Tyre maintenance is a subject that often eludes most drivers. This is usually because people get so enthralled by the flashy exteriors and swanky interiors of their slick two and four seaters that they forget one inalienable fact – that ultimately, your safety on the road depends on the overall health of the four patches of rubber that connect your vehicle to the road, yes, your tyres.
Proper and timely tyre care goes a long way in maintaining good performance, ensuring safety and improving the durability of your car and its tyres. Here are a few ways to ensure that your tyres are at their best:
1) Check your tyre pressure regularly
Ensuring that your tyres are always at the correct pressure level will help save fuel and can help identify any problems with balance. On the other hand, over or under inflating your tyres can severely affect performance and increase the risk of damage. The correct tyre pressure for your car can be found in the user manual of your vehicle, on a label on the door frame or on the inside of the fuel flap.
2) Do a quick scan for wear & tear and check for depth
Check for signs of wear and tear on the tyre’s surface and replace them if they are worn. Also, be sure to check for the tread depth and replace your tyres if you find a reading of 1.6mm or less. By regularly checking the depth of the tyre treads you are ensuring that your tyres provide maximum traction helping you avoid any unpleasant surprises on the road.
3) Do a balance check to ensure that weight is distributed evenly
Tyres can carry loads of upto more than 50 times their own weight. The proper distribution of this weight will help your tyres perform their best for the longest time possible. Always have your wheels balanced when a tyre is replaced, a balance weight is moved or removed, or when you fit new tyres. Doing this protects the suspension, steering system and the bearings of your vehicle.
4) Replace the tyre valves when you fit new tyres
Replacing your tyre valves is another very important and inexpensive way to enhance the durability of your tyres and ensure safety. Since these valves are made of rubber, they are as prone to deterioration as the tyres themselves. Any damage to these valves can lead to air leaks and pose a threat to safety.
Please note: These recommendations are in no way the be all and end all of tyre maintenance and are meant to be used as a quick reference for basic tyre care.