Check the Integrity of Your Tyres
11 Dec 2018
An important overall car maintenance tip that is overlooked most of the time is checking the integrity of your tyres. Unfortunately, tyres seem to be generally overlooked by drivers and the vast majority does not know how to correctly check tyre pressure or overall integrity.
According to studies, 90% of drivers do not know how to correctly evaluate the tyre pressure. An interesting parallel is the fact that 70% of drivers wash their vehicles on a regular basis.
Under-inflated, worn-down or even over inflated tyres can turn out to be quite dangerous for the car’s driving performance and they can even dramatically increase the chances of an accident, especially during the high temperatures of summer.
As surrounding temperatures rise, tyre pressure also changes. For an increase of 10 degree in the temperature of the surrounding air, the tyre pressure changes by 1 to 2 pounds per square inch.
We recommend that you periodically inspect your tyre to see whether or not it complies with the recommended pressure in your owner’s manual or the tyre pressure value presented on the sidewall of the tyre itself.
You can check the pressure of the tyre by using a hand pressure gauge or, if you are not confident in your technical skills, you can take your car to a service to have the tyre pressure inspected.
The reason why we recommend that check your tyre pressure is because of the consequences that this issue might have on the tyre and your safety.
Underinflated tyres have the tendency to swell outward and therefore the pressure applied on the sidewalls of the tyre increases. When the pressure applied to the tyre increases and it is combined with heat from the environment and tyre movement, then the tyre can explode.
Overinflated tyres will substantially decrease the contact surface between the tyre and the asphalt which in wet driving conditions can result in hydroplaning.
This scenario occurs when water accumulates between the tyre and the road surface which in turn decreases traction and it can even lead to a loss in vehicle control.
In addition to the tyre pressure itself, another important aspect of the tyre’s integrity is the tyre tread. If the tyre tread is worn out, then you should replace your tyre to avoid severe problems.
A way to test your tyre tread is the classic penny test. Simply take a penny and place it in the tread of the tyre.
If the penny enters quite a bit, then the tyre has enough tread and does not need to be replaced yet. You can also ask your local car service to check your tyre tread while you are undergoing your car’s check-up.
We also recommend that you ask the mechanics to check your tyres balance and alignment.
Besides the tyres that your car is actually using, you should also take care of your spare tyre. If your spare tyre is in the same condition or worse than your present tyres, then having a spare is redundant.
Make sure when you are examining your tyres that you also check up your spare tyre regarding its tyre pressure, inflation level and tread depth.
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