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Tire Care and Maintenance Tips

Sep 16, 2008
The most recurring maintenance issue that a vehicle owner has to deal with is tire care. This is because it is quite normal for tires to wear out after constant usage and then they have to be replaced with new ones. However, there are many things that you as a vehicle owner can do to extend the lives of the tires and make use of them more efficiently. While this not only saves you time, money and effort, you are also having a positive effect on the environment. Using more new tires means more old ones go to recycling centers and more energy is expended in producing new tires and recycling. So follow the tips below and see how you can use your vehicle tires better and for longer.

Some Maintenance Tips

A. Maintaining proper tire inflation - A tire that is highly inflated increases stiffness in the tires, which may create unwanted vibration. On the other hand, an under inflated tire, is even more serious, resulting in 'blowouts' that can lead to a sudden loss of control of the vehicle and accidents. Therefore, the best thing is to maintain the proper inflation pressure at the level mentioned in the Owner's Manual, by using accurate tire pressure gauges, when the tires are cool.

B. Proper Alignment of Wheels - The way the wheels are set in position relative to the axes of the vehicle is called the wheel alignment and if the alignment is not proper, then the tires will not move freely and instead tend to drag. This will not only cause immediate problems in driving the vehicle but also increase the amount of fuel needed, at the same time reducing tire life. Again, get the alignment checked and adjusted to the specifications mentioned in the Owner's Manual.

C. Proper Balancing of Tires - If the tire is to run freely and without too much wear and tear, the entire weight of the tire plus the wheel must be uniformly distributed over the circumference of the tire. If not, tires tend to wear more in the heavy spots. Anytime a new tire is put in or a flat tire is repaired, it is best to check and adjust the balancing of the tire.

D. Regular Rotation of Tires - Obviously, not all tires are used in the same manner and to the same extent as others. For example, the front tires tend to work harder because they have to handle the steering action as well as the rolling wear. By regularly rotating tires so that front tires become back and back tires become front, will invariably allow them to run longer. If you also own a full-size spare tire, remember to include that too in your rotation pattern. Follow the rotation patter mentioned in your Owner's Manual.

E. Proper Storage of Tires - If tires are not to be used for a long duration, then it is essential that they be stored in a proper manner. The best way of storing tires is to keep them upright in clean conditions where there is no sunlight or even very strong artificial light, no heat, no moisture, no ozone (as from electrical motors) and also hydrocarbons.

Following these very simple steps regularly and taking your tires for regular inspection will ensure a long and healthy life for them and your vehicle, and safe riding for you.
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