It is quite astonishing just how many passenger vehicles there are on the road today. One wonders if tyre safety is given enough consideration regardless of size or type. From the smallest models, to bigger saloon cars and massive lorries, they all have something in common – tyres and engines. Contrary to what some may think, tyre maintenance is as important as servicing your engine, brakes, clutch and everything else.
There are ways to protect your investment regardless of what vehicle you drive. In fact, it extends beyond regular servicing and also comes down to your driving style. The better you drive, the safer you and your family are. Besides, tyre safety should be all about prevention rather than cure.
Let’s take a look at four relatively easy ways you can make your tyres last longer
Wheel Alignment And Balancing
With potholes plaguing many UK roads, regular wheel alignment checks are essential to stop premature wear. It really is an integral part of safety. While regular tyre maintenance can help prolong the life of your tyres, it forms part of total vehicle care. After all, safety should be the primary concern whether you drive long distances, go away for the weekend or do daily school runs.
You should have a wheel alignment check at least every year and when fitting new tyres. Wheel alignment is part of standard vehicle maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels according to the car maker’s specification. These adjustments help reduce wear and ensure that the vehicle travels straight without pulling to one side. Hitting kerbs or driving at speed through a pothole or over speed bumps can result in wheel misalignment.
Here are a few signs that you may need a wheel alignment:
- Rapid or uneven wear
- Vehicle is dragging or pulling to one side
- An abnormal amount of steering wheel vibration
- Scrubbing or squealing noises while travelling at low speeds
Driving with misaligned tyres is unsafe and could put you and other road users at risk. If you think there may be an issue with your vehicle, book your FREE wheel alignment check with Elite today.
Tyre Pressure Checks
Car manufacturers typically displays the correct tyre pressure on the driver’s door or sometimes the filler cap. Either way, you can always find it in the owner’s manual. Just remember, there are two different sets of pressure – one for normal loads and the other when fully laden. Keeping an eye on pressure and wheel alignment will help get the most out of your tyres. The right pressure will make your car handle as it should while being more economical. Checking pressure monthly will reduce the risk of sudden deflation and ensure that your vehicle is at its best.
Tyre safety may seem obvious to some but not everyone shares the same concern. Bridgestone found that 90% of all cars have incorrectly inflated tyres, which means that 9 out of 10 drivers are in danger. In accordance with UK law, all cars manufactured after 2014 must be fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The TPMS monitors your tyre pressure and alerts you if any of them require attention. Although it is an incredible safety feature, we recommend that you personally double check your tyres for added peace of mind.
Front tyres often wear out faster than the rear so change them frequently for a more even wear which ultimately makes them last longer. However, it does not solve underlying problems such as incorrect pressure or damage. Wheel rotation involves removing each tyre on your vehicle and refitting them in a different position. These rotations include moving the front wheels to the back, back wheels to the front and cross over. The direction and way in which you rotate your tyres depend on your daily driving conditions, driving style and type of vehicle.
If all the tyres are the same size and offset on front and rear, rotate tyres as follows:
- Forward cross rotation is used for front-wheel drive vehicles. Move the front ones straight back to the rear while the rear ones move to the front but on opposite sides of the axle.
- X-pattern rotating is an alternate pattern for front-wheel drive vehicles. The front ones move to the opposite rear positions and the rear ones move to the opposite front positions.
- Rearward cross rotation is for rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive vehicles. Here, the rear ones move straight up to the front, while the front ones move to the opposite rear positions.
Directional or staggered high-performance tyres
In addition to the above patterns, there are two further patterns for today’s high-performance tyres and wheels.
- Front-to-back rotation is for directional tyres. These are designed in such a way that they always rotate in the same direction due to their tread pattern. You should only rotate directional tyres front to back (or vice-versa) on the same side of the vehicle.
- Side-to-side rotation is for vehicles with different sized, non-directional tyres on the front and rear axles. Front tyres will move to the opposite side of the front axle while the rear tyres go to the opposite rear side.
Most experts agree that you should rotate your tyres every 6 months or approximately 6000 miles, whichever comes first. At Elite Garages, our trained professional provide expert services including wheel rotation, wheel alignment, tyre pressure checks among many others. Our centres are conveniently located across the South East offering competitive prices, full transparency and no hidden costs. Better yet, we service your vehicle while you wait and always keep you informed of any findings. We never work on anything without your consent.
Improve your driving style
The upkeep of your vehicle is not only regular services or maintenance checks, it’s also about the way you drive. Improving your bad driving habits which include late braking, over acceleration, speeding around corners and avoiding the pavement at all costs. Speeding in any shape or form heats the rubber which causes faster deterioration. And of course, constantly hitting obstacles like potholes, branches and rocks won’t do your tyres any favours.
Don’t drive consistently fast and avoid heavy braking and sharp cornering. Trust the experts at Elite Garages, it’s better for your pocket and your car in the long term. Be calm behind the wheel and drive as smoothly as possible and you could really prolong the life of your tyres.
When you need expert advice and professional, friendly service, get in touch with Elite Garages for a FREE tyre check. We are here to help you with tyre safety, MOT, full services, wheel alignment and more. Why don’t you join us on Facebook and become a valued member of our online community? We’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve been to any of our centres recently.