Your tyres are arguably the most important part of your car. They’re the only part of the vehicle that touches the ground; they control your steering, braking, acceleration, and the help iron out those bumps in the road.
Maintaining your tyres, as well as the rest of your car, is essential for keeping you safe on the roads and making sure you have the smooth ride you deserve. So here are our top five tips for looking after these vital components.
1. Regularly Check Tyre Pressure
Checking your tyre pressure on a regular basis – every few week or so – is a great habit to get into. Not only is it important from a safety point of view, but it’ll prolong the life of your tyres, too, but preventing unnecessary damage.
If your tyres are under-inflated it can lead to increased temperature and flexing which can ruin the structure of the tyre wall.
Over-inflated tyres have a reduced contact area with the road which leads to increased wear and tear, plus incorrectly inflated tyres are more likely to blow.
Check them regularly, and before long journeys, to make sure they’re at the recommended level. The maximum pressure is usually shown on the tyre’s sidewall, but if not, your car’s manual or handbook should give you all the necessary information.
Not only do these checks extend the lifespan of your tyres, but the correct pressure will also maximise your fuel efficiency, ultimately saving you money.
2. Check Your Wheel Alignment
If your wheel alignment is wrong then your tyres will wear down more quickly and unevenly. Your wheels should be aligned straight and parallel to each other for the safest and best performance.
It doesn’t take a serious impact to put the alignment of your wheels out of whack – simply hitting a kerb or pothole can do it, or even going over speed bumps – especially on a regular journey – can mean your wheels aren’t quite sitting straight on the road.
If you’re driving on a straight road and your car tends to pull to one side, this is a sign that your wheel alignment isn’t quite right, as is squealing tyres or if you notice uneven wear on the tread.
If you notice any of these problems, book an appointment and swing by and see us at our garage in Denton.
3. Driving Style
The way you drive has a big impact on the way your tyres stand up to normal wear and tear. Hard braking and acceleration can increase the wear on the tyre, decreasing the depth of your tread meaning you have to replace your tyres more often.
Aggressive cornering adds pressure on the tyres, and driving at high speeds will reduce their lifespan too as the heat generated leads to increased damage.
Keep it calm and smooth, allowing more time for your journey, and your tyres will thank you for it.
4. Don’t Pile It On
The amount your car is carrying will have an impact on how long your tyres last. Of course, sometimes we load up with shopping or take a holiday packed with suitcases, but in the long-term carrying excess baggage will increase the wear.
We’re all guilty of storing things in the car that can often be stored at home, but it’s best to keep the load on your vehicle to the bare minimum as far as possible.
It’s worth noting too that many vehicles have two recommended tyre pressure settings – one for day-to-day use, and the other for when carrying heavy loads. If you know in advance you’re going to be making a journey with a significant extra load, make sure your tyre pressure is set correctly.
The extra load will also increase your stopping distances and overall handling as well, so bear that in mind with your driving style.
5. Park Under Cover
If you have the option to park in a garage or other vehicle shelter, do it. Like most things, tyres degrade naturally when exposed to rain, heat, and UV light from the sun. Extremes of heat and cold are particularly harmful to rubber. If you can keep your car out of the elements when not in use, your tyres won’t degrade so quickly.
Even bearing all this in mind, your tyres will still need replacing at some point, so make sure you keep an eye on them. Watch out for cracks, bumps, or other signs of damage such as uneven wear and if you spot anything, get them checked out as soon as possible.
Remember, the legal minimum depth for your tyres is 1.6mm but for maximum safety, we recommend considering replacements when they reach 3mm depth.
If you have any questions about looking after your tyres or would like to look at alignment or replacement tyres, get in touch today!
We are Tameside Auto Centre and specialists for car servicing and MOts in the Denton and Tameside areas. Call us now on 0161 320 3156 or click here to send an email.