Have you checked the tires of your car lately?

08/10/18
Have you checked the tires of your car lately?

If you are on the road a lot, it’s important to monitor the condition of your tires. It is normal for tires to wear down due to constant friction with the road surface. However, it’s important to understand how much wear and tear is safely acceptable.

Visual Inspection

The three major things to keep an eye on is air pressure, the tread and the sidewall. Check the condition your tires on a regular basis, ideally once a month. If you travel long distances frequently or on rough terrain, it is advisable to check them more often.

There are several factors that cause a tire to wear out faster. The most common ones are heavy braking, turning corners really fast, transporting heavy loads constantly, rough roads, and improper tire pressure (under- or over inflation).

If your tires are wearing out faster than usual, look for underlying causes. If there is an increased tread wear only on one side, this means you should check the wheel alignment. Similarly, if you notice an uneven or accelerated wear, it may be that your tire is under-inflated or because you are overloading the car, but you should also check the wheel alignment.

Tire Pressure

The standard pressure for each vehicle varies. Check the inside of the fuel filler flap, vehicle handbook, or the inner side on the driver's door post to find what the proper air pressure for your car. The pressure of your tire greatly influences the performance of your car. It also affects driving comfort and stability while turning a corner or braking. It is best to measure the pressure of a cold tire. Measuring a warm tire will give higher readings and if you adjust the pressure while it is hot, the tire pressure will greatly reduce when the car comes to rest and the tires cool down. Hence, you will have an under-inflated tire.

Under-inflated tire

When the tire pressure falls below the acceptable level, it adversely affects the performance of your car. You will notice the following:

  • Fuel consumption increases while lowering the mileage, therefore reducing economy
  • Steering response decrease along with stability because of diminished road grip.
  • Uneven wear
  • An under-inflated tire heats up quicker which compromises the internal structure of the tire and therefore its durability.

Over-inflated tire

Similarly, if the tire is over-inflated, you will notice:

  • Decreased driving comfort due to a change in vehicle behavior and stability, especially when turning a corner.
  • Over-inflated tires are prone to catching objects, such as screws or nails, and irregular wear.

Tread Depth

This is a measure of how much surface of the tire is in contact with the road. It is necessary to have sufficient tread depth which is the basis of safe driving. The minimum recommended depth is 2 mm. Anything lower can put you at risk of an accident. The tires have a reduced grip on the road, negatively affecting their performance on wet or snowy surfaces.

If you have doubts about the condition of the tires, have them checked out by an expert.