A typical question in the mind of most people is`how do I make the most out of my tires`, The life expectancy of a set of tires can be anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 kilometers depending upon the brand and care that has been given.
In this section,the following simple tips if followed religiously, will take care of uniform tire wear for all the four tires, comfortable and safe ride throughout the life of the set of tires.
1.Tire inflation pressure
The recommended tire pressure by the manufacturer must always be adhered.This is usually indicated on the handbook or on a sticker pasted on the drivers side center pillar.Invest in a good tire pressure gauge and check the pressure at least once every two weeks, including the spare tire, when the tires are cold. If this is not possible, drive to the nearest petrol station where pressure checks can be done.For accuracy, pressure checks must be done when the tires are not hot.An accurate reading can never be obtained after having done long distances. Allow the tires to cool down before doing any checking. Under-inflation and over-inflation can lead to uneven wear, reduced stability and traction.
Without proper alignment of the front and rear wheels of a vehicle, uneven wear and premature failure of the tyres can be expected.The front wheels steer the vehicle according to the movement of the steering wheel.There are several measurements and angles incorporated into the steering system which is referred to as the steering `geometry`settings. One of the settings referred to as `toe-in or toe-out` on the front wheels can be adjusted while all other settings are factory set and cannot be adjusted.During alignment checks, the toe-in or toe-out is adjusted in relation to the rear wheels so that true rolling motion of all the four wheels is obtained without any scrubbing or pulling effect on any of the four tires, resulting in unform tire wear. An alignment check must be carried out by your tire dealer every 10,000 km.
Tires must be rotated around to even out the wear. A set of directional tires must be rotated from front to back and back to front only, on the same side.For non-directional tires, the practice is to move the front tires to the rear and the rear tires to the front, cross wise. This exercise should also be carried out by your tire dealer every 10,000 km.
In order for a wheel to rotate on the axle smoothly without any vibration,there must be proper dynamic weight distribution.When a new set of tires are fitted, proper tire and rim weight distribution is checked using a balancing machine and weights are added to balance out any unbalance.When tires start wearing out,the balance can run out. This is usually observed by an uncomfortable vibration or a shimmy on the steering wheel when exceeding certain speeds. If left unchecked,it can usually result in premature wear and tear on the steering system as a whole. This exercise should be carried out together with tire rotation and alignment by your dealer every 10,000 km or whenever the uncomfortable vibration is experienced on the steering wheel.