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Your car will definitely experience some wear and tear after a few years on the road and even timely servicing may not prevent the occasional requirement for a part replacement. Among all the parts of a car, the ones that face the most stress are the engine, transmission, axles, suspension, brakes, lights and tires. With continuous stress these parts are most likely to break down or wear out. Even among these parts, the ones that experience the most wear and tear are the tires.
Changes in weather and driving conditions, types of roads, vehicle dynamics, and years of usage along with lack of maintenance can affect the condition of your car tires to a substantial extent.
The effects of these factors can lead to deterioration of tire-material and loss of tire-tread that may result in tire-skidding and possibly accidents or car crashes.
It is imperative that car tires receive utmost care and maintenance because if they are not in a condition to do their job properly, there is a serious threat to the safety of the vehicle along with its occupants and other entities on the road.
But there is no need to panic. We can ensure that our car tires remain in a fighting-fit condition for years by following these simple guidelines.
Maintain proper tire pressure – Always make sure the air pressure in your car tires is maintained between recommended levels. Under-inflation as well as over-inflation of tires can induce uneven wear and tear in tires, reduced traction, decreased fuel economy and compromised steering control.
Keep a check on the wearing process – A worn out tire is the main ingredient in the recipe for road accidents. Monitor the wearing process of your car tires to know exactly when you need to replace them. It is a proven fact that constant monitoring of the condition of tires can save you from a lot of hassle.
You should identify the pattern of tire wear and try to gauge the decrease in the depth of the treads. Most tires have wear-out indicators called “wear-bars” around the circumference in the form of rubber marks between treads. If the depth of the treads matches that of the wear-bars, you definitely need to replace the tire. If you can't locate the wear-bar, you can also use a tread measuring device (available with most car-spares sellers).
The measuring device needs to be placed between the treads. If the reading is around 2/32 of an inch, you definitely need a tire replacement. Under extreme driving conditions, you might want to replace your car tires before a reading of 4/32 of an inch appears on the device.
Verify whether wheel alignment is needed – Proper alignment of your car wheels is aimed at distributing the weight of the vehicle evenly on all four wheels. In doing so, each wheel should maintain a constant angle with the road and with the axis of the opposite wheel. There should be no inward or outward tilt in the axis of the wheels. The purpose of wheel alignment is to reduce uneven tire wear, make sure the vehicle travels in a straight line without any sideways drag and improve steering control.
Along with uneven wear-out of tires, another prominent sign of misaligned wheels is a crooked steering wheel. If the steering-wheel in your car is tilted from the normal position when the car is traveling in a straight line, there is a wheel alignment problem in your car. Also, if your car tends to steer in either direction instead of traveling in a straight line, it is time for a wheel alignment.
Timely alignment of wheels can save the tires from uneven wear out and at the same time save you from a lot of hassle on the road and off it.
Practice Tire Rotation – There is no doubt that the tires in your car will eventually wear out but with certain techniques, you can definitely prolong their life-span. Tire rotation is one such effective technique mentioned in most service manuals across the globe.
The four tires of the car need to be periodically rotated in a manner that each tire is moved from its current position and mounted at the opposite end in a crisscross manner. Hence, the driver's side front-wheel is fitted in place of passenger's side rear-wheel. This way, tires wear out evenly and hence last longer.
By following these simple guidelines, you can maximize the lifespan of your car tires and definitely avoid a replacement tire for a long time. This way you also make sure that you are safe on the road knowing your car tires will do their job effectively.
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