Tires, just like any other part of your vehicle will eventually wear out. However, with proper and regular maintenance, you can increase their durability significantly. The difference between arriving safely at your destination and cutting short your journey due to a flat tire or worse still, a tire-related accident lies in your tire care routine. In this light, investing in tire maintenance yields significant results while at the same time offering you optimal performance.
Here are a few tips on tire care;
- Inspect your tires on a regular basis
The general condition of tires is important for safety purposes. You should have your tires checked often for any signs of wear, tear or damage that could have been sustained without your knowledge. Some vehicle manufacturers have tread wear indicators inbuilt which give a signal when the tread reaches a depth of 0.16 inches and need replacement.
You should seek the services of a professional in cases where you find cracks, bulges, knots or unexplained air loss. This will prolong the life of your tires.
- Check, adjust and maintain proper tire pressure
Always check your tires air pressure often to ensure that they are properly inflated. This is necessary for optimum tire and vehicle performance, safety and it improves on gas mileage by several miles per gallon. It also promotes tread and tire longevity.
Under-inflation is a recipe for disaster because it impairs vehicle performance. It results in significant and irregular tire wear, extended stopping distance, reduced tire load capacity and excessive sway which makes your vehicle hard to control and therefore putting your life at risk.
On the other hand, over-inflated tires increase stiffness and cause unwanted vibration. In case of an accident, it increases the impact damage.
To maintain proper inflation, check the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure level in the owner’s manual, on the door or on the tire. You can also determine the air pressure by using a tire pressure gauge. Depending on the desired level, the gauge can be used to add or release air.
- Rotate your tires regularly
Ultimately, your tires will wear out due to the friction as the rubber meets the road. Therefore, it’s important to have your tires rotated regularly so that they can wear out evenly.
Car manufacturers have set specific intervals for tire rotations but mostly it should be done when you take your vehicle for routine services which is after around 5,000 and 10,000 km. Ensure that you follow the guidelines on tire rotation to increase their longevity.
- Don’t drive at high speeds
Driving at high velocities increases the chance of damaging your tires tenfold. This is due to heat buildup and other road factors. When over speeding, there is rapid air loss which can lead to tire explosions a result of which can be fatal.
When stuck in snow, sand or mud, avoid excessive spinning as the force generated by a free spinning tire can cause an abrupt explosion. This can cause vehicle damage or even serious injuries to bystanders. Maintain a speed of not more than 55kph to extend the lifespan of your tire.
- Check your load capacity
Your tires are made to withstand a certain amount of weight. The load limit is normally stated in the owner’s manual. Therefore, avoid loading beyond the maximum capacity as this subjects your tires to a lot of stress, fuel consumption is increased significantly and causes poor vehicle handling.
When transporting loads, ensure that the tires fitted have a load carrying capacity of equal or greater limit than what’s originally recommended by the manufacturer.
Proper tire maintenance has many benefits that cannot be overlooked and this goes a long way in ensuring your safety, improving efficiency as well as saving you unnecessary costs.
Therefore, adopt a proper tire maintenance routine which is quite simple and always consult a dealer when in doubt.