Tyres are the only points of contact between the vehicle and the road. And their maintenance is as equally important as that of the engine. Many car owners are least aware of the fact that their little awareness about tyre maintenance can not only offer them a hassle-free driving experience but can also prolong the life of tyres. Here are the 5 key factors that you must always consider to avoid tyre malfunctions.
1. Tyre Pressure
Correct air pressure is the first and foremost thing that a vehicle owner must always consider for optimum tyre performance. All the vehicle manufacturers specify a recommended tyre pressure for every particular vehicle model. It is usually given in the owner’s manual that comes with the vehicle. PSI is the most common unit of air pressure measurement.
It is a lesser known fact that air from a tyre outflows at the rate of up to 2 pounds per month. Especially, during summers, the air from a tyre escapes at a higher rate. Hence, it is always advisable to regularly check the air pressure when the temperature rises.
Importance of filling the tyres with recommended air pressure:
- Safety – Over-inflated and under-inflated tyres can lead to a poor vehicle handling which might result in an accident. Hence, ensure that the tyres are sufficiently inflated.
- Fuel Economy – Tyre pressure may also impact the vehicle’s fuel economy. Under-inflated tyres have increased rolling resistance which consumes more fuel to run the vehicle at the same speed.
- Tyre Life – Tyres that are over-inflated or under-inflated are damaged faster and therefore are a direct threat both to your wallet and life.
2. Wheel Alignment
Improper wheel alignment is also directly related to your vehicle’s tyre life. If you are driving in a straight line and your car feels as if it is pulling towards the left or right then certainly the problem is with your car’s wheel alignment. Inaccurate wheel alignment may result in faster and irregular tyre wear, therefore, this problem should be fixed as soon as possible.
Generally, wheel alignment is hampered due to reasons like driving against a pavement, hitting a pothole or excessive steering or suspension wear. Wheel alignment issue can be fixed by adjusting the vehicle’s suspension and steering components. This would also ensure least tyre wear.
Advantages of properly aligned wheels:
- It results in up to 30% increase in tyre mileage
- Up to 2% rise in vehicle fuel economy
- It also ensures vehicle stability at high speeds
- Handling is at its best when wheel alignment is faultless
3. Wheel Balancing
Apart from wheel alignment, indecent wheel balance can also reduce the life of your vehicle’s tyres. When you feel the vibration through the steering wheel, it can mean that a wheel is out of balance. This might result in early wearing of steering components and suspension, tyres and rotating parts.
Mechanics use tiny weights to counterbalance the heavier areas of the tyre and wheel assembly. In some cases, when the vehicle is at high speed, weights that are added onto the rim or alloy loose and the wheel starts wobbling again, therefore, it is always advisable to get the wheels balanced only through the wheel balancing machine. Remember, balanced wheels always deliver a swift riding experience and extend the tyre life of your vehicle thereby saving your time and money.
4. Tyre Tread Wear
The tyre manufacturers mention tread wear indicators on the tyres which are the tyres’ last wear limit. Generally, for cars, the wear limit of a tyre is around 1.6 mm. When a car tyre is new, the tread pattern is of around 8 mm and has a great ability to disperse water. Along with the decrease in tread pattern, the water dispersing capability of a tyre reduces. It is always advisable to replace the tyres before they are worn out close to the level of the tread wear indicators. Tread wear indicators are present on the grooves of tyres and are at least four in the count all around the tyre.
5. Overloading and High-Speeding
Overloading and high-speeding are always dangerous not only for your life but also for the tyres of your vehicle. Both overloading and high-speeding can cause uneven wear and may also result in tyre bursts.