You may not be the motorist who religiously takes his or her car to be serviced as often as it should, but you should, at the very least, consider these four items in your car that you can maintain yourself. These are black, round, and are responsible to taking your car places – your tyres. You can keep them in excellent condition without having to shell out a lot, and only with a couple minutes of your time.
With the importance that they have, it’s rather unusual that we often overlook our tyres. Being the only point of contact between your car and the road you are driving on, it is essential that they be checked and examined regularly. Maintaining them ensures that we can drive safely, efficiently and comfortably. Here are some of the reasons why we need to ensure that our tyres are at the correct pressure.
Your tyres provide the grip your car needs while it performs activities such as accelerating, steering on a corner, as well as breaking. Every move that you need to make goes through your tyres. Tyre manufacturers spend millions only to develop compounds and patterns that ensure that grip is at its optimum regardless of weather and temperature. However, these things will only work if they are well inflated.
If there is not enough air in your tyre/s, the tendency is that the side of the tyre will protrude outward, forcing the middle of the tyre upwards when in fact, it should be in contact with the road. On the contrary, an overinflated tyre will cause its surface to be rounded when in contact with the road when it should be flat. Either way, you lose contact with the road, and it makes braking and steering dangerous. The problem worsens if it starts to rain.
Correctly inflated tyres will have a flat patch of rubber that touches the road all the time. This results in the energy coming from the engine being converted into motion efficiently, and any steering and braking will be executed in a safer manner.
Tyres that are properly inflated don’t just keep you safe, but they make your car efficient as well. If underinflated, they make the vehicle move sloppily and as a result, much of your energy is spent on getting the tyres to work properly.
The pressure on your tyres also affects long-term efficiency. If the tyre’s weight is not distributed equally, chances are that the tyre will wear down, and would require to be replaced much sooner than it should be. Also, tyres with incorrect pressure may overheat, which permanently damages the rubber.
A drop in the temperature means that the air inside the tyre will be denser. Tyres that are underinflated before the weather kicks in might end up with much lesser pressure than you started with. As such, it is advised that you check your pressures if there is a drop or a rise in the temperature – especially after the end of a season.
Making sure you have the right pressure
Determining the correct pressure for your vehicle can be a challenge as oftentimes, the pressure needed for the front may be different from the back, especially if driving in freeways where speed will be high, or if driving with heavier loads. Many gasoline stations will have a section for inflating your tyres, and have a guide on popular cars and brands and the correct pressure that is recommended for them. Also, you may find this information on your car’s manual; and if that’s not the case, several website give this information where you can input your registration number and they will return the correct pressure for your tyres. However, it is important to ensure that the website you will select is a reputable and credible one.
While the cost if inflating your tyres at a gasoline station costs between 20p and 50p, take note that continuously driving with tyres that don’t have the right pressure can cost you £2500 per tyre. Think about it.