Despite their importance, many motorists might treat their tires for granted, regularly checking fluid levels while neglecting the condition of their tires. It’s not as difficult as you might think – caring for your tires and keeping them in tip-top condition are as simple as following these few easy tips.
Check your tire pressure
The most basic aspect of tire maintenance involves checking your tires’ pressures – a simple yet essential aspect that allows the tire to function as designed. Ensuring a correct tire pressure protects your tires from irreversible damage, and reduces the risk of you losing control of your vehicle.
Your tires’ pressures can fluctuate due to several factors, including small perforations on the tire, air escaping from the tire’s components, and a change in ambient temperature. We recommend checking the tire pressures at least once a fortnight when the tires are cold (car must have been parked for 2 hours or longer), with a tire pressure gauge that can be purchased at most major automotive accessory shops.
Give your tires a once-over
While checking your tire pressures, perform a visual inspection of your tires at the same time. For starters, ensure that your tires still have sufficient tread – the Land Transport Authority (LTA) legally requires tires to be replaced when they reach a depth of 1.6mm. Use a tread depth gauge, or look out for the integrated treadwear indicator bars embedded in the tread ribs.
Take the chance to also remove any stones, pebbles or foreign objects that have been embedded in the tread – if they work their way deeper into your tires, they might wreak havoc and cause even more damage! Be sure to also check your tire sidewalls for cuts and gouges, as they might provide another avenue for air to escape.
Keep your wheels aligned and balanced
If you’ve ever noticed that your car pulls to one side while driving, or had vibrations come into the cabin when driving along the expressway, there might be an issue with the alignment or balance of your wheels. Apart from these effects which can be annoying to you as a driver, misaligned or unbalanced wheels can cause your tires to wear prematurely.
It’s recommended that you perform a wheel alignment after any major impact with a solid object such as a kerb or pothole, or routinely during every oil change or once a year - whichever is sooner. However, do keep a look out for uneven tread wear on your tires, and have the alignment checked even if the time interval has not been met.
Rotate your tires
From the novel Animal Farm comes the famous quote, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. This quote can be applied to your tires, too – although they all are fitted to the same car and have travelled for the same distance, you’ll find that each tire wears out at a different rate due to varying loads.
Perform a tire rotation every after every 10,000km travelled or during each oil change, to ensure that your tires wear evenly and maximise their lifespan.
If you found this article educational and useful, head on over to our Tire Clinic, the ultimate destination for tire information, to learn more!