No matter how sturdy a manufacturer claims them to be, tyres will eventually wear out and have to be replaced.
Do not believe anyone who says your brand “can last 90,000km”. Your driving style and usage patterns directly influence your tyres’ wear rate. Just like fuel economy, your mileage will vary.
For the record, we recommend that you get a fresh set every three years, 30,000km or when the tread is worn to the treadwear indicators – whichever comes first.
Even if they haven’t worn out after three years, it is still a good idea to get a new set as the rubber may have hardened. When this happens, there is a risk that cracks may develop.
That said, here are five ways to prolong your tyres’ service life.
1. Rotate your tyres every 5,000km
Rotating your tyres helps them wear evenly over time. If you didn’t rotate your tyres, the front ones would probably wear out before the rear ones did.
If this happens, you are at risk of an accident, especially in wet weather.
Some tyre shops or car dealerships recommend rotating your tyres every 10,000km. In theory, this is fine.
However, the majority of drivers in Singapore go up and down carpark ramps every day. This results in even greater wear on the “inside” tyres.
This means the right front and rear tyres will wear out faster than the ones of the left. That’s because most carparks require us to turn right when ascending and descending.
Rotate your tyres every 5,000km to help mitigate this.
2. Keep them properly inflated
Tyres provide optimum grip when they are correctly inflated. The correct pressures for your car are displayed on the driver’s side door sill.
Under-inflation or over-inflation is dangerous. If the air pressure is too low, the “shoulders” and sidewalls will wear out quicker than the rest of the tread.
On the other hand, if the air pressure is too high, the centre will wear out faster. There is also less grip in this condition. On wet roads, the risk of aquaplaning is very high.
3. Don't drive over kerbs
Repeatedly driving over kerbs, especially in a harsh manner, can damage your tyres. And apart from scratching your wheels, such actions can also damage your suspension!
It goes without saying that you need to pay attention when manoeuvring in caparks, especially unfamiliar ones. Observe other cars as they drive up or down the ramps and follow their lines if it is safe.
4. Avoid potholes, too
Apart from avoiding kerbs, you should also avoid driving over potholes as these can also damage your wheels and suspension components.
Pay attention to the cars in front of you. It’s easy to tell when the car in front has hit a pothole. Or if you see the vehicle in front veering slightly left or right, it is possible that the driver is trying to avoid a pothole.
5. Inspect your tyres regularly
Every car owner should inspect their tyres at least once a month. Apart from cracks, punctures and other damage, look for signs of uneven wear.
If you have been keeping them correctly inflated, uneven wear is a sign that something in your suspension is misaligned. Your wheel alignment or camber could be off.
When caught early, the problem can be rectified, and you would have saved yourself from prematurely purchasing a new set of rubbers!
This article was first published in Torque.