Beware early tyre failure signs
Sure, the dealer wants all the lucrative repair and maintenance jobs. But generally, you need to use a dealer only for work covered
Getting the right repairs at a fair price depends partly on communicating with your mechanic. Here’s what to say and to expect: Describe the problem fully. Provide as much information as possible. Write down the symptoms and when they occur. If possible, talk directly to the mechanic who will be working on your car. Don’t offer a diagnosis. Avoid saying what A VEHICLE’S tyres play a crucial role in a car’s safety. As the only parts of the car that physically touch the ground, they are one of the key factors affecting a vehicle’s handling and braking, and overall highway safety. What steps can you take to ensure that your tyres stay in optimal condition? Performing regular checks is quick and easy, and a worthwhile investment of time in your and your family’s safety.
Trouble signs to look for Visually inspect your tyres on a regular basis. If you note any of the following early warning signs, have a professional inspection performed, check and correct items that may be causing the condition, or replace your tyres. Cracking or cuts in the sidewalls. Uneven tread wear. This can be caused by improper inflation, misaligned wheels, damaged tyres, or by problems with suspension parts. Excessively worn tread. Most modern tyres have tread-wear indicator bars running across the tread, which signal the minimum allowable tread depth of 1/16-inch. When the tread wears down to these bars, it’s time for new tyres. Inexpensive tread-wear gauges are available at auto-parts and tyre stores. Alternatively, you can use a Lincolnhead penny as a tread-wear indicator. Insert the penny into a tyre groove with Lincoln’s head toward the tyre. If you can see the top of Abe’s head, the tread is too worn. Bulges or blisters. If you see a bulge or blister on the sidewall, replace the tyre at once. These signal potential weak spots that could lead to tyre failure. Excessive vibration. Tyre vibration may be a sign a wheel is misaligned, unbalanced, or bent. It could also signify internal tyre damage. Don’t ignore vibration: Have the vehicle serviced at once.
The problem of under-inflation Surveys have shown that as many as half the cars on the road may be riding on one or more underinflated tyres. Part of the problem is that tyres lose air through the rubber and at interfaces with the wheel and valve, sometimes so slowly that many people don’t realise it has happened. Seasonal temperature changes may also cause the tyre pressure to drop.
Because the sidewall flexes more at lower tyre pressures, under-inflation compromises the driving control that a tyre is designed to provide. Even a small pressure loss — such as four psi — can affect a car’s handling, making it harder to control. It can also make the ride softer and the car wallow. In addition, underinflated tyres lower a vehicle’s fuel
Consumerreports economy, which can cost you more money at the pump.
A sidewall that flexes too much can also cause heat to build up excessively, which can shorten a tyre’s life and possibly lead to a tread separation or blowout. Tyre-inflation maintenance tips Don’t judge the pressure by eyeballing a tyre. Modern radial tyres bulge slightly, making them look a little underinflated, even when they’re not. At least once a month, use a tyre gauge to check the pressure in all four tyres and the spare. A tyre-pressure gauge is available at auto-parts stores. Set the tyres to the automaker’s recommended tyre pressure. This is printed on a placard in the car, either on a doorjamb, the fuel-filler door, or on the inside of the glove-compartment lid. Don’t go by the “maximum inflation pressure” imprinted on the tyre. If your car has a limited-service spare, also check that it’s inflated to the pressure specified on the placard — usually 60 psi. Measure the pressure with the tyres cold, before they’ve been driven more than a mile or two. As the vehicle is driven, the tyres heat up and the pressure rises, which makes it more difficult to set them to the correct coldtyre pressure. — Consumerreports
IF you see a bulge or blister on the sidewall, replace the tyre at once.