5 bad habits that will destroy your tyres
With motoring costs soaring ever higher, most drivers are keen to save money wherever they can. The list of unavoidable expenses for car owners includes fuel, insurance, road tax, NCT and yearly services to name but a few. Tyres are also an item that scores high up on the list, with few drivers finding it desirable to invest in replacements more often than necessary. Luckily, it is fairly easy to prolong the lifespan of your car tyres – especially if you take care to avoid these five bad habits.
1. Driving on incorrectly inflated tyres
Do you remember the last time you pumped up your car tyres? Did you simply guess at the correct pressure based on years of ‘experience’ (most of us do), or did you take the time to check the optimum tyre pressure for your vehicle? Driving on under-inflated tyres can cause too much of the tread to come into contact with the road surface, meaning your tyres can overheat and potentially blow out. You will also be putting excessive strain on the walls of the tyre, increasing the likelihood of developing cracks which can also cause the tyre to burst. Over-inflated tyres, on the other hand, are more likely to burst due to excessive pressure when the air inside them heats up and expands as you drive.
In either case, you risk at minimum experiencing impaired control of your vehicle and at worse a potentially a dangerous situation which could result in damage to more than just your tyres.
To stay safe and extend your tyre life, check the vehicle manufacturer’s guidance, which can usually be found in both the manual and on a plate located inside the door. You can also ask your tyre fitter. Once you know the correct pressure, check your tyres regularly to keep them at this level.
2. Strong acceleration and braking
Accelerating quickly and braking hard place considerable pressure on your vehicle’s tyres. Apart from shredding your tyres due to friction, rapid acceleration can cause your tyres to heat up too quickly and reach excessive levels, making them more susceptible to wear and sudden damage. Braking hard will cause your tyre to slide on the road surface rather than roll as it is intended to, also causing you to heat them up, sometimes enough for the rubber to actually burn. This will be obvious from the smoke and black marks on the road – but that is nothing compared to the damage that your tyre will experience. Both will also affect how much control you have over your vehicle.
Needless to say, donuts, burnouts and drifting are also best avoided!
Car tyres are designed to tolerate a specific load limit, which will be shown on the markings that you can find on the side of the tyre. Whilst this limit is generous enough to cover the weight of your vehicle plus an average passenger load, it may well be exceeded if you use a vehicle to carry heavy loads that it was not intended for. If the load is exceeded, the tyres are put under excessive pressure and will gain temperature rather quickly, resulting in the potential for sudden damage and a risk of accidents as well.
Remember, if you overload your vehicle you may also be risking a fine if caught.
4. Tracking and balancing
Wheel balancing means evening out the imperfections in either the tyre and wheel (usually with small weights) to ensure that they rotate smoothly, whilst tracking refers to the alignment of the wheels to ensure that they are all running parallel to one another. If either your tracking is out or one of your wheels is not balanced, you may well experience uneven or premature tyre wear.
One of the biggest causes for wheels to become damaged or unaligned is driving onto kerbs – so try to avoid this if at all possible.
5. Driving too fast
You don’t need to be doing donuts and burnouts to burn a hole in your wallet – did you know that simply driving at high speed for a long time can also cause your tyre to overheat and risk sudden damage? Different road surfaces have different levels of friction and this is one of the many things that are factored in when speed limits are set.
As well as being illegal and dangerous, driving at a speed that is significantly higher than the speed limit will cause your tyres to wear out considerably quicker than they should.
For the best value for money on a wide range of tyres, visit your local branch of Tyreland today or call now on 01 860 20 20 to speak to a member of the team.