Tire maintenance advice
Wondering how long do tires last? The law is pretty clear on that point, yet, as it turns out, the legal limit is never enough.
The highway code says that the minimal tread depth is somewhere around 2/32”. If you care about your personal safety, it’s better to take care of your car’s tires much earlier. Here’s a few tips on how to take good care of the car’s rubber. Don’t forget tires are the only part of the car that is in touch with the ground. This means, keeping them in good shape ensures car’s proper performance, as well as the aforementioned safety. Read on to get a few tips on tire maintenance.
Keep them properly inflated
Sounds like a statement by Captain Obvious, yet, there are lots of people who tend to forget about it. A study carried out by NHTSA (you can see it here) reveals some shocking facts. For instance, it’s only about ¼ of the American drivers who know how to check the tire pressure correctly. But, wait, there’s more! The very same study indicates that over 40% of car owners in America don’t care about tire pressure at all! Well, we assume that this would come as a shock to you (after all, if you came round to read our blog, you must be passionate about cars!) And even though the NHTSA’s study was performed over 10 years back, we’d present a few tips on how to keep the tires properly inflated.
– Read the owners’ manual designated for your car or consult your local car dealer. Correct tire pressure is also indicated on the inside part of the driver’s door (that applies to most cars in America.)
– To get the most accurate reading, make sure to check the pressure when the tire is cold. To put it another way, it may be a good idea to do the check before the very first start of the engine. This is important because when the tire gains temperature, it changes shape. This obviously affects the pressure.
– As we said already, before you start doing the check, make sure that you know the manufacturer’s recommendations for your car. If the reading is too low, make sure that you add some air. On the other hand, in case the reading is too high, remove the unnecessary air from the rubber. CAUTION: Tire inflators are not very precise mechanisms. Be sure to use the “+” and “-” buttons very cautiously.
This basically includes changing the place of every tire. To put it simply, it may be a good idea to change sides of the rubber. For instance, you can put the set previously on the front to the back. Keep in mind that in cars equipped with rear-wheel drive, it’s rear tires that tend to be worn out much quicker. Rotating is used for providing equal wear on tires on all sides. Few points to remember:
– Do it every 6.000 – 8.000 miles
– Look for any cracks, holes, uneven wear, etc.
– Be sure to fix the bolts correctly (very important for safety)
– Check if the bolts aren’t loose (if they are, be sure to replace them!)
Proper wheel alignment
With time, the suspension elements simply tend to wear out. Did you see the steering wheel swaying a bit? This might be high time to check the wheel alignment. Apart from being a comfort issue, improper alignment could also hit your wallet. That’s due to the fact that it causes the tires to wear much more quickly. CAUTION: Wheel alignment is not something you might do during a lazy afternoon. It’s impossible to do that properly without having the special expertise and machinery. For that reason, better rely on a suspension specialist in your vicinity.
Don’t get nervous while driving
Being angry behind the wheel not only affects your health but also destroys your car’s tires. It’s so simple – when you’re angry, you’re more prone to some sudden movements, like hitting the brake pedal strongly or putting the pedal to the metal whenever you start from the red. Don’t forget that every time you accelerate aggressively, some of the tire’s tread is left on the asphalt.
Even if you closely stick to all the tire saving tips, don’t forget that time plays a huge role here, too. It’s definitely not recommended to use tires older than 8 years. Also, keep in mind that tires used for over 60.000-70.000 miles may also no longer be fit for safe driving.