Well-maintained tyres are key to having a smooth and safe trip. They are also important if you want to save trips to your tyre dealers. Although getting professional help is necessary when you need to do a wheel alignment or balance, there are some simple things you can do to extend the life of your tyres. We’ve included some of these below.
1. Inspect regularly
The first thing you must do is to inspect your tyres at least a few times a week. Your driving style and the condition of the road are just some of the things that can affect your tyres. Hitting speed bumps, potholes, cracks, kerbs or large rocks can cause damage or misalignment. Fast driving and hard braking will also wear the tyres prematurely. Do regular visual inspections to help you discover any potential issues with your tyres so you can act upon it right away.
2. Rotate your car tyres
Tyres don’t wear out at the same time. Because front tyres carry more engine weight and do more manoeuvring when steering, they wear out much faster than rear tyres. To help even out the wearing of your tires and get their maximum tread life, you need to rotate the tyres at least every 10,000 kilometres.
However, don’t hesitate to rotate them sooner if you see uneven wear or you hear a humming sound when travelling. You might also need more frequent tyre rotations if you are often driving long distances or use your vehicle to transport heavy loads.
3. Check the tyre pressure
When tyres are under-inflated, it can result in internal damage and more fuel consumption. On the other hand, over-inflating will wear the tyres unevenly. That’s why it’s critical that car tyres have the correct air pressure.
Tyres deflate 1-2 psi per month by itself, more so if you do long trips or run off-road frequently. Temperature also affects tyre pressure. During colder weather, the tyre pressure can drop. Vehicles with a Tyre Pressure Monitor System can easily detect these changes. But if you have an older car model, you should consult the user manual for your car tyres’ correct air pressure and check at least once a month if they are still compliant.
4. Look out for tread problems
Another good tip to maintain your car tyres is checking for any tread problems. Tread affects the traction or grip of the tyres on the road surface. It keeps the tyres from slipping and losing control, particularly on wet road surfaces. Regularly check the tyres for objects that could be stuck in the tread, such as small rocks or screws. Also, regularly inspect the wear of the tread. You can except tread to wear faster from unsafe driving, overinflated or misaligned tyres, or faulty suspension systems.
In Australia, the minimum tread depth is between 1.5mm and 1.6mm, depending on which state you are driving. You can see if your tyres’ tread depths are still compliant by checking the tread wear bars. If your tyres are worn out and you can see these indicator bars, then it might be time to get a new set of tyres.
5. Maintain proper alignment
You risk causing your tyres to wear unevenly and earlier than they’re meant to if they aren’t in alignment. This is because parts of the tyres will hit the road harder, and eventually wear faster. You can prevent this by maintaining the correct alignment of the tyres and the axles. A common misconception is that wheel alignment can only be done through servicing, but this is not true. There are many DIY videos that you can watch to help you align your tyres even at home.
Car tyres eventually wear out and replacing them when required is a necessary part of being a car owner. Still, knowing how to maintain your tyres is useful if you want to extend their lifespan and save yourself some money. By keeping them in good condition, you will also get the optimum performance from your vehicle.
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