Whether you’re an automotive enthusiast, avid road tripper or just use your car for the daily grind; it’s important to know the safety basics of your cars’ most fundamental and yet little thought about devices, it’s tyres. Knowing a little more about your car’s tyres and by following the tyre care tips discussed here, you can maximise your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency.
Hi, Peter here from Northside Automotive Services, Everton Hills, QLD.
The natural or synthetic rubber tyres of your vehicle consist of both tread and body; the tread creates traction while the body contains compressed air. As your wheels rotate, the tyres that provide the traction between your vehicle and the road absorb shock due to their flexible cushioning materials. This motion of traction and rotation is what makes your car move and gets you from A to B.
With multiple tyre classifications such as; performance, standard weather set, all terrain, mud and wet weather, your first decision when it comes to your tyres is determining what best suits you and your cars’ needs. Increasing your knowledge of tyres is a big help when it comes to buying new tyres. However, to improve your servicing needs; a professional automotive and tyre service consultation is advised. For any inquiries feel free to call or drop by Northside Automotive Services, Everton Hills, QLD.
As safety is the most important factor on the roads, when it comes to your tyres; your knowledge on safety procedures and handling is no different from any other precautions you would conduct with your car.
Although we can help you with any queries, fittings or servicing; we also understand the essential nature of tyre related procedures and why you too need to know them too.
Tyre Care : Balancing & Rotating
To ensure a smooth balanced ride and tyre longevity, maintaining the balance of your tyres is vital. As balancing is an essential process to prolong your tyres tread life, it’s important to know why this procedure should be done regularly by an automotive/mechanic specialist.
Uneven weight distribution causes a vibration when the cars’ tyres roll in an uneven or up-and-down motion; often due to a heavy or light spot in the tyre or rim structure, known as static imbalance.
A side-to-side motion can be caused by a dynamic imbalance; an unequal weight, sometimes consisting of two heavy spots on either side of the tyre/wheel lateral line.
Driving on uneven roads, or hitting potholes can be causes for this disruption in balance. Even if you can’t feel the vibrations from your vehicle, they may be present, so it is necessary to have them checked by a tyre specialist regularly as a safety precaution.
Rotating your tyres is another crucial procedure to maximise the safety and efficiency of your tyres. Tyre wear over time depends on the positioning of your tyres’ front and back. The process of evening out this wear, by rotating the tyres, can assist in extending the tyres’ lifetime and efficiency.
Tyre Care : Checking and Maintenance:
Whilst most manufacturers recommend rotating your tyres every 10,000 km’s or more frequently if needed; we understand that regular check-ups to ensure correct rotation isn’t always easy with a busy day-to-day schedule. When possible, a self-check of your tyres may be enough to determine your tyres’ needs, until you can visit a mechanic. Checking your cars’ tyres yourself can be as simple as an observational walk around your car, examining your tyres inflation pressure and assessing tread and wear patterns. When checking your car it is important to refer these significant safety criteria:
As required by the law, the depth of your tyre tread should be minimum at 1.5 mm. One easy way to help you check your tread depth at home is with a match stick which is approximately 1.5mm thick. If your tread begins to reach its maximum wear, your cars’ tread wear indicator bars will be level with it’s tread blocks.
Cuts and damage to your tyres, potentially due to wear or worse, may also render your car un-roadworthy.
For the best performance from your tyres, correct inflation is essential. Tyre failure, especially “blown out” tyres are typically caused by under-inflated tyres. Information on your tyres’ correct inflation pressure should be easily accessible from your handbook and/or logbook guides. All Australian produced vehicles carry a tyre placard which gives you the correct tyre size and pressure.
Tyre pressure should always be checked when your tyres are cold since heat from driving can increase the pressure. Also remember that the recommended inflation pressure for your tyres is the minimum that should be inflated and it is suggested that you try to maintain them to the higher load pressure recommended.
Tyre Care : Inflating your Tyres
Increasing your tyres’ air pressure can be done simply by visiting a tyre servicing mechanic. It can also be done at home by knowledgeable auto enthusiasts with a purchasable pressure gauge and equipment, or at certain local service stations with manageable automatic air compressors for confident drivers to handle.
As of September this year Northside Automotive Services adds an extra lube sticker when you come in for your service. This sticker has two lots of information on it. One of the figures is the tyre pressure we recommend after servicing your vehicle to get the maximum life out of your tyres. You can use this information or the information on the tyre placard.
The simple steps for pumping your tyres are as follows:
After checking your tyres’ air pressure and determining how much air your tyres need for correct inflation; remove the valve stem caps along the inside rim of your wheel.
When you hook up the pump, you should be able to hear the grumble and humming of the running pump. Press the tip of the pump to the tip of the valve, hold it firm and listen for the rush of air that signals the pump filling the tyres.
It may take several minutes, but by keeping track of the air pressure and adjusting as needed, you will be sure to fill your tyres to their required inflation level.
When the tyres are inflated, remove the pump from the valve and replace the removed cap.
Repeat the process for each tyre and on a regular basis. This simple maintenance step will positively affect your tyres performance and safety.
Flat tyre procedure
Identifying a blown out or ‘flat’ tyre can be done by determining the damage, commonly a puncture or tear in the tyre. The highly recommended approach to a flat tyre is to call the RACQ for assistance. Drivers with little experience with changing tyres are urged to always consult with a professional before attempting to change a tyre on their own as otherwise it can be dangerous if not done correctly. Whilst safety is your primary concern a puncture should be replaced or repaired ASAP. Every metre travelled on a punctured tyre increases the possibility of irreparable damage to the tyre and possible damage to the wheel
Pull over to the side of the road, in a safe location; away from busy traffic. Stopping on a flat surface; switch on your safety hazard lights and pull up your handbrake sildenafil tablets.
Stay calm and call the RACQ with information of your whereabouts and the condition of your car.
Despite circumstances, such as if you’re in a rush or know you have a spare tyre at hand; if you are complacent with changing a tyre it is best to let a professional take care of it as the safest measure possible. Jack handling can be dangerous if placed incorrectly under the car. It could cause damage to the exterior or the car could fall; potentially injuring you or anyone else attempting the changeover. High traffic can sometimes be unavoidable when a flat tyre occurs, this can also be a safety hazard, further restricting unprofessional attempts at changing the tyre.
While tyre wear and accidental damage are somewhat unavoidable parts of vehicular care, these tyre care tips can help minimise the risk of tyre deflation, imbalance and the occasional flat tyre. Keeping an-up-to date servicing logbook and tracking your cars’ road worthiness can make a difference when it comes to your tyres’ life and the safety of you and your passengers.
For all your automotive service and repairs and any more information on tyres and tyre care & maintenance; come by and speak to us at Northside Automotive Services for affordable and reliable car servicing.