Tips to maintain your tyres
Do you hear a feint humming sound when driving? When was the last time you checked the condition of your tyres? Ensuring that your tyres are in good condition is essential in maintaining your vehicle’s integrity. It is illegal to drive around in a non-roadworthy vehicle and if your tyres are not up to standard you not only put yourself at risk but also other drivers on the road. When it comes to road safety, you would not drive around with a cracked windscreen, so why would you risk unsafe tyres. Below are some key tips on how to assess and maintain your tyres:
How to assess your tyres
Pressure – it is recommended that the air pressure be checked at least once a month as tyres can lose up to 1 PSI every month and this does not include any sorts of air leaks. If there has been a drastic decrease in the pressure it is recommended you see a professional as you may have leak. When checking the air pressure, ensure that the tyres are cool because heated tyres may cause inaccurate readings. Your recommended pressure can be found on the inside of the driver’s door, vehicle manual or inside of gas tank latch. To check your tyre pressure:
- Insert pressure gauge into valve on your tyre.
- The gauge will eventually pop out and show the PSI reading, don’t be alarmed by the loud hissing noise, it is just air escaping the tyre and should not affect the pressure.
- Compare the measured pressure to the recommended and adjust accordingly.
Tread – the tread on your tyre is designed to grip and remove the water between your tyres and the road. The risk of driving with balding tyres is extremely dangerous in wet conditions and is also illegal which can result in a fine. To check your tread:
- Check your tread with a depth gauge and ensure that your tread is more than 1.5mm. If it’s below this figure it is time to replace them.
- Check the tread wear indicators, if the tread is level with the tread blocks then the minimum wear has been reached.
- Look out for any uneven wear or bald spots.
Sidewall – receiving sidewall damage can be quite serious and if not identified early can be dangerous. Sidewall damage is usually caused from potholes, road hazards and curbs.
- Check for any sidewall bubbles, bulges, tears and cuts.
- Consult the professionals if the sidewall is damaged.
How to make your tyres last
- Rotate your tyres every 5,000 – 10,000 kilometres to even out wear and tear.
- Get your wheels aligned every 5,000 – 10,000 kilometres to prevent excess fuel consumption, uneven wear and tear and accidents due to bad handling.
- Check your tyre pressure once a month, if the air pressure is low, fill it up.
- Avoid heavy braking as this may cause uneven wear and tear.
- Check your tread regularly to ensure you are above the minimum tread. If the tread has worn away completely then you should replace the tyres immediately.
- Avoid causing any unnecessary stress of heavy loads.
- Slow down and avoid hitting curbs or speed bumps at high speed.
- Maintain the valve caps, if they are missing or damaged then replace them.
Despite the engine, your tyres are probably the most important aspect about your car. After all, you would not get very far without them. With regular maintenance you can ensure you get the most out of your tyres before having to replace them and don’t forget about the spare!
Your tyres aren’t the only things you should check on a regular basis. Go through this car maintenance check list to make sure next time you’re on the road, your car is up to safety standards.