We are one of the leading experts on tyres in Cork for all vehicles, below is our six step guide to tyre care, which will help you stay safer and get the most out of your tyre.
Step 1. Selection And Fitment
When fitting replacement tyres ensure they are of the same size, load index and speed symbol as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Where tyres are not being fitted in complete sets of four, we advise that tyre types are not mixed across an axle. Consult your tyre dealer for fitment details for your car, especially if you are in any doubt.
Step 2. Visual Eye Care
By Visually checking your tyres on a regular basis you can help maintain them in good condition throughout their service life an prevent having them changed unnecessarily or even failing prematurely. Check all tyres, including the spare for these points:
Stones Or Nails
If not removed when embedded in the tread, stones and nails can work into the casing and cause damage, possibly leading to deflation.
Oil Or Fuel Paint
Oil, Fuel or paint can have a harmful effect on the rubber compounds used in tyres. Oil can make the tread rubber swell, reducing the pattern grooves and affecting adhesion. immediate removal with detergent and plenty of water is recommended.
Damage And Aging
Damage in any form EG cuts, bulges, vibration or air loss must be examined immediately by a tyre specialist, as they could be signs of potential tyre failure. Ageing, such as surface cracking or crazing in the sidewall are of the tyre, should also be examined by a tyre specialist as soon as possible. To reduce the effect of cracking and crazing only wash tyre side details when necessary and then just with water, or as little “car wash” as possible.
Tyre Service Life
Regular inspection by a tyre specialist is recommended, and tyres which have been in use for five years or more should continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually. Tyres which have been in service (including spare tyres) for 10 years or more from the date of manufacture should be replaced.
Tyre Tread Wear
Tyre tread wear should be checked regularly. Abnormal wear is often an indication of a mechanical anomaly with the vehicle, such as incorrect alignment, or problems with the steering or suspension mechanism. Always have the mechanical parts of the vehicle checked and rectified where necessary by a professional
Step 3. Tread Depth Inspection
Are your tyres legal? When should you change them? Always ensure your tyres conform to the Irish minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. This means your tyres should have at least 1.6 mm of tread left across the central three quarters of the tyre tread breadth and around the entire circumference of the tyre. Various types of tread depth checking devices can be purchased from car product specialists. These can be dipped into the tyre tread to measure the depth in millimetres. In addition, most car tyres now have tread wear indicators set into the tread grooves, which show when the tyre is worn to 1.6 mm of remaining tread. When these indicators become level with the tread surface your tyres should be changed immediately.
Step 4. Tyre Pressure
Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is an important factor in both the safety and longevity of tyres. Too little or too much air could adversely affect the vehicle handling and the tyre’s performance and durability. Additionally, keeping your tyres at the correct pressure and using energy efficient tyres reduces your engines workload. This means you’ll save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions too! Check tyre pressures (including the spare tyre) monthly and before any long trip using an accurate gauge. Correct the tyre pressures if they do not correspond to the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturers recommended tyre pressures may be found for example, in the vehicle handbook, on the door frame or fuel filler cap. The tyre pressures should be checked when the tyres are cold. By cold, we mean that the tyres have not run for at least two hours or have only travelled 1-2 miles at low speed (town driving). Tyre pressure increases while the vehicle is being driven, which is quite normal. If the pressures are checked after the vehicle has travelled a sufficient distance to heat up, 4 to 5 psi should be added to the recommended “cold” pressure. Never deflate tyres when they are “hot”. If you intend towing with the vehicle, EG with a trailer or caravan, always consult the vehicle handbook.
Maintain the recommended inflation pressure that your vehicle manufacturer has recommended. This information is usually in the handbook in the glove compartment or on a sticker when you open the fuel cap. The great advantage of maintaining the correct tyre pressure is that it can help you save on fuel as up to 20% fuel used by a car overcoming rolling resistance. By maintaining the correct tyre pressure you can actually save money on fuel. The correct tyre pressure will also help your tyres performance when braking, over or under inflated tyres can take a longer distance to stop. You should check the pressure of your tyre when it is cold as it will give you a more accurate reading. YOu should also ensure that the tyre and wheel combination on your vehicle is fitted with the appropriate valve and valve cap. Both valve and valve cap play a very important part in the tyre’s ability to maintain air pressure, tyre service life and vehicle safety in general.
Step 5. Tyre Positioning And Handling
When replacing car tyres the ideal situation would be to replace all four tyres together. However as vehicles wear their front and rear tyres at different rates, this may not always be possible. In this case, the recommendation is to fit new tyres to the rear and move the part worn tyres to the front. Why fit new tyres to the rear? Primarily to ensure that vehicle stability is maintained in difficult driving conditions such as hard braking or cornering. This is especially critical on wt or slippery roads. This also provides additional protection against sudden deflation in the rear tyres which could cause a loss of vehicle control. Most modern vehicles being front wheel drive, the front tyres wear faster than the rears. The driver is therefore used to having less grip at the front as the tyres wear towards replacement. By fitting new tyres to the rear and repositioning the more worn tyres on the front axle, the condition the driver is has become used to is retained after the tyre change
Step 6. Alignment
Vehicle suspension misalignment can result in rapid, irregular tyre wear, which is bad news for your pocket and can affect the handling and safety of the vehicle. If your suspension is misaligned by 4 mm (just 2 mm per wheel), then for every mile you travel the tyre is being forced sideways by 8.4 metres (28 feet) on a car with 15″ wheels. No wonder incorrect alignment results in excessive shoulder wear! If you detect any abnormal wear when you check your tyres, consult a tyre professional for advice.
You should always use the correct combination of Tyre and Rim. If you are unsure what size tyre will best fit your rim then call us and we will be happy to advise you. You should keep an eye out for dents in your rim, this can cause the tyre to lose pressure and if a tyre loses pressure it can affect its lifetime.