How to maintain car tires
Your tires are one of the most essential parts of your car and its condition could affect your car’s driving performance and mileage. Tires are also quite expensive, especially for SUVs and larger types of vehicles. Which begs the question, how can you maintain car tires without pouring in too much money? Carmudi Philippines has compiled these easy car tire maintenance tips to get you started.
Why maintain your tires?
Regularly checking your tire pressure, making sure they are properly aligned, and regular inspections could save you money. Doing these practical maintenance procedures can prolong the life of your tires. For example, under-inflated tires last 20 percent less than properly inflated ones, according to one of the leading tire manufacturers- Michelin.
According to them, under-inflated tires, which have higher rolling resistance, are one of the main causes of excess fuel waste and require more effort from your engine to move your car. It is also common for front and rear axles to wear down your tires at different rates. Michelin has suggested that rotating your tires over time can help them wear evenly.
A well-maintained tire also provides better safety for its passengers as it decreases the chance of your wheels blowing up and causing an unnecessary incident. Here is a simple guide to help you maintain your tires:
Properly inflate your tires
Whenever you find your car leaning on one side, check to see if one of your tires is not properly inflated. A deflated tire can cause several problems such as more rigid steering, longer stopping distance and lower fuel efficiency. Check the tire pressure specs of your car (often a sticker near the car’s door frame) and follow its recommendations.
Some cars are also equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that tells the driver if one of the tires has a problem. If this indicator turns on, then immediately find a gas station and have your tires inflated to the recommended tire pressure. You can also schedule the monitoring of your tire pressure on weekends or on a per thousand miles basis; whichever fits your lifestyle.
During the months of summer, the chances of blowing your tires increase because of the added temperature of the road. This is also the time when families go on long road trips to the countryside. Before you load all of that luggage, make sure each tire is rated to carry the weight limit (or load bearing) prescribed by its tire pressure. Bring a spare tire if necessary.
Rotate your tires once in a while
The best time to rotate your tires is found on the owner’s manual and its schedule will vary from one car model to another. One of the most convenient ways to do this is to bring your car to a service garage and have the technician do the process for you. Here, wheels are balanced and aligned based on the wear and tear of each tire. They usually charge anywhere from P300 to P500 per aligned wheel.
Depending on their condition, tires can perform differently when running on varying road conditions. Worn out tires, for example, tend to have better traction when driven on dry roads and have a better response to steering changes. This is because they have shallower tread blocks which result in fewer movements. However, because their grooves are shallow, it can be hard to maintain traction on wet roads because of their inability to shed water. Thus, newer tires are preferred when driving on wet roads.
Watch your speed
While most drivers have the need for speed, it is not always advisable to drive at top speeds even in highway conditions. This is because driving at high speeds can easily burn your tires due to the increased friction between their rubber and the road. Drive at comfortable speeds and avoid drifting when turning into sharp corners to preserve your tires for longer.
Driving at your car’s top speed is one of the main causes of a tire blowout. Just watch any F1 race and you can easily tell that increased temperature (and eventually pressure) can burst your tire faster. If your car has a tire pressure monitoring system, regularly check its indicator especially if you are driving at greater speeds.
For many vehicles, their tires do not wear significantly, they just age. If you have had your tires for a long time, especially if they’ve not been changed in over ten years, you may want to consider replacing them with new ones or “younger” tires. Be wary of used tires being sold online, as some may be older than the seller is claiming. To know if the tires you are trying to buy are compatible with your car, you can compare the tire specs (found near your car’s door frame) with the information found in the tire symbols.