Car wheel and tyres are one of the most critical safety components of the vehicle.
It is vital that you ensure your wheels and tyres are properly maintained and fit for purpose at all times. Vehicle tyres are the primary factor in stopping distances when braking on wet and dry roads and strongly influence over/ under steer behavior.
Here are some tips to help you ensure tyre safety for your vehicle:
1: ROTATE YOUR TYRES
Your tyres should be rotated every 8,000km or 5,000 miles. Swap out your rear and front tyres to even out tyre fatigue. Tyres begin to wear out in a pattern depending on their position on the car. By rotating your rear and front tyres you will better disperse the wearing across the tyre.
2: CHECK TYRE PRESSURE
Check your tyre pressure regularly and always before a long journey. Bad tyre pressure affects comfort, handling and fuel economy. You can check your tyre pressure at most service stations and often a service attendant will assist you if you are not familiar with the process. For information on the correct pressure for your vehicle refer to your car manual, or look for a sticker on the car body, (often inside the door).
3: CHECK TYRE CONDITION
There are a number of warning signs you should keep on the look out for in terms of tyre deterioration. Some of the most common include:
- Bald Tyres - Deterioration of the tyre threads
- Cracking of the side wall of the tyre
- Bulges/ Deep Cuts
- Vibrations through the tyres when you drive
Tyres can lose a significant amount of grip when they are just 50% worn. Worn tyres and especially bald ones can be lethal on wet roads as the grooves aren't deep enough to channel water out from underneath the tyres. The result can be hydroplaning, whereby the tread skims the water's surface and the vehicle no longer responds to the steering wheel.
4: CLEAN BRAKE DUST REGULARLY
Brake dust will accumulate on your wheels and brakes. It contains all sorts of grimy nasty stuff. Don't allow it to accumulate over a long period of time. The combination of moisture and heat from your brakes will bake it on to your wheels. It usually clings to wheels with static electricity so a simple wipe down with a damp sponge and clean cold water is your best way to get it off.