We have talked about why your car tyres are important, how to change a flat, and how to take care of tyres during MCO. What we haven’t talked about caring for tyres in general beyond those simple steps, which is vital now that full reopening is coming soon.
Basically, tyre rotation repositions your tyres either from the front to the back of the car or from one side to the other. As tyres experience differing levels of load, they wear out at different rates. Tyre rotation distributes tread wear evenly across all four tyres; consistent handling across all sides can be achieved.
Which rotation patterns to adopt largely depends on the type of tyres you are using. If you have the same-sized, non-directional tyres, they can be repositioned at either axle and opposite sides of each axle; drivetrain types (FWD, RWD, and 4WD) may influence which sides to move the tyres. Same-sized, directional tyres cannot be shifted to the opposite side as the tread will face the wrong way, preventing proper water dispersion; directional tyres will have the ‘rotation’ indication marked on the sidewall.
Different-sized (staggered), non-directional tyres front and back will need to be switched between their same-sized partner and remain on the same axle; directional tyres in this case remain on the same axle but may require dismounting, mounting, and rebalancing. Tyres typically need to be rotated every 10,000km; consult the owner’s manual for your specific make and model and rotation patterns.
You may have spotted fine cracks on the sidewall on tyres that you’ve been running for a few years. This is known as dry rot. It occurs as the tyre’s rubber compound begins to break down due to natural degradation and exposure to adverse environmental conditions. An advanced case may cause the cracks to spread to the tread block.
There are several causes of dry rot, chiefly low inflation pressure and excessive exposure to UV rays. As exposure to a significant amount of heat will accelerate the formation of dry rot, reducing the tyre’s exposure to heat is crucial to slow down the rate of dry rot formation. Correct inflation pressure and parking away from direct sunlight may slow down dry rot formation. That said, advanced dry rot may warrant a new set of tyres.
Proper wheel alignment plays a vital role in determining how much of the tyre is actually in contact with the road, which affects how the car handles as well as the tyre’s the tread wear pattern. Naturally, poor wheel alignment can result in uneven wear. So, if you notice one side wearing down faster than the other, it’s worth having the alignment looked at.
If only the inside and outside shoulder of the tread block is worn, you may need a camber adjustment. This is basically an inward or outward tilt of tyres when viewed from the front of the car. Conversely, if your tyres are worn out ‘sideways’ from the top edge as viewed from above, your toe angle needs adjustment. This is an inward or outward tilt of tyres when viewed from above. All these signs are the tyre’s cry for an immediate wheel alignment. Ignoring these warning signs are detrimental to both the tyre’s lifespan and vehicle handling.
In short, tyre care is more than just ensuring tyre pressure is correct and driving them once in a while. Care and attention is needed to prevent your tyres from being weathered into uselessness. If you need help with taking care of your tyres, check out myTukar! Looking for an SUV, check this article out before you buy!