For many car owners, their car is like their second home, a home on wheels! The interiors of your car are nice and shiny, while the exterior glows like a star. But let's not forget that this home runs on its tyres.
And, if your tyres are in good shape, your car runs smoothly. The Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) of India recommends the following steps for optimum safety while driving:
- The tyres should have legitimate tread depth.
- The right car tyre size and type should be installed and maintained.
- All four tyres should hold the recommended tyre pressures.
So, how does one ensure that their car tyres are in top condition? Let’s find out!
The simplest thing you can do towards maintaining your car tyres is to examine them at least once every month. Though a thorough inspection can only be undertaken by a professional, there are certain things that you can check yourself. A little love from your end will definitely make those car tyres go a long way.
Now, what should you keep in mind while examining your car tyres? Here are some top tips:
- Inspect the physical condition of your tyres
A close look at each tyre can give you a fair idea about the present condition of your car tyres.
→ Look out for cracks and cuts on the tread area.
→ Check for bruising or bulges on the sidewalls.
→ You may find tiny pebbles or sharp objects stuck in the groove and sidewalls. These can be removed easily. In fact, you can do it yourself!
→ But, if you come across a deep cut or bulge during your examination, head straight to a tyre professional/ service centre.
- Monitor the tyre pressure
→ Each car tyre comes with different recommended tyre pressures. This is due to the difference in the car tyre size and the load index of each tyre.
→ Tyre pressure is denoted in PSI, or, pound-per-square inch. You can find the exact PSI level for each of your car tyres in the car's manual, or on the inside of the driver's door.
→ Or, if you know the car tyre size, you can find out its recommended tyre pressure online.
→ An accurate reading of the tyre pressure is essential.
But can you check the tyre pressure? You have 2 options:
a) Simply head to any local car tyre shop or gas station. Most gas stations provide air-pressure measurement and air filling services, free of charge.
b) Or, you can buy an air-pressure gauge online or from a car tyre shop to check on the air pressure of your tyres yourself. This gauge can come in handy when you don't have access to a gas station or a tyre professional.
However, whether you opt for a or b, ensure that the tyres have cooled down or have been stationary for at least 3 hours, before you check the air pressure.
Using the air pressure gauge
→ Hold the gauge and remove the valve cap on the tyre with the other hand.
→ Affix the gauge tightly onto the valve and note the reading. Does it match with the recommended level?
- Let out some air if it is higher than the recommended level.
- In case it is lower than the suggested level, fill the air up to the recommended figure.
→ Once done, remove the gauge and replace the valve cap quickly.
→ Use the same process to check on the other tyres.
- Watch out for uneven tyre wear
→ You may notice that one side of the tyre has taken more brunt than the other. This is generally the first sign of uneven tyre wear. There are generally two culprits behind this:
- Misalignment of the wheel, or wheel imbalance.
- Inadequate tyre pressure levels.
If your tyres show uneven wear, a visit to your nearby tyre shop could prove helpful. You will shorten the lifespan of your car tyres if you continue to use them with uneven tread wear.
- Maintain the tyre's tread depth
→ What does an ideal tread depth do for your tyre? It allows the vehicle to:
- Have a steady grip.
- Practice effective braking.
- Offer precise steering.
→ A tyre tread with less than the minimum depth of 1.6 mm gives way to unsafe driving conditions. If your tyre's tread depth does not match the legal limit, replace it immediately.
→ Sufficient tread is vital for wet surfaces. The tread scatters water quickly, which lowers the chances of aquaplaning. This means that you enjoy complete control over your car on every kind of surface.
→ Reduced tread depth can lead to the vehicle skidding on dry surface conditions. The braking in such a case is severely compromised.
So keep these super useful tips in mind while examining your car tyres. Regular inspection of your car tyres can make sure that your home-on-the-go runs smoothly and safely at all times!
Keep driving, stay safe.