The aim behind every tyre designing is to fully satisfy the needs of specific vehicles as well as diverse weather conditions. No matter how robust the tyre, temperature, sunlight (Ultraviolet/UV Rays), and rain are natural factors beyond our control that can deteriorate anything in the universe. Every tyre comes with a certain age which is affected by numerous other factors than the natural factors – such as position, driving style, speed, load, air pressure, and alignment. Ignoring other factors, the tread depth (3 mm) of the tyre itself can easily give away the age. However, replacement needs may arise before a tyre’s actual expiry date which spans between 5 to 6 years. Allow us to take you through a quick review of some fifteen obvious symptoms of tyre ageing.
1. Right Match and Installation: Tyre selection according to vehicle, driving habits, and weather conditions is directly related to a tyre’s wear and tear. A tyre installed perfectly by an authorised tyre shop avoids unnecessary tyre wear and performance hampering.
2. Inflation: A tyre lowers fuel mileage by 0.4 percent with every dip of one PSI in pressure as per the US Department of Energy. Incorrect inflation impacts not only fuel economy but also tyre wear as it disperses vehicle’s weight evenly across the treads framework which influences tyre’s stability, handling, cornering, and stopping. Under-inflation causes wear on the external tread edges while over-inflation tends to show wear on the middle of the tread.
3. Load on Tyres: Load is inversely proportional to tyre age. This means increase in vehicle load decreases the life of tyres. Every tyre comes with its recommended load bearing capacity written on its side-walls. If you are carrying more load on your tyres against the recommended Load Index then you are destined to hit the minimum tread depth limit of 1.6mm in no time.
4. Highway Speed: We know that speed drives you crazy but it acts as a positive catalyst to the ageing process of your tyres. High speed means raised temperature which further accelerates tyre damage. Moreover, too many fluctuations in speed cause more frequent and much sever tyre damage than when the vehicle is driven on a constant speed.
5. Improper Driving Manoeuvres: We have already talked about the effects of over-speeding. Other than rash driving, driving habits such as tyre spinning, fast acceleration, hard braking, and frequent gear changes are some other driver activities which quickly wear tyres down. Remember, a skilled driver is not who drives well but one who handles the vehicle well.
6. Faulty Component in Suspension System: We understand that tyre pressures and tread depths need to be inspected on a regular basis, however, other aspects must also not be overlooked in order to get the best out of tyres. Worn or damaged shock absorbers or dampers and bushes in the suspension system can impair a tyre in ample amount. Loose, worn, or bent suspension components can be identified with the visible cupped or scalloped dips around the tyre surface.
7. Wheel Alignment: Have you every checked a tyre for feathering by brushing your fingertips across the edge of each tread bar or block? If you feel a feather edge inside the tread bar, it is due to excess toe-in and if it outside the tread bar then excess toe-out is to blame. Toe angle is always adjusted in the end during the wheel alignment process as it is influenced by modifications in camber and caster angles. Cupping can also result from worn shock absorbers or unbalanced tyres. Lack of rotation causes the appearance of scalloped pattern.
8. Whereabouts: The tyre wear depends on its position as well. Because of the movement through steering wheel the front tyres wear faster than the rear pair.
9. Steering Geometry: We discussed earlier, the front set of tyres wears first due to steering control. This wear can be lowered down by having the car moving a bit before steering. The often overlooked issue is steering looseness due to worn, loose, or broken rack mounts. The mounts hold the rack in the chassis and help isolate road vibrations. Bad mounts can make the rack move and wriggle while turning the steering wheel which causes the steering to feel loose. Worn outer tie rod ends or inner tie rod sockets on vehicles or wear between the pinion gear and rack housing inside the steering column are some other causes of rack and pinion steering.
10. Chassis Status: Chassis parts impact tyre wear a lot, no doubt! Toe-out of front tyres results from worn tie rod ends in the steering linkage. The tyres scrub and wear with every mile driven due to toe misalignment.
11.On-road or Off-road Handling: Road conditions do have a great impact on tyre’s wear and tear. The major contributors in the deterioration of tyre are speed breakers, curbs, potholes, and on-road debris. Tyres made with off-road abilities wear more if used on normal roads and vice-versa.
12. Replacement Concerns: It’s tempting to save money by replacing only the more damaged tyre/tyres that bearing a one time expense on replacing all four tyres. Tyres Northamptonpart suggests you change all the tyres at the same time to avoid uneven wear from an authorised tyre shop like ours. And in case your budget doesn’t allow you to do so, pairing of tyres should be like new alongside new and old alongside old. The same is relevant to the other components as well; they too should be replaced in pairs or sets, keeping in view the degree of damage.
13. Construction: Noiseless ride comes at the cost of quick wear. Tyres constructed from softer compounds wear out more speedily unlike tyres made from harder rubber. Irrespective of external factors, tyres have an age of 5-6 years. You should, from time to time, inspect your tyres for cuts, slashes, and deformities.
14. Climate Conditions: Although the market is flooded with weather specific tyres, these tyres too are affected by weather conditions to a great extent. Extremely hot weather could cause a tyre blow out while extreme cold conditions cause snow, visibility, and traction issues which in turn results in quick tyre wear. Rains also don’t lag behind in damaging tyres significantly.
15. Tyre Maintenance: Last but not the least, like other components, tyres too age slowly if the consumer takes adequate care and lets only the authorised Service Centres to touch their vehicle for any servicing, replacement, or repair needs.
You can trust Cheap Tyres Northampton to cater well to all your tyre related needs!