5 Critical Car Tire Maintenance Tips
When it comes to keeping your car in good working condition, looking after the tires should be at the top of your priorities. Tires are a big part of safe driving – in fact, it’s illegal to drive around in non-roadworthy tires. As any car owner knows, new tires aren’t cheap. So, how to ensure your car works well, drives safely, and doesn’t ruin your budget? Here are the five critical car tire maintenance tips you need to know about.
1. Ensure you have the right pressure
The first thing to do is to ensure your tires are the right pressure. This isn’t just something you do once you change new tires and then forget about it – you should check the tire pressure at least once a month, but every two weeks is definitely better, especially if you drive for a living.
Tyre pressure is important for two reasons. First, it reduces the likelihood of tire damage and improves the drivability of your car. You are less likely to lose the control of your car if you have the right pressure in your tires. Second reason is to do with the cost of driving. Low-pressure tires will increase fuel consumption, and you will end up having to add fuel much more often – this can be rather taxing on the wallet.
The key to checking tire pressure is to avoid doing it when they are hot. Hot tires can show a wrong pressure, so you want to let them cool down a bit. Also, you should follow the instructions provided to you by the car manual – you won’t find it from the tire!
2. Change after a recommended rotation
When you are driving, different tires carry a different type of weight on them, which means the tires can wear differently. It’s, therefore, a good idea to know how your tires rotate and the right time to change them. Today’s cars can have four different variations of tire rotation. These are:
- Cross rotation
- Straight rotation
- 5-tyre rotation
- 4-wheel drive
Depending on the rotation you have, you need to be swapping the tires around to increase their lease of life. This means placing the front tires to back and so on, especially when you have things like straight rotation.
Your car manual would also have a recommendation on when to make the rotation. For most models, this tends to sit between every 8,000 to 10,000 kilometers.
3. Ensure your wheel alignment is good
Aside from rotation, you also need to pay attention to the wheel alignment. Wheel alignment is about guaranteeing that your wheels are in proper alignment with your axles. It guarantees the car handles appropriately and ensures you drive safely every time you hit the road. The proper alignment also cuts costs, as it can lower fuel consumption and the wear of the tires.
How to spot a badly aligned wheel? When you are driving, you can feel slight vibrations coming from the tire. This can be noticeable or rather hard to spot. Therefore it can be helpful to take a look at your wheels every once in a while.
4. Measure the tire tread depth
You also need to measure the tire tread depth regularly to guarantee you aren’t driving around in damaged tires. The tires will continue to wear no matter how well you take care of the above tips. It isn’t just affected by the maintenance, but the tires also wear differently depending on the surfaces you drive in.
You should start keeping an eye on your tread depth after you’ve driven a lot with the tires or if you’d been driving on surfaces such as hard rock. The required tread depth depends slightly on where you are driving, so make sure to check it. Furthermore, you can get help from your tires – most come with a tread wear indicator that is worth checking out at least once a month.
5. Ask professional help
While it isn’t too difficult to follow the above tips, you shouldn’t be afraid to check with a professional either. You can find specialist equipment and information from the most acclaimed auto part retailer such as Kwik Fit and if you’re not sure things are going OK, drive to your local repair shop and ask them to take a look at the tires. Furthermore, make sure you always follow the instructions provided by your car manufacturer and the tire company!
Specialists can check the inside of the tire as well and so if you notice weird behavior or noises coming from your tires, have them checked out. You don’t want to risk your own safety nor the safety of others by driving with non-roadworthy tires.
The above are the five critical car maintenance tips that you should keep in mind. The tips are not just good for ensuring you can drive safely and keep the car in good working condition, they also help you to save money. Car maintenance is not cheap, but the above tips will make it all just a bit more enjoyable and affordable.