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5 easy ways to extend the life of your tyres

calendar Published on: Monday, 18th December 2017 | female icon Author: Aminta Gagnon

As the only four parts of your car that make contact with the road, your tyres are essential when it comes to helping you stay safe and comfortable behind the wheel. So that you can keep these crucial pieces of kit in good condition for as long as possible, here are five simple ways to extend the lifespan of your tyres.

1. Check your tyre pressure regularly

Getting into the habit of checking your tyre pressure on a regular basis is not only important from a safety point of view, it is also vital if you want to prevent unnecessary damage to your tyres. Under-inflation can result in harm to your tyres due to increased temperature and flexing, which can cause major damage to the structure of the tyre wall. On the other hand, over-inflation can increase wear and tear due to a reduced contact area. Also, incorrectly inflated tyres are more likely to blow. 

Itís advisable to check your tyre pressure every few weeks or before long journeys to make sure they are inflated to the recommended level. The maximum tyre pressure is usually displayed on the sidewall of your tyres, but you will be able to find a full pressure guide in your vehicle handbook. 

When you measure tyre pressure, make sure you use an accurate gauge, and only take this reading when your tyres are cold. 

Itís worth noting that as well as extending the lifespan of your tyres, maintaining the correct pressure will help to maximise your fuel efficiency, so it could save you money at the pumps.

2. Make sure your wheel alignment is right

If the alignment of your wheels is wrong, your tyres will wear unevenly and more quickly, so it pays to be sure your vehicle doesnít have this problem. Wheel alignment refers to the angle and direction of your wheels. To give the safest and best driving performance, they must be straight and parallel to each other. 

A whole range of things can cause misalignment. For example, if you hit a curb or pothole, or even if you simply travel over speed bumps, there is a risk that your wheels will not sit quite straight on the roads. 

If your car tends to pull to one side when youíre driving down a straight road, this is a sign your wheel alignment is off. The good news is that correcting this problem is easy. Simply book an appointment at a tyre fitting centre, where a trained technician will be able to identify and rectify this issue using specialist equipment.

3. Watch your driving style

As well as taking the time to look after your car and spot any problems that may affect your tyres, itís important to consider the way you behave behind the wheel. Your driving style can have a big impact on how quickly your tyres deteriorate. For example, hard braking and accelerating can cause unnecessary wear on the rubber, reducing your tread depth more quickly and meaning you need to get your tyres replaced on a more frequent basis. Aggressive cornering that places added pressure on your vehicle can also contribute to increased wear. 

Driving at high speeds can lessen the lifespan of your tyres too. This is because higher speeds cause your tyres to become hotter, and this can lead to increased damage. 

So, to minimise wear and tear to your tyres, think carefully about the way you drive your car. By giving yourself more time to make journeys and travelling more slowly, you can keep your tyres in better condition - while at the same time helping to ensure you have a safer, more relaxing experience on the roads.

4. Donít overload your car

From sports equipment, to shopping, to suitcases, you might often find that your car is packed with possessions. If you frequently carry heavy loads in your vehicle though, you are likely to cause extra damage to your tyres. The added pressure that a fully loaded car places on your tyres can result in the tread wearing out more quickly. 

Of course, there may be times when you have to carry a lot in your car, but itís important to keep your vehicle load to a minimum where possible. For example, try not to use your boot as a storage space for items you can keep at home. 

Bear in mind that when your car is fully loaded, you may have to adjust your tyre pressure. You should find two recommended pressures - one for regular use and a higher figure intended for full loads - in your vehicle handbook. Also, when your car is carrying extra weight, youíll need to keep in mind that your stopping distances will be increased and your handling is likely to be affected.

5. If you can, park under cover

Not everyone has access to a garage or other type of vehicle shelter, but if you do, use it. Tyres naturally degrade through exposure to rain, heat and ultraviolet light. The amount of damage caused by the weather depends on how extreme the conditions are. Very hot, cold or wet weather is particularly harmful to the rubber. By keeping your car out of the harsh elements when youíre not using it, you can slow the ageing process of your tyres.

Even if you take tips like these into consideration, there will still come a time when you will need to replace your tyres. Itís important to keep a close eye on their condition, and if you notice cracks, bumps or other signs of damage, get them checked out by a trained technician as soon as possible. Also, when the tread depth gets too low, itís time to get new tyres. The legal minimum is 1.6mm, but many experts recommend having at least 3mm for maximum safety.


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