Your tires are a crucial part of your vehicle. They are the only part of your vehicle that makes direct contact with the road. Tires impact your vehicle handles, rides, brakes, and safety. Tires must have the proper air pressure, tread depth, and balance. The vehicle’s wheels must also be correctly balanced for optimal efficiency.
Regularly inspecting your tires is vital in ensuring your protection and protecting your automobile investment. Tire inspections should ideally be done once a month. If you often drive over potholes and debris in the road, live in a cold environment, or travel long distances, you can have your tires inspected more frequently.
Always check your tires before embarking on a long journey. The more often you perform these checks, the easier it will be to spot a minor issue, such as a nail in your tire, and repair it before it becomes a more costly and time-consuming problem. The following are aspects of your tire you should be on the lookout for and why each is important.
Tire tread depth
Treads refer to the notches in your tire. Tread depth essentially indicates how worn your tires are. They get worn as you drive due to rubbing against the road. They can significantly affect the time it takes for your car to come to a complete stop if they’re excessively worn. Since old tires don’t have as much traction as new tires, stopping your car can take longer.
As you would expect, this means you’re more likely to be involved in an accident. In rainy weather, this is particularly dangerous. Also, having no injuries lowers your car insurance rates.
It’s never a good idea to have bald tires. Check to see if your tires have the correct tread depth.
Alignment and balancing
It’s also essential to have your tires aligned and balanced correctly. Misaligned and unbalanced wheels could lead to several problems. These include the following.
- Your car pulling to one side of the road as you drive
- Uneven tread wear
- Increased fuel consumption
- Vibrating steering wheel
- The steering wheel doesn’t settle at the centre after performing a turn
- Squealing noise from tires
Your wheel could get misaligned due to clipping a curb, driving into a pothole, or going over a speed bump too fast.
It’s important to rotate your tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Since the front and rear tires bear different loads and perform different tasks, they wear unevenly. What determines which set wears more is whether your car is front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. Either way, it’s important to rotate your tires regularly to ensure even wear.
Checking if your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated is an essential procedure. When your tire pressure light comes on, you need not worry immediately. Cold weather leads to a decrease in your tire’s air pressure. However, If the light comes on and stays on, have your tires inspected for leaks by a mechanic.
Failure to maintain proper tire inflation risks the tires wearing out prematurely and unevenly. That means your tire could blow out, which would be disastrous. It is dangerous to have a tire failure while driving.
Overloading Your Car
Overloading one’s car is a bad habit that many people fall into. Regular overloading weakens the sidewalls and makes them more prone to failure. This is particularly true if you do not maintain proper tire pressures. Carrying a lot of weight will affect your handling and speed up the wear on your tire treads.
If you don’t know how much weight your vehicle can handle, you can check on the sidewall of your tire. The load index number denotes the maximum weight you should carry.
Using Seasonal Tyres
Using the right tires for the season is one of the best ways to keep your tires in good shape. Summer tires are built to perform well in both dry and wet conditions. However, they stiffen when the temperature drops below 7°C, making them more vulnerable to damage and faster tread wear.
On the other hand, winter tires are built with a higher proportion of rubber and remain elastic at 7°C or colder to maximise grip in cold weather. Using seasonal tires like this ensures you have the best handling and traction possible all year round.
Maintaining Good Driving Habits
In addition to general tire repair, you must prevent tire wear while driving. It’s not about taking away your enjoyment of driving; it’s about keeping your tires in good shape so they can work at their best and increase your enjoyment duration with your car.
Poor habits like hard braking, over accelerating, excessive stopping and starting, and dragging the brakes while driving downhill intensify tire wear.
Your vehicle’s tires play a significant part in your mobility. Keep up with tire repairs to repay the favour.