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How Do I Care For My Tires?

It will help me to save

  • Checking your tire pressure, and regular tire maintenance such as rotation, alignment and inspections can help you to save money.

It can extend the life of your tires so you don’t have to buy as often

Simple things like checking your tire pressure to make sure that they are properly inflated can make a real difference in how long your tires last. Under- or over-inflated tires don’t wear evenly and won’t last as long. For example, a tire that is consistently 20% under- inflated can last 20% less. This means that a tire that should normally last 40,000 km would be worn out by 32,000 km. Also, since the front and rear axles and right and left sides of your car wear down your tires differently, rotating your tires regularly between the different positions will ensure that they wear evenly and last longer.

It can save you money on fuel

  • Under-inflated tires are one of the biggest causes of using excess fuel.
  • Under-inflated tires have higher rolling resistance, which means that it takes more effort from the engine to move your vehicle.

It ensures your safety

Your tires are the only point of contact that your vehicle has with the road – they need to be in good working condition at all times to ensure your safety.
To avoid any problems, follow these important care tips:

  • Inspect your tires:

You may not always notice if one of your tires has been damaged. Inspect your tires regularly for wear and any damage to avoid any sudden problems. Also, have a professional inspect your tires every year.

  • Check the air pressure:

Driving with incorrect tire pressures can affect a vehicle’s handling and braking, particularly in wet conditions, and can seriously compromise your safety. Driving on severely under-inflated tires can cause heat build-up and eventually a blow-out. Check your tire pressure monthly and before every long trip.

  • Respect the load capacity:

Do not exceed the load capacity relative to the tire’s load index. tires loaded beyond their maximum loads can build up excessive heat that may result in sudden tire destruction.

  • Driving at high speed can damage your tire:

At greater speeds, tires have greater a chance of being damaged by road hazards or heat build-up. High speeds can also contribute to a rapid air loss or even a sudden tire explosion, which can cause the loss of control of the vehicle.

Use your spare tire!

If you see any damage to a tire or wheel, replace it with your spare tire and have your tire checked by a professional.

*Exceeding the safe, legal speed limit is neither recommended nor endorsed.

Tire Pressure: what should I know?

General Guidelines

  • Check the tire pressure of all your tires monthly, including the spare. Even if you don’t see any damage, tires can lose up to 1 psi – pounds per square inch – every month. This can be accelerated by air leaks due to accidental puncture, leaks in the valve or valve cap, or by wheel malfunction.
  • Check your tire pressure before making a long trip.
  • For the best results, check your tire pressure when the tires are cool – before driving the car or if it has covered less than 3 KM at low speed.
  • If the tire is hot, add 4-5 psi to the car manufacturer's recommended pressure value or wait until it has cooled down, which is an average of three hours after parking the car.
  • Never deflate a hot tire.

How do I check my tire pressure?

  1. Insert the pressure gauge into the valve stem on your tire.
  2. The gauge will “pop” out and show a number that coresponds to the internal pressure in the psi number.
  3. The hissing sound is air escaping the tire. It shouldn’t affect pressure substantially, unless you hold down the air-pressure gauge for too long.
  4. Compare the measured psi to the recommended psi.
  5. If the psi is above the recommended number, let air out until they match. If it's below, add air until it reaches the proper number.

Where can I find the recommended pressure for my tires?

  • In the vehicle owner's manual.
  • On a sticker on the driver's door or the fuel tank door.
  • Do not use the number on your tire’s sidewall, as this does not indicate the pressure needed in your tire.

About pressure gauges

  • Be careful if you are using a pressure gauge provided in a service station. The pressure gauges are often unreliable.
  • Buy a high-quality pressure gauge and check its accuracy with a tire professional.

Getting it right is important

  • Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can wear down faster than expected, have reduced grip and can consume more fuel. It just takes a few minutes a month to help ensure your safety and the longevity of your tires.

Nitrogen: what are the benefits?

What is nitrogen?

Nitrogen is simply dry air with the oxygen removed. Air contains nearly 79% nitrogen.

How is it used?

  • Most tires are filled with compressed air. But some tire retailers have started to put nitrogen into their tires.
  • Nitrogen and compressed air can be mixed.
  • Most tires can be inflated with air or nitrogen, as long as the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer are respected.

The benefits:

When nitrogen replaces oxygen, less air can escape your tires, and your inflation pressure stays higher longer.

tire inspection:

Unfortunately, there are other possible sources of leaks (tire/rim interface, valve, valve/rim interface and the wheel), which means that there's no guarantee of maintained pressure with either air or nitrogen. The pressure and overall tire condition must still be checked frequently.

Valve: what should I know?

What is the role of the valve?

  • It ensures that the proper tire pressure is maintained.
  • It blocks moisture from entering the tire.
  • The valve cap is particularly important to help block dust particles from obstructing the valve. High-quality caps are recommended.

Ageing and damages

  • Valves are usually made of rubber and therefore age with time.
  • They can be damaged by high speeds causing air to leak from your tires.

When should I change the valves?

Whenever you buy new tires.

How to check if you have enough tread left

General

In order to effectively grip the road, evacuate water and maintain control, your tires need to have a safe amount of remaining tread. If the grooves in the tire design have almost disappeared, the tire will simply not grip the road as well. This is particularly dangerous in wet or wintry conditions.

  • Plus, if you drive with tires under the legal tread limit, you may be fined.
  • You should check the wear of your tires regularly. If your tires are approaching the legal limit or if you have any doubts, get them checked by a tire professional. Or see below how to check it yourself.

Two methods

1- Check the tread wear with a tread-depth gauge

  • Make sure that the hand brake is on and the car is in first gear (for manual gearboxes) or park (for automatics).
  • Check the depth of the main tread grooves in several places across and around the tire, using the gauge as instructed by its manufacturer.
  • The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm.

2- Check the tread wear indicators

  • Tires have tread-wear indicators moulded into the base of the main grooves.
  • When the tread surface is worn to the same level as these indicators, the tire is at the legal limit and should be replaced.

Tire rotation: what should I know?

What is it?

During rotation, each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position to ensure that all tires wear evenly and last longer

When should I do it?

Tires should be rotated every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles. 10,000 kilometers However, check your owner's manual to see if there is a recommended rotation scheme.

Benefits:

Since the position of the tire on your vehicle can affect how it wears down, regular rotation helps to ensure that tires wear evenly, extending the life of your tires and improving performance.

Tire alignment: what should I know? (also known as "Suspension alignment")

Tire alignment is a simple process, which may require slight adjustment of front and/or rear suspension components. If your alignment is off, your vehicle isn’t safe to drive.

When should I have my tire wheel alignment checked?

  • You’ve hit a sizable object on the road.
  • You see a wear pattern developing on the shoulders (outer edges) of the tires.
  • You notice a difference in your vehicle’s handling or when you are steering.
  • When you replace suspension or steering components.
  • At least every 10,000 kilometers.

A few things to watch for:

  • Your vehicle pulls or drifts to one side, when you are travelling on a straight, flat road.
  • Your steering wheel does not return easily after a turn.
  • Your steering wheel remains at an angle when driving in a straight line.

Why is important?

  • To minimise wear and tear on your vehicle and to maximise driver and passenger comfort.
  • To reduce wear on your tires, help to increase their life and performance, and improve fuel economy.
  • To improve handling and driving safety by reducing steering and stability problems.

How are wheels aligned? The details

There are three main adjustments made during alignment:

  • Camber: if you’re viewing from the front of the vehicle, camber is the angle of the wheel, in degrees.
  • Caster: if you’re viewing the side of a vehicle, the caster angle identifies the forward or backward slope of a line drawn through the upper and lower steering pivot points.
  • Toe: it’s the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of the tires.

Tire balancing: what should I know?

What is it?

  • Sometimes when tires are mounted the distribution of weight of the tire+wheel assembly is not perfectly even all around the tire..
  • A wheel is out of balance when one area is heavier or lighter than the rest. The result is bouncing or wobbling, which can decrease tread life, increase vibration and cause stress on your vehicle.
  • tire balancing compensates for the weight differences to make sure that the tire weight is balanced. tire professionals will add weights where necessary to counterbalance the tires.

When should I balance my tires?

  • When a tire is replaced
  • When a balance weight is moved or removed
  • When you purchase new tires

How are wheels balanced?

  1. To balance a wheel, your mechanic uses a balancing machine to determine where the heavy spots are.
  2. Weights are then attached to the exterior or interior of the wheel to counteract the centrifugal forces acting on the heavy areas when the wheel is turning.

Any advice?

If you ever feel bouncing, wobbling or vibrations, consult a tire professional quickly.

How do I change a tire?

Notice: Do not attempt to change a tire if it risks the safety of you or your passengers.

Removing the tire:

  1. Move to the side of the road safely, put on your hazard lights and set your emergency brake.
  2. Find your spare tire and tools (wheel brace and a jack) – usually in the boot or under the car (but you can check in your owner manual as well).
  3. Remove the wheel’s hub cap. Don’t remove the wheel nuts – just loosen them up.
  4. See your manual to find the right place to lift the car with the jack.
  5. Lift the car until the wheel is off the ground.
  6. Remove the wheel nuts and then the tire with both hands.

Mounting the spare:

  1. Align the holes on the spare with the bolts on the wheel and push the tire in as far as it will go.
  2. Replace the wheel nuts and tighten them.
  3. Replace the opposite wheel nuts (this ensures that they are tightened evenly).
  4. Lower your car.
  5. Re tighten each wheel nut, then the one opposite.

A few more tips:

  • Carry a pair of sturdy gloves and a rubbish bag in your boot, in case the tire you're removing is covered in mud, and a sturdy board to place your jack on in case the ground is soft, to avoid the jack sinking in.
  • Check the inflation pressure of the spare tire before mounting. If this is not possible, once mounted, drive carefully at low speed until it can be checked.
  • Visit the nearest service station and inflate the tire correctly..
  • If you have a mini spare, make sure that you stay within its speed and mileage requirements
  • Visit your garage to find a replacement tire.

Wheel nuts

  • Where necessary, use light machine oil on the wheel nut threads to help their removal.
  • Poorly tightened wheel nuts risk damaging the brake discs or wheel-mounting system.
  • Use a torque wrench to make sure that you tighten the nuts correctly with the correct torque. If you don't have a torque wrench get a tire specialist to check them as soon as possible. This will ensure that the correct torque has been applied.
  • Correctly tightened wheel nuts are easier to remove.

What should I do before I leave?

  • Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on all inspections see Scheduled care tips
  • Check your tires’ air pressure and compare to the information on the tire information sticker in your vehicle’s door, fuel tank or in your owner’s manual. You can also find the right pressure for your tires through our tire Selector vehicle search.
  • Where is it and what does it mean?

  • Check your tires’ tread wear and condition visually. If your tread seems worn down or the tires seem damaged, have the tires checked by a professional.

See How to check if you have enough tread left