you longer life out of your rubber doughnuts. Tyre rotation is best done every 10,000 kilometres, but manufacturers do sometimes have their own recommended schedule.
Some modern vehicles have tyre rotation reminders that will pop up on your meter cluster when it is due, but it's best to keep track of them manually for peace of mind.
4. Get your tyres balanced
If you suddenly feel like your car handles poorly or that there are some vibrations when you are driving, then it's best to get your wheel and tyre balanced. One of the most common causes of sudden imbalanced tyres is the loss of the tyre balance weight that has dislodged itself.
To create a well-balanced wheel and tyre, a mechanic will use a special balance machine that will determine where the weights need to be placed to produce a balanced wheel and tyre combo. Sometimes weights will be placed in more than one place, depending on how severely out of balance the wheels and tyres are.
5. Clean your tyres
A simple tyre wash with soap and water will help remove dust and unwanted foreign bodies from it. Although cleaning tyres is often seen as an enhancement of its aesthetics, it is actually a significant maintenance step that can prevent your tyres from cracking and discolouration, which will help them live a long and dependable life.
Washing your tyres will also help you identify any possible damage to them so that you know whether your tyres are in tip-top condition.
If you follow these simple yet efficient tyre maintenance and checks, you can be confident to have a bit more safety behind your back which will, in turn, make a real difference in how long your tyres last. Like we said at the beginning, they are not cheap to replace, so take care of them well, and they should take care of you.
And if it so happens that your tyres are in need of replacing before you go on your holiday, then Michelin has an ongoing promotion that you should check out here.