Have you ever thought about tire maintenance? Only a few drivers actually talk about it. For road safety, car tires play a special role. They are the only contact between your vehicle and the asphalt and can save lives at the crucial moment. By taking care of your tires, you can increase your safety while improving the performance of the black rubber.
Why is tire maintenance important?
Tires play a major role in safety. Poorly maintained, defective or worn tires are a safety hazard on the road. Even at low speeds, a broken tire can cause serious accidents.
However, with proper care, you not only ensure your health, you also save money. A well-maintained rubber tire has a longer life. A tire should not become too old. Experts generally recommend replacing it after ten years at the latest, but there is no law that prescribes a maximum lifespan for car tires. You can use the tires on your car regardless of their age, as long as they meet all safety standards. By maintaining your tires regularly, you can significantly extend their life and take a load off your wallet.
Checking tire pressure
Once a month, you should check your tire pressure. Every car tire loses air continuously because the material has tiny punctures. Correct tire pressure greatly minimizes rubber wear. Insufficient tire pressure increases wear and fuel consumption. So you benefit twice over from a properly inflated tire.
Ideally, you should check the pressure of your tires when they are cold. The correct tire pressure is not indicated on the tire, but in the vehicle manual. Often, you will also find it in the inside frame of the driver’s door or on the fuel cap of your rental car.
Visual inspection of the tire
After long trips or once a month, check the rubber for external damage. Broken glass, stones and road surfaces can damage the rubber. Also check for damage caused by parking on the side of the sidewalk.
During the visual inspection, you can check the tread depth of your tires. The less rubber there is, the less grip the road has. On a wet road, the tread drains water and reduces braking distance. If there isn’t enough tread, driving characteristics deteriorate.
Tip: With a 1 Euro coin you can easily do the test. If the gold-coloured outer ring does not disappear completely into the tread, it is high time to change the tires. A good tire can be used for five years or more, depending on its use. However, the older your tires are, the more sensitive you need to be in handling them.
Correct storage: proper storage
Those who do not have all-season tires must change their summer and winter tires twice a year. Unused tires must be stored properly. Ideally, your tires should be stacked on a rim shaft. If you don’t have a rim shaft, store them indoors in a clean, cool, dark place, away from sunlight, ozone and heat sources.
The best care in the workshop
You can see that there are many tire maintenance steps you can take on your own. So you won’t fail because your purse is too small. However, some care tips can only be implemented at the same time as your shop :
Ideally, the wheels should be balanced before each mounting on the vehicle. This will prevent unbalance and excessive wear and tear. Unbalanced wheels cause vibration and can damage various parts of the vehicle.
Have the track of your car adjusted once a year. For the layman, it is often impossible to determine if the steering is perfectly adjusted. Your specialist workshop can carry out a lane adjustment as soon as possible. This will protect your tires from heavy, one-sided wear.
New tires must always be mounted on the rear axle. When changing wheels, also screw the tires with the widest profile onto the rear axle. This improves driving characteristics, increases stability and safety and results in even wear of the rubber.