Tyres are built to last for a couple of years. Say four to six, sometimes 9 years. But there is no fixed life span to car Tyres, only recommended, safe use period. In hot climates like Nigeria, tyres will remain in good condition for about 4 years or more if used and maintained properly. With poor maintenance, a car tyre can go bad in less than a year. When tyres go bad, they pose serious danger to the lives of the drivers and other road users. Today, i'll be teaching you how to properly maintain your tyres and get the best value out of it.
Why maintenance is important
a. Why should I maintain my tyres?
- Having well-maintained tyres are highly beneficial to vehicle-users in the following ways:
1. Prolongs tyre life span
2. Lesser fuel consumption
3. Safety is maximized
4. More savings for the road user
b. How does inflation Pressure affect me?
- There are 3 types of conditions that will affect your driving performance, tyre life span and your safety. The elaborations are stated below:
1) Under-inflated tyres will reduce your control over the vehicle, increase time and distance it takes for your car stop after applying brakes and tyres will wear rapidly.
2) Over-inflated tyres will reduce grip, stability in braking which may lead to poorer handling.
3) Correctly-inflated tyres will maximize safety, stability and improve vehicle handling.
i. Operating at under inflation pressure will damage the tyre in the follow ways:
1) The life of the tyre will be shortened. If there are any complaints about short life of tyres, the pressure should be checked first.
2) Abrasion will appear at the shoulders.
3) The cord will be separated from the rubber.
4) Cracks will appear on the sidewalls.
5) Fuel consumption will increase.
ii. Operating at over inflation pressure will damage the tyre in the following ways:
1. Mechanical and other issues.
2. Side-slip / Wobbling of tyre.
3. Cutting & shock bursting.
4. Rapid abrasion of tread center.
Tyre Maintenance Tips
(5 Critical Car Tyre Maintenance Tips)
1. Tyre rotation
Tyres are often moved from one position on the car to another to ensure even wear and tear. Front tyres carry more of the car's weight and tend to wear out at about twice the rate of rear tyres, so rotating the tyres can extend their life. Car manufacturers differ in their recommendations, but most manufacturers advise tyres should be rotated every 8,000 to 10,000 kms.
Ensuring your tyres are rotated regularly (usually at each service but can be more frequently) will allow them to wear evenly and maintain good tread. A front wheel drive vehicle will wear its front tyres more quickly, and a rear wheel drive vehicle will wear its rear tyres more quickly. Therefore, regular rotation can help prolong the life and condition of your tyres, resulting in greater safety on the road. You wouldn’t want to let the tyres that drive power to be bald, as this can cause loss of control.
2. Tyre pressure
Tyre pressure is of critical importance for two basic reasons. Having properly inflated tyres protects against tyre damage and reduces the possibility that the car will spin out of control. Driving with low pressure tyres also increases fuel consumption. You should check your tyre pressure at least every month, more often if you drive many kilometres and always before setting out on any long journey. Tyres should not be hot when checked, otherwise add 4 to 5 PSI to the recommended pressure. To find the correct tyre pressure for your car, check the user manual, the label on the door or inside the fuel flap. The recommended pressure is not written on the tyre itself.
3. Tyre tread depth
Tyre tread is important because it helps remove water between the tyre and road, ensuring the car remains under control and preventing the risk of aquaplaning. Tyres wear out over time, and this can be accelerated by uneven road surfaces, the tyre design itself and driving practices such as high-speed driving and hard braking. The minimum tread depth varies very slightly from state to state, but is between 1.5mm and 1.6mm. The tread depth measures the depth over the face of the tread that is in contact with the road.
4. Wheel alignment
Wheel alignment is the process of properly aligning the wheels and axles. It ensures that your car handles at its optimum level, increasing safety as well as protecting tyres against premature wear and saving fuel. Wheel balancing balances the wheel and tyres. It protects the bearings and suspension, prevents premature tyre wear and stops vibration. Out of balance wheels, and the vibration they cause, is typically most noticeable when driving at high speeds.
5. Repair and replacement
If you are in any doubt as to the roadworthiness of your tyres, you should take them to a specialist to check. (Drive into any infinity service station across the country). We will check that the internal condition of the tyre as well as the outside, comply with all proper procedures for disassembling, repairing and re-assembling, ensure compliance with all legal and manufacturers' requirements and ensure the tyre is re-fitted optimally.
However, there comes a time when tyres need to be replaced. This depends on various factors, including kilometres driven and driving style, but also climate and storage. It is essential to check your tyres on a regular basis and replace them when required, for example when they reach the minimum tread depth.