The Definitive Online Guide To Making Your Car Tyres Stand The Test Of Time
Tire failures can be huge hassles to cars and trucks regardless of their age. With proper tire maintenance, you are more likely to get more life out of your wheels. Your tire rotation pattern doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. But until your next service meeting, use the guide below to squeeze that extra bit of goodness out of your vehicle.
It Starts With An Inspection
Every month check your tire pressure to find out if it is dipping below the average. The trick is to do this when the tires have had time to rest, preferably overnight or after the vehicle has been idle for six hours. Doing the eyeball test is not a good idea, and won’t get you anywhere near an accurate reading. By doing the eyeball test you can overlook the small things that will become bigger problems later on. Even the most experienced driver is prone to mistakes without a proper inspection. And for multiple vehicle owners, remember that tire specifications change for each vehicle. What may be a good PSI for your car is not acceptable for a truck.
How Do Your Tires Look?
All tires have wear indicators so that you know when they’re reaching a limit. The tread will be an early warning sign that your tires need to be changed. This is necessary in case electronic monitors fail to inform you of the same issue. There is no mistake when you see a worn tread, and in extreme cases the car will drive differently. Without good grip, things will feel uneven on all road types. When your tires progress to the point where they are bald, you are way past due for a change and in danger of a blowout. It should never get to this point, and that is exactly why the wear pattern is important.
Wheel Balancing Helps
Any modern car shop will usually have an electronic balancer to rotate the wheels. When your wheels are off balance, there is a specific vibration when driving or sitting idle. This can be corrected using an electronic balancer or other methods. Bigger shops will have more than one way to resolve the issue, and there is even a chance they can find other tire problems to iron out. Shocks and struts are one of the many things checked when getting your wheels balanced. When your regular inspection doesn’t turn up any information, then this should be the next step.
Check The Sidewall
The sidewall can hide a lot of important bends, cracks and dents by your tire. This area is important when you do a lot of personal work on your car. Warped rotors from improperly tightened lug nuts takes a while to notice. Some wear patterns are hard to spot until it gets into the danger zone. Sidewall checks is something that any driver should be aware of if they do a lot of manual work on their car. Without a professional to check for faults in the setup, you may be getting less value out of your tires than normal. Tires that can only be rotated in one direction will have an arrow on the sidewall. Look for this whenever you do a lot of work on your own car.
Get Your Tires Rotated
Every new car comes with an owner’s manual detailing important information about the vehicle. One of the things in the manual are specific instructions about tire rotation. Use any diagrams and notes provided by the manufacturer when rotating your tires. This is obvious not an issue if you get it professionally serviced. But it isn’t uncommon for a non-professional tire rotation to do absolutely nothing to lengthen the life of your tires. This can lead to an unintended setback if the rotation is done before a long trip.
What Is Your Tire Pressure?
When is the last time you checked the tire pressure? Not the eyeball test, and not when your car beeps at you about the pressure being low. Monthly, a tire can lose up to one pound per square inch of air. Getting into a routine where you don’t check the air on a tire will add up quickly. Even if you don’t put a lot of mileage on the car, the tires can still wear down from multiple different problems. Get into the habit of checking the PSI of tires monthly to keep surprise flats from happening. Under inflated tires cause accidents, car damage and lots of unneeded expenses.
Long Road Trips Wear Out Tires
Hopping into your car for a long road trip without giving it an inspection is more common than you think. Getting stranded during a trip is no fun, and if you’re on business it can be disastrous. Inspect the tires and check the pressure before leaving home. You can do it before committing to the trip and in the comfort of your own home. This is a much better experience than fixing tire problems in unfamiliar territory. The worst of it is when tire failure happens in the middle of nowhere. Instead of dealing with a mechanic, you now have to add towing to your list of bills. Even if towing is covered by your car insurance, there is usually a mileage limit that will cost you money if surpassed.
Don’t Overload Your Vehicle
An overlooked description on all vehicles is the amount of weight a car can safely handle. This information can be found in many places, but is usually on the placard of the door frame. Putting too much weight on the car will force it to handle different. You won’t exactly blow the wheels, but there is a real danger of the handling being compromised while driving. Your wheels definitely won’t be any better off by doing this multiple times over, even for short distances. Pickup trucks are no different, so treat their load limits seriously to keep from damaging the frame and tires.
Playing The Waiting Game Will Damage Tires
Some drivers already know their tires are bad, but choose to run on them until a change is absolutely necessary. When you play the waiting game with tires, you’re not only endangering yourself, but other drivers on the road. There is a certain point that tires go from being regular wheels to ticking time bombs of destruction. It seems a bit dramatic, but imagine squeezing a balloon slowly until it pops in your hands. Now think about how well that would play out with one of your four tires while driving. Tires aren’t cheap, but it is one of those expenses that you don’t want to wait out.
Mismatched Tires Will Cause Issues
The first thing you will notice with mismatched tires is that the handling is different. Always buy tires in sets to keep your car at optimal performance. A lot of driving on those mismatched tires will cause unusual wear and tear. This happens because of the mismatched tires compensating for the difference between one another. If you can’t afford four tires, then buy two and put them at the rear. It is still a temporary solution, yet it is one that will cause less of a problem than mismatched tires in different positions.
Running On A Flat Can Do Permanent Damage
Now this one is a bit of a double-edged sword depending on the type of car you have. For regular tires, running on them while flat will cause serious damage to the rims. You want to avoid doing this at all costs since it can cost you more than a tire. For the new run-flat tires, there is a certain distance you can go without causing permanent damage. When possible, it is best to upgrade to run-flat tires since it can save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs. They are typically a ‘worst case scenario’ purchase, but still valuable to keep you from causing permanent tire damage.
Local Weather Changes The Pressure Of Tires
Cold weather negatively impacts tire pressure. This is a jarring thing to experience if you’ve recently serviced your tires and see the monitoring light come on. It isn’t an emergency leak in pressure, and is instead a warning that natural causes are making your PSI drop faster than normal. Extreme weather conditions in either direction will cause a problem with the tires PSI. When the cold weather is particularly strong, you can expect up to a drop of two pounds in pressure for every ten-degree temperature drop. For heat, your tires will increase in PSI by up to two pounds for every ten-degree temperature increase.
Bad tire maintenance will cause serious accidents when not addressed properly. Stay away from potential issues by looking after your tires. The cost savings of good upkeep is more than worth the time it takes to keep your wheels in good shape. A car deserves consistent quality, and the wheels are a huge part of that.