First used in potters’ wheels back in 3500 B.C. in Mesopotamia, the wheel has proven itself indispensable in the world of transportation—from ancient Grecian chariots and wheelbarrows, to the modern automobiles of today.
During vacation time, these round rotating devices become even busier as we embark on lengthy road trips to reach to our summer destinations.
But contrary to popular belief, the hot weather is not a major risk factor for tires. According to Brent Co, General Manager of AutoIndustriya, one of the country’s top automotive sources, “Hot weather will tend to lead to slightly higher tire pressure—but only 1 or 2 psi (pound-force per square inch). So this is negligible.”
Still, motorists need to be vigilant about tire maintenance. Failing to do so lead to, not only their vehicles’ poor performance, but also fatal accidents.
Keeping your Tires in Tip-Top Shape
To ensure that our tires are in road-worthy condition, checking the following is a must:
What is it? Alignment refers to the adjustment of the structure that connects a vehicle to its wheels. The angles of the tires are adjusted to allow them to make contact with the road more efficiently.
Why is it important? According to Co, “Alignment ensures even wear of tires. Improperly aligned wheels also make driving a bit more difficult.” Since urban driving in our country does not always guarantee smooth roads, alignment must always be checked. Vehicles that don’t have proper alignment and often run on rough surfaces will suffer from balding or uneven tire wear.
How do you check it? Co advises, “Alignment should be checked every six months due to our road conditions and to ensure even wear of tires.”
What is it? The tread is the rubber part of the tire that makes contact with the road. When the tread wears off, traction suffers.
Why is it important? Worn-out tires are dangerous and might result to blowouts, causing the driver to lose control of vehicle.
How do you check it? “Manufacturers recommend that the tires be periodically checked and rotated—in some cases, including the spare tire,” Co shares. “This is to maximize tire performance and meet its projected lifespan.”
What is it? Tire pressure is the amount of air in a vehicle’s tires.
Why is it important? “Improper tire pressure will lead to increased tire wear, tire blowout, and poor handling,” says Co. Tire inflation also affects the long-term durability of tires. Manufacturers often suggest a range of pressure motorists can choose from, depending on the driving condition. More inflated tires wear out slower and can carry heavier loads. Less inflated tires are more comfortable for passengers as these provide less bumpy rides.
How do you check it? Check your tire pressure at least monthly. Co reminds motorists to only use the recommended pressure provided by manufacturer, usually found on the side of front door or in the owner’s manual. “30 psi is not for all cars. The attendant just bases his knowledge on what people tell him to do.”
More Tire Care Tips
Park on paved surfaces. Parking on rocky surfaces might cause punctures.
Drive through potholes slowly. According to Co, this might damage your tires internally.
Make sure tires are cleaned regularly. This way, you ensure better traction for your tires. Allowing dirt to settle in your tires enable corrosion that affects your brake pads.
Travel light once in a while. A vehicle filled with passengers are bound to have tires that wear out faster because these are pushed harder against the ground.
Keep a spare tire. Having a flat tire is an unforeseen emergency, so keeping a spare tire is a must. Co says, “Make sure your spare tire is checked for air and wear. Try to rotate with other tires to make sure it gets used as well.”
Remember that tires have a deadline. Ask your manufacturer about the lifespan of your tires. Some manufacturers recommend a lifespan of ten years at the most. When you hit the recommended deadline, you must change your tires.
Maintaining your tires is an integral part of being a responsible motorist. And being a responsible motorist ensures road safety, not only for yourself, but for other drivers. So before you roll out, do remember that your tires need checking out.