How to maintain tyres: 7-point guide to extend tyre life
A good set of tyres make the car feel smoother and ride better be it a motorcycle or a car. It also means, less chance of getting a flat and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. Also, with tyres not coming cheap by any means, the longer they run, more money you save and you can do all of that by running a few checks and doing a few things now and then. Here is a point by point guide as to how to keep your tyres trimmed up all the time.
- Choosing the tight tyres Tyres come in all shapes and sizes and the correct tyre depends upon the rim and is also rated by the manufacturer. So, when you buy new tyres, always go by the manufacturer recommendation in terms of sizes. The correct size will mean that the tyre will not balloon nor flat up (especially in the case of motorcycles) in the rim and hence not wear out. unevenly.
- Tyre Alignment While motorcycle alignment issues are mechanical/structural, car tyres have to aligned as per the manufacturer recommendation. Proper alignment ensures uniform load and hence wear and tear of the tyres leading to a longer life.
- Wheel balancing - The automotive wheel is a rotating mass and it has to be balanced for even motion. An unbalanced wheel will lead to undue uneven stresses on the tyre thus reducing its life.
- Tyre wear It is advised to have a good look at tyres once in a fortnight or a month, depending upon the running. Any visible signs of uneven wear or bald patches need to be identified at the earliest and corrective action taken for any underlying mechanical condition. Also, it is a good indicator to go for tyre rotation on replacement, depending upon the wear patterns. For eg, if threw tread depth goes below 2mm, it is time to go for a new set of tyres, especially during monsoons.
- Tyre rotation It is advisable to rotate tyres every service interval or at 10,000kms whichever is earlier. The tyre rotation patterns for four wheels and five wheels (including the spare) are different. Also, if you have changed just two tyres, the rotation sequence will change.
- Tyre pressure This is one of the basic but important pointers in extending tyre life. The correct pressure helps the tyre to impart maximum grip while also saving tyre life. It is better to make it a habit of checking tyre pressures every time you fill up fuel in the car or a week, whichever is later. Nitrogen works better in keeping tyre temperature a little lower than normal air, so if possible, fill your tyres up with it.
- Driving Style A smooth riding/driving style will take you to the destination safely and at the same time, demand less from the tyres in terms of braking grip, acceleration and cornering. Which means, the tyres certainly will last longer.
In India, standing cars a quite a big problem for tyre life. It is advisable to drive the car around for the tyres to flex and not be standstill. Also, tyres of cars parked in shade tend not to crack up as soon as the ones in the sun.
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