Tyres are important, nay critical to the safety of the car! This point can be reiterated as many times as it is needed to drive home the fact that tyres need to be maintained well, to ensure safety on the road. Even the most bespoke automotive power machine, say a Ferrari’s safety will be compromised if its tyres are worn out or misaligned.
Apart from the safety and traction issues, under-maintained tyres also have the adverse effects of increasing your car’s overall fuel consumption and hampering effective braking. Besides these functional downsides, badly maintained tyres lead to earlier tyre replacements. And it is very heavy on the pocket to go in for good quality tyre brands to replace.
So, it makes practical sense to increase the longevity of the tyres. There are a few small measures, observations and routine checks that will help you to extend the serviceable life of your tyres in the UK.
By Avoiding Certain Driving Styles
The way you drive your car has a very significant impact on the life of your tyres. Certain driving styles like hard braking and accelerating generate more friction at the tyres, increasing the heat causing unnecessary wear on the rubber. It also reduces the tread depth quickly warranting an earlier tyre replacement than usual.
Driving at higher speeds and aggressive cornering also impacts negatively on the tread on the tyres. So, best to relax and enjoy your drive with an even-tempered driving so both you and your car tyres can enjoy a longer life.
By Checking The Tyre Pressure Regularly
Having a habit of checking tyres’ pressure at least once a week is a good routine to get into. Tyre pressures are highly crucial to their proper functioning and to ensure safety. Under-inflated tyres cause a lot of wear and tear. There is an increased temperature and put undue stress on the sidewall of the tyre. Whereas over-inflated tyres reduced the contact surface thereby reducing traction on the road and also enhances the wear. Over-inflation, if left unchecked could also result in tyre bursting which can lead to grave situation and accidents.
So make sure that you check the tyre pressure and inflate it to the right levels. The right pressure will be stipulated in the owner’s handbook or given on the driver side door.
With proper inflation of tyres, you reduce the wear and improve the life of your car tyres.
By Regularly Checking The Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment ensures that all the tyres in the car wear out evenly. This alignment usually goes off due to various reasons. You could have hit a curb, or a big pothole or bumped off a huge rock. When there is a sudden impact loading to the tyres, the wheels alignment gets off. Consequently, the tyre wears out unevenly.
If your car pulls to one side while driving down a straight road, that calls for a realignment. The wheels need to be aligned straight and parallel to each other. This is a problem that can be solved quickly. All you need to do is to drive your car by a professional tyre fitment centre, they will digitally realign your wheels with the latest equipment. Realigning wheels will also bring to your notice any wear or malfunctioning suspension components.
By Rotating Tires Periodically
Even if you follow all of these by the book, the tyres will still wear differently from each other. This is due to the fact that the tyres on the live axle of the car need to carry heavier load and wear more than the tyres on the free axle. It could be due to higher friction generation at the live axle tyres.
Hence to even out the wear, it is usually advised to rotate the tyres for every 8000 to 10000 km mileage on the car.
If you follow these steps and be mindful that you don’t overload the car beyond it specified weight-bearing capacity, and you ensure to not let your tyres stand without being driven for long. Then you will have done a lot to increase the longevity of your tyres.
But there will come a time when the tread depth would have worn down to less than 3mm depth ( advisable depth to ensure safety by experts), it is best suggested to go for a replacement of tyres before it goes down to the legal limit of 1.6mm depth.