Despite being the only element that keeps our car glued to the ground, the maintenance and time we dedicate to caring for our tires is almost nil. Something that can be the cause of unnecessary expenses and even accidents, which we can avoid with adequate precautions.
Let’s put ourselves in a situation: you have been for days looking for the best tires for your car, you have asked for estimates, you have compared models, you make up your mind, you ride them … and you forget about them. It is something that happens to all drivers and it is a serious error, since, as happens with oil, filters and many other components of our vehicle, tires require periodic care and avoiding certain customs, which they can end up shortening their useful life. To make it easier for you to extend the life of your tires and their safety, we are going to give you five tips to take care of your tires.
# 1 Drive carefully
Acceleration, braking, sharp turns, skidding … all these behaviors make your tires suffer and end up increasing their wear. Rough and forced driving, for example when making a curve or going fast on a straight, is the best way to shorten the life of your tires.
Therefore, it is advisable to drive relaxed, trying to anticipate traffic when braking or accelerating progressively and without jerks, except when strictly necessary. The best thing is that all these behaviors will not only increase the life of your tires, but will also help you take care of the rest of the elements of your vehicle such as the engine, brakes or suspensions.
# 2 Control the pressure
Your vehicle’s tires contain a certain amount of pressurized air, which is what holds the car in place and gives the tire the necessary grip. This amount is determined by the manufacturer and is what we must verify frequently. Among other things, because inadequate pressure can cause premature tire wear or even accidents.
As a sample, we have what happens if we maintain a higher or lower pressure than our tires should have. Excessive pressure causes greater stress in the central area of the tire, so that the pattern wears prematurely in this area, as it is the one that grips the most of the entire surface. Just the opposite happens in case of using a lower pressure than we should have, in which case wear is more noticeable on the sidewalls, on which a wheel with little air rests. Both excess and lack of air are also causes of blowouts, due to the inadequate support that we are commenting on.
# 3 Rotate your tires
Although it is a forgotten procedure, rotations are one of the best things we can do to take care of our tires. These rotations involve changing the position of our tires, so that they change their axis or position, according to the characteristics of the vehicle and the tires themselves.
This process has the advantage of making better use of the tread pattern, so that when passing through various positions on the vehicle’s axles, this wear increases until the tread is fully utilized. Something that does not always happen when the wheel is always mounted in the same position and subjected to the same stresses. This rotation process should be applied only in case all tires have been mounted more or less at the same time and should be run every 10,000 kilometers or so.
# 4 Beware of tire enemies
Although it may seem exaggerated, the truth is that during any trip we take we will have to face all kinds of enemies willing to wear out our tires. One of those enemies are potholes, in which tires are subjected to a sudden deformation that can deteriorate them, if not directly break them. For this reason, it is important to avoid potholes and, if there is no other remedy, to overcome them carefully.
Something similar happens with the curbs. Rubbing against them deteriorates the sidewalls of the tire, while the bad habit of getting on them for certain maneuvers can cause cracks or bumps on the side. Something similar to what happens with soundtracks or speed bumps, which are unfortunately common on many streets and highways. The poor design of these treads and their aggressive nature can damage tires prematurely, so they must be safely overcome.
# 5 Check your tires
As a final tip, it is imperative that we visually check our tires frequently. Something that goes beyond a simple review of the pressures. In particular, it is essential that we check the sidewalls of the tires for cracks, lumps and other deformations. It is also necessary to check the tread area, to look for defects in the way in which the tread of the wheel is worn. In addition to those indicated for lack of pressure, excessive wear on the inside or outside of the wheel can be a sign of alignment problems. Do not forget either to check the general grip and to see if the wheels have crystallized, in case they have been on for several years or the vehicle in which they are mounted does not roll much.
In parallel, it is also important that we pay attention to the behavior of the vehicle during the trip. In case of perceiving vibrations during the break-in, this can be a symptom of balance problems in some of the tires. If we always have to turn the steering wheel to drive in a straight line, it is possible that the car has steering alignment problems, which deteriorate the tires. And if you notice continuous bouncing while taxiing, these may be due to suspension problems, which also cause saw teeth or uneven wear on the tread.