Loss of traction on the road leading to flip-overs, tire blowouts, bad suspension… these potentially fatal car problems can happen as a result of improper tire maintenance habits.
Tires are an important part of any vehicle and are the only thing between you and the road so it is important to take proper care of them so they keep you safe and last long… Your tires are vulnerable to wear and tear because they are always in contact with the road. Especially debris, broken glass, nails, and other hazardous objects one may find on any stretch of roads.
If you want your tires to last long you need to put effort and resources into maintaining them.
The good news is that taking care of your tires regularly will save you loads of money on expensive repairs and could potentially save lives in the long run.
Moreso, well-maintained tires help with fuel efficiency and increase the overall driving performance of your vehicle – plus it ensures the safety of not just you, but other road users as well.
When carrying out tire maintenance, make sure you tick these items for maintenance to be complete…
Tire Maintenance Tips
1. Tire Rotation
Tire rotation is switching the tires and placing them in a different location of the car. This is an important part of tire maintenance because it equalizes the natural wear pattern of the tires. The position of your tire affects how it wears down – front tires of vehicles with engines in the front wear more quickly than the rear tires
Your turning habits also cause your tires to wear unequally – like turning left faster than right put more weight on the front right tire and cause it to wear faster. You will have a smoother and safer ride from rotating your tires regularly
Check your car’s manual for tire rotation schedule or have a professional mechanic check the condition of each tire.
2. Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is another important part of tire maintenance. You need the right amount of pressure as stated in the manufacturer’s manual to avoid tire damage. Make use of a tire pressure gauge to check the air pressure of your vehicle.
Under-inflated tire pressure decreases your fuel efficiency and causes wear making your tire at risk of being blown out. Use the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to monitor your tire’s pressure and refill where necessary.
Some drivers believe overinflating their tires will improve their gas mileage but most times pay the price for it. Overinflating tires causes them to be stiff and less flexible giving you a rough ride. This causes damage to different components of your wheel and could cause a blowout if you hit a pothole.
Stick to the recommended tire pressure to increase the lifespan of your vehicle.
3. Tire Tread Depth
Tire tread allows your vehicle to have a grip on the road, maintain control, and ensures road safety. It is important to check your tire tread now and again to ensure your tires are in good condition. If the treads are worn out, your vehicle won’t have a grip on the road and could lead to an accident.
Low tread depth reduces stopping distance, causes less traction, tire blowout, reduced acceleration, and hydroplaning in wet areas. It can also cause decreased fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
You can test your tire tread with the “Quater test” or whatever coin is in your country.
Take a quarter and find the part of your tire with the lowest tread. Insert the quarter into the tire tread – head first. If you see all of George Washington’s head, your tire tread is worn out and needs replacement. Perform this in different locations of the tire.
Carry out a spot-checking of tire tread. Inspect the tire to see if there are worn-out treads on your tire – if there are they need replacing.
4. Tire Alignment
Tire alignment helps with the performance and life span of the tires. Alignment improves handling and keeps your vehicle from tilting to one side or vibrating on the road. During an alignment, your vehicle’s suspension is adjusted to a specific angle that affects how the tires will make contact with the road.
To know when to get an alignment, check for uneven tread wear, pay close attention to notice if your vehicle is pulling to one side. If your steering wheel is off-center when you are driving straight or is vibrating – you need a tire alignment.
Have your tires inspected by a professional mechanic and have your wheels aligned if you notice any of the following indicators above in your vehicle.
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You have to be deliberate about your tires maintenance – it keeps you and others safe and you can save. Inspect your tires regularly and have them inspected and repaired or replaced when you notice any abnormalities.
Always have a spare tire in the trunk of your vehicle for emergencies. Replace your tires when needed.
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