Un­der-in­fla­tion is the big­gest killer of tyres, in­creas­ing ir­reg­u­lar tread wear

BLOW­ING HOT AIR

4 x 4 Australia - - Gear -

TO FIND out what the cor­rect pres­sure is for your rig, you need to do a tyre pres­sure in­crease test.

For this, you’ll need an ac­cu­rate tyre gauge, prefer­ably ana­logue (dig­i­tal types work re­ally well un­til the bat­tery runs flat just when you don’t have a spare). Spend some good money on a qual­ity gauge and take care of it – if it gets knocked around in the ute tray, it prob­a­bly won’t be very ac­cu­rate.

Check the tyre pres­sures with cold tyres, prefer­ably af­ter the ve­hi­cle has been stand­ing overnight (or at least a cou­ple of hours). Make sure the tyres are up to plac­ard tyre pres­sures. Then, af­ter driv­ing around 50km at around 100km/h, stop and check pres­sures again. You should see a rise of 4psi from cold pres­sures for Pas­sen­ger con­struc­tion tyres and 5-6psi for Light Truck tyres. If the pres­sure rise is less, you have over­in­flated the tyres; if the pres­sure in­crease is more, you have un­der-in­flated the tyres. In ei­ther case, it’s a mat­ter of small pres­sure adjustments un­til you’re satisfied you’ve got the right pres­sures.

Un­der-in­fla­tion is the big­gest killer of tyres, in­creas­ing ir­reg­u­lar tread wear and the like­li­hood of dam­ag­ing the car­cass. Un­der-in­fla­tion typ­i­cally hap­pens be­cause no one checks pres­sures, so they lose air. Make it part of your rou­tine to check pres­sures at least once a day; bet­ter still, get a tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem so you can keep an eye on pres­sures as you drive.

Over-in­fla­tion doesn’t help tyre life, ei­ther, as it in­creases the risk of punc­tures, ir­reg­u­lar tyre wear and de­creased ride qual­ity. Max­i­mum tyre pres­sure is marked on the tyre side­wall – if you’ve ex­ceed this, you’re ask­ing for trou­ble.

Sen­satyre mon­i­tor­ing screen is easy to use; time for new rub­ber!

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