Tyres are usually taken for granted until they fail entirely on you, so follow these 6 essential tyre maintenance and care guide to keep your motoring safe.
Like everything else on a car, tyres need to be cared for because your vehicle is not going anywhere without them. However, it's not the going you should be worried about because it's the stopping that really puts the tyre to the test.
When it comes to safety, tyres are one of the most essential components of your vehicle. The brakes slow the wheels, but it's actually your tyres that stop the car.
While most of us pay serious attention to our cars' engine, interior, and bodywork, most of us neglect the tyres.
It shouldn't be this way, because properly cared for tyres are the difference between a good day and a bad one, so what can we do to keep it in tip-top condition?
We can't stress enough how vital tyre pressure is. This is probably one of the most significant oversights, especially now that we are in lockdown where our cars are 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 at least 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.
The tread depth of your tyres must always be more than 1.6mm for it to work at its best. If your tread depth is any less, it is deemed unsafe and must be replaced. The more the tread depth, the better the grip and stopping capability.
Some say you can measure tread depth by using a coin, but we don't live in the dark ages, which is why tyre manufacturers have included tyre tread depth gauges or bars on the tyre itself. If they are even with the thread, it's time to change your tyres.
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.
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.
As funny as this sounds, if you don't use your tyres a lot, they will go bad due to dry rot. If you notice cracks on your tyres, especially on the sidewall, this means your tyres have rotted. Another cause of dry rot on tyres is due to excessive exposure to UV from sunlight. So if you want to avoid dry rot, try not to park your car where your tyres are not exposed to harmful UV rays.
You could also try to inhibit dry rot by cleaning your tyres often and applying a protective product over them. Finally, under normal driving conditions, it is recommended to replace tyres every 5-6 years from the date of manufacture.
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 on 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 and make a real difference in how long your tyres last.
Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler