Looking after your car tyres also keeps you safe and legal; being neither can be very costly in more than the financial sense. The following hints and tips show you the ways in which you can wear your tyres out prematurely, or damage them irreparably. Why should you know these things? So you can do the exact opposite and get the very best from your car’s tyres.
Run the tyres at the wrong pressure
This is a good starting point. Too little pressure wears the edges of the tread prematurely, lets the tyres flex too much and can cause overheating. Too much pressure increases the wear on the centre of the tread. And don’t forget that comfort and safety aren’t the only issues – running tyres at the wrong pressure is illegal, so you can look forward to attention from the police.
Make sure your wheels aren’t properly aligned
Misaligned wheels are another sure-fire tyre killer. With the car’s tracking set incorrectly tyres will wear unevenly, wear out their inside or outside edges and there’ll be problems with both braking and steering. Moreover, such wear means you’ll be throwing your tyres away far too soon.
Your car may have traction control and ABS but you can still trash the tyres effectively despite them. How? By driving aggressively. Make sure you accelerate as harshly as possible whenever you can and use the brakes as though every stop is an emergency stop. Don’t forget that unnecessarily hard cornering shortens the life of your tyres. On a front wheel drive car, the front tyres have to transmit power to the road, and take steering and braking forces. So, the front tyres will wear out more quickly.
Drive unnecessarily fast
Consistently driving fast will wear out your car tyres sooner by giving them much harder work to do.
Choose the wrong tyres
You could get ‘long life’ tyres for your, which wear more slowly though they tend to be a little noisy…and they’re boring. Tyres with a softer rubber compound will be nice and quiet but they will wear more quickly. And never follow the tyre fitter’s recommendation of the best compromise for your needs.
Always keep your car outside
All car tyres degrade over time. If you keep your car in a garage, out of the sun, you can be sure your tyres will last longer. Leaving your car outside in all weathers can add a fine lattice of cracks to your tyres’ sidewalls. This means the tyres are unsafe and must be replaced.
Never give your tyres a break
Remember that ‘traffic-calming’ measures shorten the life of your tyres so make the most of the damage they can do. Always cross speed bumps as quickly as you can. If you can straddle speed bumps, you can knock your car’s wheel alignment out of true quite easily. This will shorten the life of your tyres, sometimes dramatically.
Keep an eye out for potholes, hitting them where you can. When parking, make sure you always mount a kerb. This is a sure-fire way of affecting your wheels’ alignment and you could even wreck an alloy wheel with minimal effort on your part.
Use these proven top tips to ensure your car tyres last for the shortest possible time. This means you’ll waste money by having to replace your tyres before their useful life ends. Or you could be sensible and save not only your money but also your driving licence…or even your life.
image by: kozumel/Flickr