Women and Wheels

All You Need To Know About Tyre Care

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Most of us never think of it but the only contact your big hulking car has with the road is that slim sliver of rubber- your tyres . Are they up to speed? Have you chosen the correct tyres for your particular vehicle?   If they aren’t in good shape, what’s to keep your car from sliding in wet weather, skidding from mishandling or reeling out of control from a blowout? The first line of safety on your vehicle is your tyres so make sure they are in perfect condition.

Proper inflation

Inflation is key to tyre safety, especially in our tropical heat.  According to experts, you are more likely to experience a blowout when it’s hot outside and your tyres are under inflated. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix. You can find the correct tire inflation PSI (pounds per square inch) numbers inside the driver’s side door jam or in your car’s owner’s manual. If you can’t find the numbers, pull into a local tyre store and ask to have them checked for proper inflation and wear condition.

Tyre pressure

Make a commitment to check your tyre pressure once each month. Choose a date that’s easy to remember, like the first of each month. Buy a pressure gauge at an auto supply store. It’s simple to check. Perform the test in the morning, when it’s cooler outside before you drive the car. Driving the car causes tyres to heat up and expand, giving an inaccurate reading. Just listen for a quick Psshhht, and then silence. The gauge should give you a reading once the Psshhht stops. If the pressure is low, simply drive to your gas station and fill up your tyre.

Tyre wear

Any chunks missing from the sidewalls from overly aggressive parking (yes, the curb is also your enemy) compromises the integrity of the tyre. This can possibly lead to a slow leak from the thin rubber that’s left on the sidewall, or, at worst, a blowout at high speed. Also check for bubbles or bulges on the sidewall. These can be caused by driving over potholes. They, too, can cause blowouts. And it’s important to look at wear on the tyre tread; you need adequate tread depth to safely channel water away from your tyres and keep traction. Also look at the condition of the tyre’s shoulders. If they’re smooth, you might have an alignment issue. Properly aligned tyres not only wear longer, they help save on fuel consumption and provide better handling. If you’re uncertain whether your tyres are out of alignment, drive along a deserted straight road at a safe speed and take your hands off the wheel. If the car pulls or drifts to the left or the right, your tyres need alignment.

Tyre rotation

Tyre rotation is equally important.   If you rotate your tyres every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, you’ll maximize their life and keep the car in a better balanced (better handling) situation by keeping your their tread wear even from front to back. Not all cars have the same size tyres in the front and back (sports cars often have larger tyres for the rear axle; you won’t be able to rotate these.) But if your car’s four tyres are the same size, it’s important to rotate them. And if you need to purchase only two new ones, remember to always put the new tyres in the back, no matter if you have a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive car. They will provide maximum stability for better handling if they’re placed in the rear.

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