All car tyres are rated for certain kilometre range. However, they can wear prematurely too depending on lot of variable factors and you may need to change them before time, therefore causing extra expenditure. To ensure that you get the best out of your tyres, there are things that you can do to extend their life.
You should know the factors that affect tyre wear, and in affect their life.
1. Tyre pressure
4. Alignment and wheel rotation
6. Driving style
The correct tyre pressure, as suggested by the manufacturer can be found in the user manual of the car or around the driver’s door frame. The correct tyre pressure not only ensures proper grip and handling, it provides better fuel efficiency and prevents excessive tyre wear. Over inflated tyre reduces contact patch and under inflated tyre through increased flexing cause excessive tyre wear. Tyre pressure should be checked every week and maintained as recommended by the manufacturer.
As the speed of car increases, the temperature of the air inside the tyre and the tyres themselves also increases due to friction, this increases the wear. Filling tyres with normal pressurised air causes more pressure variation over time, due to the presence of moisture. Filling tyres with an inert gas like Nitrogen might help and would help pressure variation with speed and also reduce the chances of corrosion.
The contact patch area increases in direct proportion to the load and excessive load on tyres increases wear. But the contact patch area also varies inversely with inflation pressure. However, you should avoid overloading the car, but since you can not accurately measure the load of passengers that you are carrying, it is okay to overinflate the tyre by just 1-2 PSI (but not more) if you think the load exceeds the rated gross weight of the car.
Alignment & Wheel rotation
Front tyres will wear more in comparison to the rear tyres due to the presence of steering forces. Most manufacturers advise that the alignment (including camber, cater and toe adjustment) of the wheels should be done every 10,000 kilometres. Along with the alignment, you should get the wheel rotation done to avoid uneven wear of the tyres.
If the tyres are not balanced, it would show up at the steering wheel in the form of shimmy. Not only tyres unbalanced wheels can cause great damage to suspension and steering components. Although shimmy can also be due to uneven wear of the tyre and other conditions. Get the wheels balanced every time you get a new tyre or when you get the alignment done, this would maximize the tyre life.
Driving style can affect the life of tyres to a great extent. Hard acceleration that causes wheel-spin as well as aggressive braking and cornering can cause tyres to wear out quickly. What goes without saying is that you should absolutely refrain from drifting which would wear the tyre prematurely than any other factor mentioned here.
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