Your tyres are a vital part of your vehicle. Not only the only part of the car in direct contact with the road, but they can make an enormous difference to your ride. If you are driving in areas such as Scotland or nearby you have to make sure that your tyres are strong enough to be driven there.
Does your lack of knowledge about your tyres worry you a little?
How Old Are They?
Tyres that are well-looked after and not used on rough or unpaved roads will last longer than those that are. But do you know how long your tyres should last? Even the best maintained tyres that are hardly used, and that are kept in a sheltered, temperature control place (a very unrealistic scenario for a car) will only last ten years at the most. At this point, the rubber will begin to deteriorate and crumble. Most tyres, in fairly steady use and kept under ‘normal’ conditions – that is, in a garage or on the roadside – will last five or six years before replacement becomes highly recommended. Knowing how old your tyres are gives you a timeline to replacement, so you can save for it and plan the purchase in good time before it becomes necessary.
Look for Signs
Check your tyres regularly – at least every fortnight if you drive every day – and look for signs of damage. These can include bulging or dimples in the sidewall, chunks of rubber missing from the tyre, the dents or divots associated with a puncture, and generally any distortion in the usually symmetrical shape of the tyre. Picking up the signs of damage while they are small can prevent accidents and also keep your finances stable by avoiding the high costs associated with major breakdowns.
Keep Up With Inflation
Modern tyres have been designed by inventors, innovators and scientists working together to create the perfect tyre: offering a smooth ride, great grip on the road and the highest levels of road safety possible. All this technology, however, means that the tyres must be inflated to within the fairly narrow range recommended by the designers for optimum efficiency. This might come as a surprise to some older drivers who may remember their parents or grandparents telling them that tyre inflation can be adjusted to create more or less friction, as needed. This used to be true of old-fashioned, fairly primitive, tyres: it is no longer true today. The MOT test now includes a check of the tyre inflation because it is so vital to the correct functioning of the tyre.
Quality Really Does Matter
It has long been known as an advertising gimmick: the more expensive a product is, the fancier the packaging, even though the contents are the same as the budget options in the plain packaging! This is not true with tyres, however. Premium or high-quality tyres are made using the latest technology and developments, use the best quality rubber (which is more likely to be sustainably and responsibly sourced) and work more efficiently than their cheaper cousins. Budget tyres use older technology, less flexible rubber, and can be less environmentally friendly. And despite their seemingly cheaper price, budget tyres are not always the economical option that they seem to be. Their cheaper production system, the lower-quality rubber and lack of technological advance mean that your budget tyres are close to obsolescence when they are put onto your car: they will also wear out faster, and require replacement so much sooner than they should. And needing to replace even budget tyres more often than is ideal is costly in the long run. So, opt for the best quality tyres that you can afford: check Fife Autocentre’s website for tyres in Stirling and other nearby areas.
Balance and Aligned
Just like your chakras, your tyres should be aligned and your wheels balanced. This means that the four tyres should all be exactly positioned on their axles and pulling the car in exactly the same direction, and that each of the four tyres is carrying an even amount of weight. Wheel balancing ensures that the four tyres wear evenly, but, perhaps more importantly, it affects how the car sits underneath you. Unevenly balanced wheels can make the car feel as though it is tilting to one side or another, and this can be very disconcerting to drivers who feel as though the car will topple over at any moment. Misaligned tyres can pull away from each other or push togethers one another: both of which give a bumpy and noisy ride, as well as causing excess wear and tear on your tyres, and possibly causing knock-on damage in your suspension too.