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Guest Post by Nicholas Smith
Car tires are regularly overlooked by car owners, simply because as they start to break down, they typically don’t make any noises.
Why is it important to care well for your car’s tires? When a single tire ranges in price from $50 all the way up to $1,000 for a high-end, specialty tire, you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tires.
Unlike other parts of your car, your tires really aren’t needy; they ask for a little attention once a month, and they will do the rest. Here are my tips to make sure you get the most of out your tires:
Make sure your tires are inflated to the right pressure. For most cars, this will be somewhere around the 30 to 40 psi mark, but refer to your owner’s manual for the optimal pressure for your vehicle.
When your tires have the correct pressure in them, they offer you the best level of grip on the road surface, making your ride safer and more stable.
When your tires are either underinflated or overinflated, you lose a lot of grip, grip that was already limited. When your tires are underinflated, there isn’t enough pressure to force the center of the tire in to the road, meaning the only part of the tire in contact with the road is the shoulder of the tire. This is why they wear early on the edges.
When tires are overinflated, only the center section of the tire is in contact with the road. The tire then wears down unevenly in the center, causing a bald spot.
Curbs, potholes, and debris
Your tires are supple, and with a little bit of light pressure you can deform them. If you drive in and out of potholes, bounce your car up on the curb, or even drive too fast over speed bumps, you risk causing damage to your tire.
Normally this damage shows itself as either a cut in the tire or an egg shape on the tire wall, but sometimes there is no obvious damage.
This is because the tire is made of various layers, which are all bonded together to create the tough and sturdy tire you are used to. But if you drive through potholes at high speed or bounce your car up on the curb, that force can be enough to break the bond between the materials, creating a tiny hole in the tire. This leads to a slow puncture, one which you cannot see, but will continue to leak until you have the tire changed.
Tire valve dust covers
When car owners inflate their tires, they remove dust covers from the valves. These dust covers are normally small black plastic screw caps. Once they have inflated their tires, they often neglect to replace the dust cover.
While the caps may not look important, those little covers can stop tires from deflating. Left uncovered, the air valve can let dirt and grime from the road into the valve, causing it to open which in turn releases air from your tires. The next time you are tempted to throw those dust covers away, remember, put them back on your car.
Nicholas Smith is the founder and CEO of CompareNewTyres.com, a tire price comparison website helping car owners to save money and time on their new tires. But he’s more than just rubber rings. As a car lover, he’s happiest when he has a spanner in his hand and an engine in close proximity, so much so that in his mid-20’s he returned to college to study for a qualification in vehicle maintenance and repair.