Maintaining a car can be an expensive proposition. Having to change your tyres frequently does not help the cause and can result in significantly higher costs in the long run. If you keep noticing worn out tyres on your car, chances are, there is something wrong with the way the tyres are being used. We bring you a few tips to keep in mind for increasing tyre life and efficiency.
1. Driving Style
Cornering at full speed or zooming off the start line are definite no no’s when it comes to preserving your tyres. Speeding is another major culprit since the rubber is heated up when driving fast and this can breakdown your car tyres faster.
Other things to keep in mind is to avoid rocks, curbs, potholes, rocks and more obstacles as much as possible. Constantly driving over potholes can severely damage parts of your tyre leaving them unable to perform. This affects the tyre as a whole and makes it unsafe for use.
2. Air Pressure
Tyres can lose up to one or two pounds of air pressure in a month’s time. If you constantly keep your tyres under inflated because you forget to check the air pressure, your tyres will get damaged faster. This happens because of the flat spot at the base of your wheels which increases the surface area of the tyre in contact with the ground. It also means that your car engine will have to work harder to propel you at a speed which would be much easier if the air pressure in the tyre was optimal.
Always remember to check air pressure in the mornings or when the tyres are cold. As you start driving, the air inside the tyre heats up and expands and can give wrong readings.
3. Tyre Rotation and Balancing
It is recommended that you rotate and balance your tyres at every alternate oil change or around the 9000 km mark. In most cars, the front tyres wear out faster than the rear ones because they are used to steer the vehicle. Rotating the tyres ensures that the wear is equally distributed. Balancing can usually be done very easily from partners of online retailers like Tyre Shopper who sell you the tyres and help with the installation.
It will also help reduce vibrations which increase the rate at which your tyre wears down. Avoid switching tyres on the same axle and switch them in a non criss cross pattern.
4. Wheel Alignment
Aligning your wheels ensures that your tyres remain perpendicular to the ground while remaining parallel to each other. If you feel that the handling of your car is skewed or if your car pulls in either direction when the steering wheel is left free while driving, chances are, the alignment is wrong.
Wheel alignment can also be affected when you hit an obstacle at high speeds. If you regularly travel on roads with many potholes or other obstacles, you should get your wheel alignment checked at more frequent intervals.
5. Parking Spot
According to the Automobile Association (AA), constant exposure to heat, sunlight and rain will have a damaging effect on the rubber compounds in your car tyre. Check for signs of cracking or drying on the sidewalls of you tyre if you regularly leave your car parked outdoors.
These five simple tips will help you increase the life of your tyre so that you do not have to spend on tyre changes which could have been avoided.
By Azzam Sheikh
Azzam Sheikh is the Chief Tyre Consultant at Tyre Shopper UK. You can check out more of his posts on Google +