Tyres are obviously one of the most important components of any vehicle, as they are the only point of contact between your car and the road. Road safety is a serious issue, and it’s extremely important to take good care of your tyres as this might actually save your life one day.
Here are our top 10 tyre tips:
Ensure that your tyres are properly inflated in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Recommended air pressure values are usually stickered in the driver’s side door sill and also in the owner’s manual.
Under-inflated tyres will not only use more petrol, but they are at risk of overheating and becoming damaged, compromising your safety. Overinflated tyres reduce the contact patch, affecting your grip levels and handling, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
When checking your tyre pressure, remember to do it when the tyres are cold and – if possible – invest in a good tyre gauge.
Regularly checking the tread depth of your tyres will ensure they have sufficient grip. Most tyres have tread wear indicators which show when a tyre is close to its minimum, so that you know when to replace them.
Monitoring the tread levels and adjusting your driving habits accordingly (for example, if it’s getting low you should take it easy until they are replaced).
If you have hit an object with one of your tyres, your wheel alignment may have been thrown out. This can have significant handling implications, which can be dangerous when driving. Furthermore, this can cause uneven tyre wear, which can affect your tread and cause premature wearing of your tyres.
Properly balanced wheels will allow your tyres to wear in an even fashion, saving you money on tyre replacement and ensuring that your car’s suspension does not wear prematurely.
Ensuring your tyres are rotated regularly (usually at each service but can be more frequently) will allow them to wear evenly and maintain good tread. A front-wheel drive vehicle will wear its front tyres more quickly, and a rear-wheel drive vehicle will wear its rear tyres more quickly. Therefore, regular rotation can help prolong the life and condition of your tyres, resulting in greater safety on the road. You wouldn’t want to let the tyres that drive power to be bald, as this can cause loss of control.
Whenever you wash your car, use soap and water to clean the tyres as well. Many people neglect the tyres as they are the things that are always on the road, however over time the tyres can pick up debris and even chemicals which can cause damage to the tyre compound.
If your tyre needs repair (for example, if you’ve noticed a slow leak or you’ve sustained a puncture) it’s important to let a professional assess the damage and determine the best course of action. Repairs should always be done by a licensed professional, as sometimes a tyre which appears to be sound is actually structurally compromised.
When it comes time to replace your tyres, ensure that the new tyres are in line with the manufacturer’s specifications. This includes size, maximum speed rating, and maximum load rating. Fitting tyres that do not meet the same specification can compromise the safety of your vehicle.
Despite popular belief, tyres actually have an expiry date. Whilst it’s hard to predict the life of a tyre, it is recommended that tyres over five years old are inspected at least annually by a professional. If a tyre is over 10 years old (from its manufacture date), it should be replaced even if it appears to be in good condition or repairable.
Most of us don’t store tyres, but if you have the need to the conditions in which you store tyres can affect their performance and longevity. Tyres should never be stacked for extended periods unless they are assembled and fully inflated.
It is also vital that tyres are kept away from flames and excessive heat. The area in which they are stored should be dry, well ventilated, and away from direct sunlight and any chemicals.
Tyres and their condition can often be the difference between life and death on the road, so it’s absolutely essential that you monitor and maintain your tyres on a regular basis. If in doubt about the condition of your tyres, always ask a tyre professional.