If you’ve had to purchase new car tyres recently, you’ll know that there’s no denying that they can be a rather costly purchase. What with all the other regular car expenditures to fork out on for running your car, it is likely that you are reluctant to invest in your tyres again and again. By the looks of it, the cost of tyres is not about to get any cheaper either.
However, good tyres are worth the purchase and what’s more, they’re essential for a car to be running. Many people take pride in having the most on-trend alloys, which can change the entire overall look of the car. Not only that, but good, well looked after tyres can reduce your fuel consumption and make for a much more comfortable ride.
If you fail to look after your car tyres, you can find yourself purchasing them on an even more regular basis than completely necessary. Instead of simply accepting how much your tyres are costing you, there are some simple, easy and cheap tips and tricks that you can put into practice to avoid having to replace them as regularly. This will reduce the overall amount you spend on your car very significantly, so that you can use your money and more exciting things, such as sprucing up your car’s sound system, getting a new car wrap, or something entirely non-car related…
Here at In Town Automotive, we have drawn up a list of the most useful tips to make your car’s tyres last as long as possible.
Inflate your tyres
One of the most important aspects of caring for your tyres is to ensure that they are properly inflated. Having your tyres inflated at the correct pressure ensures maximum fuel efficiency and the safety of your ride. Properly inflated tyres are also less likely to be badly damaged by potholes and such hazards on the road.
It is especially important to take particular notice of your tyre pressure during winter months when it likely that you could be driving in bad weather conditions, as maximum traction is needed to avoid skidding and accidents.
Get into the habit of checking the inflation of your tyres every time you stop for fuel. This can be done by simply taking a look at the tyres for any bulging places or flatness. These signs could signify that the inflation is too low.
It is important to get the right tyre pressure for your car; not all cars are the same so you will need to check for your specific car. In order to find out the specific tyre pressure for your car, you can look for it on the inside of the door jamb or in the car handbook.
You can also check your tyre pressure at most petrol stations where there is usually a tyre air pump for minimal costs, or by using a digital or manual tyre pump.
Some vehicles are equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system, which takes half the effort out on your part. This means that when the tyre pressure on the car is too low, a light will come on the dashboard to let you know.
As soon as you know that your tyre pressure is too low, you need to deal with the issue as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, you could end up with a deflated tyre, ruining the alloys and you could even get stranded, unable to drive your car home.
It may sound obvious, but in order to increase the lifespan of your tyres, you will need to take care when driving. The way you drive can mean the difference between hundreds of pounds spent on the tyres, and the tyres lasting how they’re meant to. This means avoiding hazards and driving sensibly.
Driving on rough and damaged roads too fast, and not keeping enough of a distance between you and the car in front of you can all be contributing factors in damaging your tyres on hazards. For example, if you have enough time to avoid a pothole in the road, or if you go over a pothole slower, your tyres are less likely to become damaged.
It is particularly important to pay attention to the road ahead of you and take more time when there has just been a period of bad weather, which is when new potholes are most likely to appear.
Remember only to try avoiding potholes if it is safe and you have enough time to do so. If you have less time, it can sometimes be possible to slow down slightly before going over the pothole, but sometimes they are unavoidable.
Check tyre alignment
The alignment of the tyres means that they are in the optimum position on the car, as specified by the manufacturer. It is important to get your wheel alignment put right as soon as you notice it’s not right, otherwise you could run into some problems. If your tyres are not aligned properly, this could mean that the tyres wear down more rapidly than they should, and it can even affect the handling and safety of the car.
Incorrect tyre alignment can be caused by hitting a kerb, going over a pothole or driving in places where your steering and suspension are put to the test.
A tell-tale sign of incorrect tyre alignment is the wear pattern on tyres. When inspecting the tyre tread, make sure they have about 3mm and 8mm worth; this is the safe and recommended measurement to ensure traction isn’t lost. If the tyre tread is very worn down, it is unlikely to pass its MOT and they will need replacing.
Spare a thought for the spare tyre
As well as thinking about the four tyres which are on your car, make sure you also consider the spare tyre which is often hidden away in the boot or under the car. When checking your tyres, it is also important to check if this one is safe to use too. If you fail to look after and replace this tyre when necessary, you will regret it massively when you suffer a puncture.
If you have bought a second-hand car, it’s also worth checking the condition the spare wheel is in, as you often have no idea whether or not it has been used, and for how long. It’s well worth checking it over to ensure that you’ve got a backup plan in place for those emergency situations.
Take care when parking
A lot of drivers worry about damaging their alloy wheels hitting the kerb when driving, but an even more considerable worry should be about scuffing and damaging the tyres when parking. Sharp edges on the pavement could lead to a puncture or damage which could lead to the tyre blowing out in the near future, which can be frightening and dangerous, particularly on fast roads.
When parking against the pavement, take particular care not to scrape your tyre along the edge of the kerb. The risk of damaging your tyre can be decreased by choosing to park in sensible places which have ample room for your car. It is also important to be spatially aware when parking, use your mirrors and try not to cut corners in order to avoid any contact with kerbs when you are driving.
It is also advisable to park in places in which you do not have to bump over the kerb to get out the way of the road. It cannot always be avoided when parking, but it is important to consider your parking as much as possible when you are out and about in your car.
Stick to one brand
No two tyre manufacturers have exactly the same processes and procedures when creating their tyres. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages and use their own unique technologies to create their own original types of tyres.
Manufacturers design their tyres assuming that they will be used as a set, because they have those individual advantages which are unique to their own design, and for this reason, they perform at their best when they are used as a set.
Having multiple different brands of tyres on your car could put you at a disadvantage, causing your tyres to wear out more quickly, put a strain on each other for their different qualities, and ultimately costing you more money than they should. Having different brands of tyre on one car will likely only have a small impact on the handling of the car, however in terms of the way they wear and last, ensuring you only purchase one brand of tyre at a time can make a massive difference.
Therefore, if you need to change a tyre it will be most efficient to stick with the same brand of tyre, coinciding with the others. If you decide to change the brand of tyre you prefer, it is best to change all of the at once so that they are performing at the optimum.
Rotate your tyres
Rotating your tyres involves swapping the position of your tyres every so often to ensure to stop them from repeatedly being exposed to the forces which are specific to their position on the car. For example, the front tyres hold more of the car weight, because this is where most cars have the engine, and also where people are likely to be in the car. This means they will have more pressure on them and are more likely to wear.
In the same way, in a country with right-hand drive cars, the turns are tighter on the left wheel, so the right-hand wheel will wear more quickly because they are travelling the furthest overall.
To avoid some tyres wearing in certain places and becoming damaged beyond repair, it is suggested that you get the wheel of your car rotated approximately every 5000 miles or so to make your tyres last longer, however, this distance can vary according to the manufacturer of the tyre and the make of the car.
If your car’s tyres vary in quality, it is usually advisable to put the best tyres at the back of the car. This is because, in the case of a tyre blowout, a front tyre blowout will cause an oversteering condition, which is easier to handle than the understeering condition caused by a back wheel blowing out.
Clean your tyres
The tyres are the part of the car which is constantly in contact with rough surfaces on the road and are most likely to get worn down by this, however many people still fail to see the importance of cleaning them along with the rest of the car.
Debris and dirt caught in the tyres can cause them to wear down and damage more quickly, but by simply giving them a good clean and taking care that no sharp objects are stuck and pressing into them, you can spend less money on constant replacements.
Scrub the treading with a bristled brush to remove any objects and general debris which can dig into and grate on your tyres, and you will reduce the risk of any damage caused by these unavoidable but easily dealt with issues.
Not only will cleaning your tyres spare you money by not having to replace them as regularly, but it will also make the overall look of your car much more valuable and appealing.
Reduce your load
The tyres of your car are put under a lot of weight from the body, the engine and all the mechanics within the structure, and it is clear to see why it is important to check them regularly, with so much force being put on them constantly.
A good way to significantly increase the lifespan of your tyres is to reduce the amount of weight you carry around in your car. Most people have at least a few unnecessary items in their car, but sometimes they can pile up to a ridiculous extent.
If you have been hoarding piles of things in your car, make an effort to reduce it significantly, to lower the overall strain of what is put on your tyres.
To get a full professional look over your car and ensure that you are driving a safe, road-worthy car, it is best to contact the professionals at In Town Automotive.