Tips For Extending The Life Span Of Your Tyres
Tips For Extending The Life Span Of Your Tyres
Maintaining your tyres is extremely important, as I always say ‘Safe Tyres Save Lives’.
Your tyres are all that is between you and the road so safety is paramount but maintaining your tyres also has financial and environmental benefits. ‘The tyres on your vehicle are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road. Therefore, they play a key role in vehicle safety. Between the years 2007 – 2012, An Garda Síochána reported tyre defects as a factor in 172 collisions’.
Properly maintained tyres give you more traction and control on the road, if the tread depth is not up to standard, the tyre has no grip on the road – causing the vehicle to will spin out in wet weather.
In this article, I will outline some steps that can be done to extend the life of your tyres. While sharing some expert tips along the way.
As I mentioned in my previous article, correcting your tyre pressure will prevent blowouts. Think of all the times you’ve tipped a kerb, even mounting it when driving, this has impacted on your tyre. Consider the sheer weight of your vehicle, then your passengers/load being carried – all this weight is supported by just four tyres.
Checking your tyre pressure can be done at any garage/service station. The older style machines are almost obsolete, many garages have the new digital style machines.
You simply key in the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle (referring to the manufacturers specification), the machine will then detect the tyre pressure, begin inflating the tyre, automatically beeping and flashing when the pressure is correct. This stops the driver over-inflating their tyres, so it’s that easy – no more excuses for low tyre pressure.
‘Low tyre pressure and the resulting increase in rolling resistance leads directly to higher fuel consumption. In a car, tyres under inflated by 15 psi (1 bar) lead to 6% greater fuel consumption’.
Wheel Alignment (Tracking)
The term alignment or ‘tracking’, as it is more commonly known, refers to the adjustment of the wheels so that they are positioned correctly referring to the manufacturers’ specification. Tyres can become misaligned from general day to day driving, the drivers style of driving (aggressive, sharp turns), road conditions (ramps/pot holes), and vehicle vibrations. These factors cause the nuts and bolts to loosen, resulting in the wheel becoming unaligned over time.
Maintaining the wheel alignment is important, as the tyres will wear unevenly, resulting in less grip on different parts of the tyre.
If your vehicle is pulling to one side when you are on a straight/level road, (you will feel this whereby you need to hold the steering wheel tighter than normal to control it), chances are – that your tracking is off.
This is also important for safe driving, and for an optimum and smoother driving experience. Tyres will become out of balance due to road surfaces such as potholes and ramps, or if the vehicle bumps the kerb. This can usually be noticed when the vehicle is travelling at motorway speeds.
You will feel that the wheels are out of balance, in that you will feel vibrations through your seat, on your vehicle floor or through the steering wheel. This makes the vehicle difficult to control, and could result in damage to your suspension. ‘If your vehicle’s tyres show signs of deterioration (wear and tear), you should remove them and replace them. Do not drive on the public road with sub-standard tyres on your vehicle’.
There is a serial number displayed on every tyre, most people don’t know what this number frequency indicates. But it is actually the date your tyre was manufactured – these last four digits indicate that this tyre was manufactured the second week of 2004:
Warning Signs That Your Tyres Are Deteriorating
- Recurring loss of tyre pressure
- Cracks in the tyre
- Extremely worn treads (minimum legal requirement is 1.6mm)
- Vibrations coming through the tyres when driving
For the five years spanning from 2008-2013, tyres were one of the top three reasons for NCT failures. Thread depth will be inspected at the NCT, as well as tyre condition and the existence of the EU stamp of approval, marked (‘E’ or ‘e’). If a tyre is older than six years or has insufficient tread depth (less than 3mm), the vehicle will be given a ‘pass advisory’ note on their certificate, this is simply alerting the driver that their tyres will need to be replaced soon.
I hope this article has outlined the importance of maintaining your tyres, and how to extend their lifespan.
If the steps outlined above are carried out on a regular basis, it will result in a smoother and more improved driving experience, a more controlled and safer braking function, a reduction in fuel consumption, which will also benefit the environment due to less C02 emissions and most importantly roads will be safer for both drivers and pedestrians.