12 February, 2019

Top tips to help maintain your tyres

Car tyres are one of the areas that are regularly overlooked by car owners, simply because as they start to break, they don’t make any noises, they just break.


Why should we look after them? Well, when a single tyre ranges in price from £40 all the way up to a few hundred pounds, you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tyres.


But how do we look after them? Unlike other parts of your car, your tyres really aren’t needy, they ask for a little attention once a month and they will do the rest. Here are my tips to make sure you get the most of out your tyres.


Tyre Pressures

You need to make sure your tyres are inflated to the right pressure, for most cars this will be somewhere around the 30 to 40psi mark, but you should refer to your owners manual for the exact pressure.


When your tyres have the correct pressure in them, they are able to offer you the best level of grip on the road surface, making your ride safer and more stable.


But when your tyres are either underinflated or overinflated, you lose a lot of grip, grip that was already limited. This is because when your tyres are underinflated there isn’t enough pressure to force the centre of the tyre in to the road meaning the only part of the tyre in contact with the road is the shoulder of the tyre. This is why they wear early on the edges.


Equally, when your tyres are overinflated, you only have the centre section of the tyre in contact with the road and this means that the tyre wears down unevenly in the centre causing a bald spot.


Kerbs, potholes and debris

Your tyres are supple and with a little bit of light pressure you can deform them. In the same way you can deform them, as you drive your vehicle down the road, if you drive in and out of potholes, bounce your car up on the kerb or even drive over speed bumps hard, you risk causing damage to your tyre.


Normally this shows itself as either a cut in the tyre or an egg shape on the tyre wall, but sometimes there is no obvious damage.


This is because the tyre is made up of various layers, which are all bonded together to create the tough and sturdy tyre you are used to, but if you drive through potholes at speed or bounce your car up on the kerb, that force can be enough to break the bond between the materials creating a tiny hole in the tyre. This leads to a slow puncture, one which you cannot see, but will continue to leak until you have the tyre changed.


Tyre Valve Dust Covers

When car owners inflate their tyres, they remove dust covers from the valves. These dust covers are normally small black plastic screw caps, but once they have inflated their tyres, they do not replace the dust cover.


They do not look massively important; those little covers have and will stop many tyres from deflating. Although the valve lets the air in and out, they are very easy to operate, so much so that without dust covers, if you drove down the road, the dirt and grime on the road are capable of getting in to the valve and causing it to open, which in turn releases air from your tyres.


So the next time you are tempted to throw those dust covers away, remember, put them back on your car.

(This article was written for BestCompany.com - https://bestcompany.com/car-warranty/blog/how-to-maintain-your-tires )