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Simple ways to take care of your tire


new tire

Except car engine, tires are the second parts in the car that works very hard during the run. However, most of the people always assume that they are the parts that require least or nearly no maintenance needed. This is definitely a bad thinking. If every tire is well-maintained, it could last longer than you can imagine. This includes the spare tire at the boot that most of the people even forget that they actually have five wheels in the car. These are the simple ways to take care of the tires to make it last longer.

Tire pressure

Tire pressures are fluctuated a little bit when the weather changed. The pressure is lower during cold day and it is higher during hot day. The best time to check the pressure is during morning when the car hasn’t goes for the war for the day or the car has been parked for few hours. Inadequate tire pressure could cause the tire tread wear out faster than what it should be. It also will bring down the car performance and lowered the expected fuel consumption. A set of new tires suppose can last for two years but due to poor pressure, you have to change it in just a year, which will cost extra money. In other words, poor tire pressure make you lost money on both extra mileage and fuel.

Check it at least once a week especially if the car is being used seven days a week. Most of the original valve caps are plastic made. It often has cracks because of water and heat. It is recommended to change the valve cap to better quality especially those made of stainless steel. Make sure the valve caps are tightening every time the air pressure is refill.

The correct way to check the tire pressure is using a good quality pressure gauge. Many weird and funny ways to check the tire pressure is actually incorrect including pressing the car body, kick the tires, or press the tire. Nowadays most of the tire pumps at petrol station will show the current pressure once you plug the pumps to the valve. Make sure you select the correct pressure according to the owner’s manual but not accord to what other people said. If you have lost the owner’s manual, try to check the labels on each door of the car, some model has labeled the recommended pressure on the driver’s door.

It is important to have the same pressure for both left and right tires. Different tire pressure will affect the grip and braking stability. Some mechanics recommend putting more air in the front tire if the car is front-wheel drive and more in the back if it is rear-wheel drive. However, it has no wrong to put the same pressure for all wheels. Do not forget about the spare tire at the back, it needs to be maintained at the good pressure too.

General passenger cars should in between 30 to 33 psi in the tires when they are cold. However, you can have a little bit more air than what car manufacturers recommend at the maximum of 10% extra. More air to the tire is recommended if you are leaving the car for a certain period to work oversea or holidays. DO NOT inflate the tire based on the maximum reading on the tire, that is MAXIMUM, but the recommended pressure. If you feel the ride is bouncy, try to reduce the pressure, it may be over-inflated.

Tire Rotation

Although four tires are on the road, front tire often wear out faster because they steer to left and right when the car turns. The rubbing is with the road is more compare to rear tire. Car manufacturer and tire specialist often recommend regular tire rotation every 6,000 to 7,000 miles but most of the consumers do not do the rotation because they do not want to pay the extra cost for it. They prefer to wait until the front tire wear out, then change the front tire. If the rear tires wear out, then change only the rear tire.

Balancing and Alignment

Balancing and alignment cost $10 to $15, but most of the drivers overlook for this. Not all the road is even. Common reasons why wheels go out of alignment are when drivers go through a bumpy road in high speed or hit a hole by mistake. Imbalance on the wheel cause vibration and this could affect the car performance. In worst case, driver could feel the steering is shaking. A good way to test if the car wheel is imbalance is to drive it on a straight road in LOW SPEED and leave the steering wheel alone. Imbalance will make the car go one side either to left or right.

Tire misalignment can be seen easily by our eyes. Part of the misalignment tire will wear out faster than other part, either inner or outer. If there is, bring it to tire specialist to adjust the alignment. If the performance is affected by imbalance, fuel consumption will become higher than normal. In long term, it is bad for tire, bad for fuel, and bad for you. So, at least check it every six months.

When to change new tire?

Bad wear out tire

If the tire tread is wear out, if the tires are obviously bold, if the tires are bold until it blows itself, or wait until you have a flat tire? It is too late and you are too stingy! Follow the tread wear indicator and it will tell when to change it. Usually, if the tire is no longer able to hold the grip especially on wet road or channel water out from the tread, it is recommended to change a new one. Sometimes, it has to be replaced if there are many crack lines on the tire. It could be the tire kept too long in the store, fit to your car and get crack throughout the time although the car is seldom use.

If you ever walk into any tire shop or Walmart tire zone, you will see new tires are shining because they are protected with a layer of coating. This is also the reason why new tires feel a little bit slippery. But no worry, it will be gone after 30 to 40 miles.

Tire punctures

Tire punctures are inevitable. Some tire shops has bad business, they place needles few miles away from their shop with an obvious advertisement, this does happen. However, do not panic, it can be repaired with just few dollars if the cut is not deep. Some cars like the MINI Cooper has run-flat tire where the car can still travel up to 100 to 200 miles at low speed. If there is a puncture and you are with run-flat tire, run to the nearest tire shop.

Driving Habits

Sometimes you may ask why the same car model will have different gas mileage. The answer is driving habits. Do not always break the car in sudden or apply the e-brake before the car comes to stop completely. Do not accelerate the car too fast. Try to slow down when there is a bump in front, try to avoid imbalance road or huge hole on the road, and also, try NOT TO have a heavy pedal!


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