Tyre - Maintenance Related Factor

Tyre - Maintenance Related Factor

Tyre is one of the most important components of a vehicle. Thus, for it is essential to take its proper care to ensure risk-free rides. However, you cannot stop the wear that tyres undergo, which is a slow process. Thus, you have to check for cues that help to identify that the tyres need replacement or rotation, balancing or alignment is required. Check if the turns, wet roads or brakes are handled well by the vehicle. If there is a variation from the vehicle’s earlier performance, you need to visit the workshop. Here we give you some tips to maintain your tyres well and to know when to visit the workshop.

What are Tyres for?

  • Tyres help maintain grip with the road and transmit traction.
  • They support the load (Vehicle, Chassis, Payload etc) off the ground.
  • They are essential for the stability of the vehicle and absorb shocks from the road surface.
  • Also, tyres are essential for changing and maintaining the direction of travel or steer of the vehicle. Without this, it would be hard and risky to change direction of the vehicle.

How to Take Care of Your Tyres?

Correct Inflation Pressure

Tyres generally lose pressure due to small holes, or natural escape of air through its components or even many times when temperatures increase, the rate of pressure loss also increases.

  • Check the tyre pressure regularly, preferably monthly, and before long journeys.
  • You will get the correct tyre pressure reading when your tyres are cold.  Please follow vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure.  Every vehicle has a label of tyre pressure recommendation on side of the driver’s door/quarter panel / fuel tank lid or owner’s manual (ref picture below)

  • If you have already driven your vehicle for some time and the tyres are hot, it might indicate more pressure than actual.  It is advisable to allow the tyres to cool down before making any change to the pressures.
  • Correct tyre pressure helps in protecting tyres from premature wear and irreversible damage to the internal construction and thus maintains the stability of your vehicle.

 

Appropriate Tread Depth

Tyre treads indicate the health of your tyre. Check the tyre treads at least once a month to identify if the tyres are fine. If you are going for a long journey, you must check the wear of the treads. Inspect the treads for the following:

  • In the below picture, you will find tread wear indicators which will be present in around 6 places across the circumference of the tyre on both sides.  At these places, you will find TWI bars on all grooves. These will be at a depth of 1.6mm for passenger car tyres. When the tyre wears out till this TWI, the tyre needs to be replaced. 

      

  • Check if any objects are stuck in the tread: If you notice any objects stuck in the groove, remove them carefully. However, if you find things like nail stuck through the rubber, better get it removed at the garage as it might cause you a flat tyre if you remove it immediately.
  • Check if wear is more on both the shoulders: If you find wear more prominent on shoulders, you need to inflate the tyres to the correct pressure. Worn shoulders indicate taking frequent sharp curves and turns while not having appropriate pressure.
  • Check if wear is more in the center of the tread: If such is the case, the tyres might be overinflated. You need to deflate them to the correct pressure level as per vehicle manufacturer recommendation.
  • Check if there is uneven wear across a single tyre:  If there are uneven patches of wear, or bald spots, you need to check with a professional for wheel balancing or alignment.
  • Check if there is uneven wear across the tyre set: Tyres at the front wear out more than the ones at the rear. If you notice there is more than usual wear for the tyres, check with a professional. There might be a problem with the suspension. Alignment issue can be there if there is greater wear on one side of the vehicle than the other side.

Timely Tyre Rotation

Another important thing that you must do to ensure long life of your tyres is tyre rotation. What does that actually mean? Rotating tyres means changing their positions.

The wear rate and wear condition of tyres varies by their wheel positions i.e. whether the vehicle is front-wheel drive or rear wheel drive. In case of front wheel drive cars, the tyres on the front position, wear almost twice as fast as the rear tyres. On the other hand, in case of rear-wheel drive cars, the rear tyres wear faster than the front tyres.

For a safe and balanced drive, the tyres of the vehicle should have even wear. Rotating the tyres ensures uniform wear across the full set.

Physical inspection for cuts / damages & age of the tyre

Accidental damages are most common for tyres.  Tyres may have damages and cuts that may be dangerous at high speeds.  Periodic inspection for cuts and cracks is needed to ensure safe driving.  Cuts which are superficial can be ignored but deeper cuts damaging the carcass must be inspected by tyre professional for recommendation of continuing the usage or replacement.  Tyres with Ozone cracks or ageing cracks are not recommended to use. You can find age of the tyre from the DOT marking on the sidewall (Illustrated in below picture).

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