9 things all drivers need to know about tyres
June 10, 2018 | 6:50 PM
by Courtesy of Brandpoint
Selecting the right tyres and keeping them in good shape are the most important things you can do to stay safe on the road.

Today’s cars are packed with impressive features. Stability control. Ride assist. Ever-more-powerful engines. But no matter what technology makes its way into your car — it’s your tyres that connect it to the road, making their construction and maintenance critical for safe, effective driving.

So, what do you need to know? Follow these helpful insights.

• Valve stems are crucial. Those little caps on the valve help to keep out moisture and dirt, as well as provide an additional seal to the valve core, holding air in the tyres and helping maintain tyre pressure.

• Check the manual. Proper tyre pressure is important for safety, performance and fuel economy, and can extend the life of your tyres by reducing the chance of uneven wear. But don’t check the tyre sidewall for this information. That’s where the maximum pressure allowed for the tyre is listed. The proper inflation pressure can be found by checking the vehicle’s owner’s manual or the placard found on the driver’s side doorjamb, glove box or fuel door.

• Beware of under-inflation. Even when tyres look properly inflated, they may be under-inflated by as much as 50 per cent. Under-inflation can lead to tyre failure, and tyres that are under-inflated by 8 pounds per square inch (PSI) or more can increase your fuel consumption by 4 per cent.

• Weather matters. Outside temperature can affect tyre pressure more than you might expect. On average, experts say that tyre pressure decreases by about 1 PSI for every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature. The changing seasons are a good reminder to check pressure.

• “All season” tyres have limits. “All season” tyres are meant for year-round moderate weather. Install winter tyres for dealing with severe winter weather conditions.

• Tread check is easy. Tyre tread should be more than 2/32 of an inch deep.

• Off-road adventures require off-road tyres. Road tyres may be able to handle the occasional jaunt down a gravel driveway or dirt road, but when you’re heading off-road you’ll need something more rugged, which has been designed for off-road use.

• Tyres should be checked regularly. Every month and before long road trips, perform this DIY routine: check tyre pressure, check tread depth, check the overall condition of the tyres for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, irregular wear and bulges.

• Know the limits of your tyres. If you’re the type of driver more likely to use the gas pedal than the brake, choose tyres designed for high-performance, which features great grip and handling.

As cars go high-tech, don’t forget that selecting the right tyres and keeping them in good shape are two of the most important things you can do to stay safe on the road.

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