About Tyres

    by -

    Christopher Chen

    Since the tyres are the only part of the car in direct contact with the road, it pays to take care of them. Not doing so can endanger lives. That’s an understatement because car manufacturers, knowing how important tyres are, work closely with tyre makers to design tyres specifically for their new models. Correct tyres mean safety, handling, less wear and tear and also style. Other factors are traction, tread mileage and noise level.

    The following are what you should regularly check on to maintain your tyre health:

    Tyre pressure:

    When you buy a car, the manual will state the recommended tyre pressures. You should maintain that. The correct tyre pressure is the most important factor. Under-inflating your tyres can cause poor fuel economy, more danger with lowered stability and then more wear. This is because tyres flex more resulting in increased inertia and raised temperatures. Over inflation can cause abnormal wear, harder rides and damage to the under-carriage.

    The best way is to use a pressure gauge and check weekly. Some people say a monthly check is sufficient but it would be better to do so more frequently. Other tips include stop driving when you have a flat tyre

    Tyre rotation and inspection for wear.

    To understand tyre rotation you should note that there are three basic patterns of tyres- bias, belted bias and radial.

    Because tyres do different work, they must be rotated regularly (most say at 10000 km intervals) to achieve even wear. Radial tyres are rotated in a straight line (front to rear and rear to front) while bias and belted bias tyres are rotated in the X style ( left front to right rear and right front to left rear).

    Abnormal wear results from poor inflation, unbalanced wheels, bad driving habits and poor alignment along with lack of rotation. You should check visually for cuts, bulges and uneven wear. Do this monthly.

    Balance and Wheel Alignment

    Regular wheel alignment (making sure the wheels run parallel) is necessary to handling, even wear and comfort. You should check for alignment when you rotate tyres or when the car is pulling to the right or left.

    Likewise, when the tyres are not balanced, flat spots and vibrations can occur.

    Finally, you should know when to replace the tyres. The time to do so is when the tyres show punctures that cannot be repaired, wear that is so uneven that the tyres are unstable and even cuts and bumps.

    When buying new tyres.

    Many would like to change to bigger tyres because they look good. You should not be moved by appearance alone. What is more important is that you should buy the tyres are of appropriate specifications. The golden rule is that if you buy tyres as replacements, you should be sure to choose ones that have the same construction type (if your car originally came with radials, you should also re-use radials) load capacity and size. The manufacturer has carefully thought through all these factors and you should follow these guidelines.

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