The perfect driver would clean their alloys and check over their tires before/after every trip, however, this isn’t realistic for the majority of car owners. If you can commit to at least giving your alloys a wipe over daily, you will keep them in good condition.
When cleaning your car, it’s also far easier to clean the wheels first so you can get rid of brake dust. Just make sure you avoid cleaning your alloys when they are still warm after driving. They should be cool first! If you’re looking for more helpful tips like this and you want to keep your tires looking brand new, then read on.
1. Take Care Of Your Valve Caps And Have Replacements Handy
The valve caps on your tires don’t stop air escaping, but if one is missing you should still replace it. They stop dirt and moisture from getting inside of the valve and making your life difficult. Spares don’t cost much, so keep some in your car.
2. Always Make Sure Your Wheels Are In Alignment
Keeping your wheels in alignment keeping your tires in good condition and staying safe while you’re on the road. Alignments are important for tires so that they can go in a straight line.Without this, you could experience uneven and increased wear. Wheel alignments will also help with tire traction – especially when the weather is wet.
3. Have Your Tires Balanced
Having a vibrating steering wheel can indicate that your tires are unbalanced. You will usually notice it mainly at high speeds if this is something that you need to have done. It’s a good idea to have this done at the same time as a rotation/alignments.
4. Rotate Your Tires Every So Often
Rotating your tires is the act of swapping your back tires with your front ones in order to achieve balanced wear. This means there will be no need to replace them early. If you have a wagon your wear will be even more uneven, so rotation becomes even more important. Look at getting a tire rotation even 5,000 – 8,000km, even if you don’t notice any obvious wear.
5. Keep A Close Eye On Your Tire Tread
You should have 8-9mm of tread when you first get your tires, and the legal minimum of tread is 1.5mm. Consider replacement when yours get down to 3mm. Driving on tires with 1.5mm tread will increase your braking distance by roughly 38%. Check this weekly if you drive regularly.
6. Don’t Under Or Over Inflate Your Tires
Inflation affects both the fuel economy and the life of your tires. The pressure guide that comes with your car will tell you where your tires should be at. You can do this yourself for free easily!
7. Stick To The Same Make And Model Of Tire On All Four Corners
Sticking to the same make and model of tire on all four corners is essential. Different makes of tire will mean having odd levels of grip, and this can be very dangerous while driving.
8. Remove Your Wheels To Clean Them Thoroughly
Removing your wheel from the car makes it so much easier to clean. You’ll have better access to the hard to reach places this way. Start by parking on a level surface and ensure the handbrake is turned on. Using a wheel brace, loosen the nuts by a couple of turns. You can then jack up the car using the jack that came with the car and a trolley jack and place an axle stand underneath the jacking point before carefully lowering the car onto the stand. You can then remove the wheel.
Once you’ve removed the wheel, make sure the alloy doesn’t touch the ground. If it does, it could easily scratch and damage the surface. Make sure the wheel is fully cleaned and secured to the car before you start work on the next wheel. This is something that requires plenty of time and patience, so take your time or get a professional to do it if you’re not confident in your abilities.
Not only will the above 8 pointers help you to keep your tires looking brand new, you’ll extend the life of them and ensure you stay safe while on the road. Tires that have been well looked after will help you to reduce your brake time, amongst other things. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start checking them over and taking good care of them now!
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