Rain or shine, Winter or Summer and all seasons and weather conditions throughout the year, the tyres on your motor keep on rolling. They roll across all manner of road surfaces from smooth tarmac to, and much more likely, broken and fractured surfaces and harsh surface compounds. It’s a tough life being a tyre and we neglect them at their peril. A new car might be fine initially, a used car will need attention.
Technically we should all be checking functions and fluids on our cars weekly or so but how many, hand on heart, can say they get down and dirty around the wheel arches to make sure the vital rubber hoops are up to the task. Also, a quick glance may not reveal a potentially serious problem; maybe even something that could result in a terrifying blowout.
Here then are our top tips for correct tyre maintenance:
1. Air Pressure
On a plate inside the door or in the glove box and certainly in the handbook there will be a guide to correct air pressures for that particular vehicle. For safest handling and best fuel consumption always follow the car maker’s guidelines.
2. Wear & Tear
Tyre wear patterns are a good indication of faults, either with the rubber itself or perhaps suspension components. Wear on one side only indicates that the wheels are out of alignment. It may be noticeable that each tread rib may have a rounded border on one side and a sharp border on the other. Again, this problem is indicative of a suspension fault. Even something as simple as under or over-inflation can also impact on tyre life. See item 1.
This may not be a popular hint, we all have enough expense as it is, but a set of tyres, perhaps on a low-mileage used car, may look perfectly good but old tyres can dry out through age alone. Dried rubber may be subject to failure, with the inevitable consequences.
So how old is too old? Well, how long is a piece of string? Some pundits say that six years is about enough. If in doubt it is possible to check the identification number on the tyre wall or ask a specialist for an inspection.
How many owners actually do this in reality? Nevertheless, rotation of the wheels can help the longevity of tyres, perhaps every five to ten thousand miles. It’s a chore alright but worth it to get the best value.
5. Matching Pairs
Double denim might be considered a mistake by some fashionistas but matching tyres is a trend that is here to stay. The tyres on each corner should be the same make and model as on the other three, so replacing them all four at a time makes sense. But tyres on the front and rear can wear at different rates, hence rotation. But it is not
always financially viable to do that so if replacing just one or two then renew them as matched pairs only.
It might get a bit boring, all this motoring advice, but we all need to save ourselves from ourselves; it is too easy to be complacent. That’s why, as a helping hand we here at eCars247 always give our cars a thorough AA inspection before putting them on sale. Better still, we offer our customers a full fourteen day ‘test drive’; ample time to check that it’s the right car for you.