The journey to your destination relies on its mode of transportation. In our case, we tend to specialize in transportation that runs on four wheels and tires. However, even with the most luxurious suspensions, your ride won’t be nearly as smooth or as safe as it should be if your tires are underperforming. Often this is because your tires have outlived their usefulness. But how did it come to this?
A good set of tires is what makes the cobbled paths, uncertain speed bumps, and rough roads bearable and assures you a comfortable and safe journey. That said, tires are not the cheapest consumable for your car, and despite a move to electric vehicles in the coming years and decades, you’ll still have to invest in a good set for your car, truck or SUV. Of course, many families in Canada and many in and around our backyard of Ottawa are two or three-car families. That’s a lot of tires to replace and service.
Keeping all this in mind, we’ve decided to write this guide to help you figure out how you can extend the life of your car’s tires.
Slow and Steady Wins The Tire Life Extension Race
We’ve all heard that slow and steady wins the race. However, few implement this idiom in their day-to-day lives when it comes to the preservation of their car’s tires. Driving slow and steady is the best way to make your tires last longer. It’s a very efficient and inexpensive method to keep you going for thousands of kilometres without worrying that you’re putting excessive wear on your tires. Driving near the speed limit with smooth and steady acceleration and braking can also help you avoid treacherous potholes and rough roads, which can cause undue damage to your tires’ treads.
You also prevent your tires from overheating and skidding while driving at slow speeds and not lose excessive rubber compounds on the road. Not only do you save your tires from getting ruptured, but you also end up saving a good amount of fuel and thus saving a good amount of money in the long run.
The Importance of Proper Tire Pressure
We’ve already dedicated an entire blog post to the importance of tire pressure. Still, it bears repeating that keeping your cars’ tires properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures is a critical element of proper tire maintenance.
Tires with the specified amount of air pressure tend to last longer and contribute to vehicle safety and efficiency. Low tire pressures affect braking distances and provide poor and less responsive steering and handling. It can be especially dangerous during an emergency stop when a sudden evasive manoeuvre is needed to avoid an accident. These sudden movements also exact damage on the tires and affect their efficiency. Besides, high pressures force the tire sidewalls to flex excessively, which generates heat. While moderate heat accelerates tire tread wear, high heat can lead to losing tread segments or even blowouts, causing harm to you and your vehicle.
Underinflated tires wear more rapidly at the outer edges of the tread, which means replacement will be necessary sooner than with properly inflated tires. On the other hand, overinflated tires tend to impose lesser problems as modern tires withstand pressures that exceed the recommended pressure. However, consistently overinflated tires suffer more rapid wear in the centre of the tread. Keeping a regular check of the tire pressure is imperative since it helps improve the tread life of your tires and helps them last longer.
How Important is Tire Storage, and What Harm Does Improper Storage Impose?
As seasons change, especially in the Ottawa, Ontario region, it is time for you to start changing your seasonal tires. Be it your set of winter or summer tires; it is necessary to think about how you plan to store them, so you can reuse them when the time comes. It is normally advised to let the tires be changed and stored by a professional, but even if you do them yourself, the next step is to store the tires properly to save them from getting damaged.
Tires should never be stored in the open air, even with a protective covering. The sun should be avoided at all costs when not in use because direct exposure can wreak havoc on rubber and harm it. If you don’t store your tires properly, their characteristics can change and end up becoming incapable of use in the future. However, if you handle and properly store them, they will deliver years of service and save you some of your hard-earned money.
How The Weight Of Your Car Affects The Life of Your Tires
Car manufacturers around the world are attempting to make their cars lighter. However, this comes as an especially difficult challenge as many carmakers move their lineups to electric vehicles. But why does the weight of the car matter so much? The lighter a car, the lesser power it takes to move it. Thus, making it more fuel-efficient and cheaper in the long run. When a vehicle is very heavy, it applies more force on the tires, increasing the friction with the road.
That’s why we recommend that when possible, you try to reduce the weight of your vehicle’s cargo as often as possible. That means keeping your trunk or storage areas as light as you can. This will definitely increase the life of your tires.
The Importance of Regular Tire Rotation
Periodic tire rotation is an important aspect in optimizing the lifespan of your tires and their performance. Each wheel position experiences different loads and types of wear. The front tires, for instance, experience more torque and friction force required for turning, accelerating and braking, leading to more wear.
By routinely rotating your tires, wear is spread evenly across all four of them, thus extending their useful lifespan. Having even tread wear also optimizes traction and handling performance which, in turn, will give you a smoother ride and substantially increases your safety.
The Importance of Tire Balancing
Tire balancing is one of the most recommended services listed in your vehicle’s manual. It is important for assuring the best performance from a vehicle, and for attaining the longest service life from tires.
Tire balancing provides a smooth ride. It also assures even tire wear by properly adjusting the tire weight distribution around the vehicle. When you drive regularly, your tires lose balance, so intermittent tire balancing service is needed to return the proper balance of the tires. Over time, tread wear causes the weight distribution around the tire to change, which leads to an imbalance. The imbalance leads to unusual shaking or vibration as you drive. The tire imbalance tends to cause problems not only for the tires but also for the vehicle and your safety.
How Does Weather Affect Your Tires
No matter how good your tires are, every type of tire is affected by weather changes. Most people make the mistake of simply driving throughout the seasons without thinking about how the weather will impact their tires. However, depending on the season you are in, there are changes one needs to make to improve the life of your tires.
Tire Performance During Summer
During summers, tires tend to get overinflated. With vehicles not equipped with TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), routine checks are required. Overinflated tires cause the tires to have tread wear and uneven wear patterns. When overinflation is coupled with the scorching hot pavement and a heavy load, your tires could potentially blow out in the middle of a driving session.
Tire Performance During Winter
During winters, the opposite phenomena take place. Tires often get underinflated and can lead to dangerous situations. If possible, it’s important to keep your cars inside your garage to improve the odds of your tires lasting beyond their rated lifespan. Also, try to avoid hitting potholes while driving in winter, as it can damage the sidewall of your tires and make them weaker. If you are using all-season tires, the rubber tends to lose its grip, and you will find it difficult to come to a complete stop on icy terrain. Winter tires are made so that they can sustain sufficient friction in temperatures below zero and do not have this problem.
The Key To Long-Lasting Tires
Your tires deserve proper maintenance. It makes your tires last longer and prevents you from draining your bank account. Routine check-ups, proper care, driving at optimum speed, and maintaining exacting tire pressures, will assure you the comfortable ride you deserve.
Don’t forget that Sipan offers tire balancing, seasonal tire storage, tire rotation, and tire repair at our Ottawa Wheel and Tire shop. Give us a call today to book your appointment, and we’ll take care of your tires the way they deserve to be cared for.