A good car tyre will last you around 10 years at the most, but many people won’t even get that far because they don’t take proper care of their tyres. Rather than waste money replacing your tyres more often than you have to, you can embark on a simple car and maintenance regime that will both save you money and ensure that yours performs as well, and drives as safely, as it possibly can. Here’s our four step guide to helping your tyres live a long and healthy life.
1. Check your tyre pressure every week.
Invest in a tyre pressure gauge, which allows you to easily take this reading at home rather than trek to the nearest garage. To measure the pressure, simply unscrew the air intake cap and press the gauge against it, allowing air to pass from the former to the latter. You can check what the resulting number means by looking at your car’s manual, or checking the figure imprinted onto the tyre. It’s important to keep your tyre pressure within the recommended margin for safety reasons, and remember that a lower pressure might improve performance, but a higher pressure will give you a longer tyre life. Avoid, however, over-inflating the tyre as it may cause extensive tread wear in the centre.
2. Examine your tyres for gashes
There are myriad ways of damaging your tyres on the road, ranging from potholes to nails and fragments of glass. It’s much better to repair small cuts as you find them, rather than wait for them to cause a serious rip, or put up with a tyre constantly deflating.
3. Rotate your tyres every 6,000 miles
This is a key way of preserving your tyres for a longer life, by promoting even tread wear. The most convenient way of doing this is to ask them to be rotated by a mechanic when you get an oil change. If you’re doing it yourself, however, then avoid switching tyres on the same axle or moving them in a criss-cross pattern. Switch wheels between axles, keeping them on the same side of the car, and remember to use a reliable car jack to avoid injuries.
4. Ensure your tyres are properly aligned
Get a professional to balance and align your tyres – they have special equipment that enables them to do it properly. Your mechanic will ensure that your tyres are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other, something that prevents poor handling and performance of your vehicle. If you feel that your car is constantly pulling, or you hit a pothole when you’re driving fast, it’s worth making a trip to get your tyres re-aligned.