Once a vehicle’s tyres are worn out, replacing them with new ones requires hefty investment on the car owner’s part. There’s also no getting away with it since replacing old, worn out tyres is a necessity and of paramount importance to the safety of the vehicle’s occupants. Being a cost-conscious market that India is, we usually tend to prefer long lasting tyres before even factoring in any other important criteria while purchasing a tyre. However, to ensure a tyre’s longevity and efficient working during its lifetime, that alone does not suffice. You can only eek out the best performance from a tyre if you follow some basic tips. The most crucial of which is your driving style/habits.
Every individual’s driving habits are different. That’s a given. However, there are a number of ‘bad’ driving habits that are common for a majority of road-users. If we talk about tyres alone, an individual’s driving habits can greatly affect tyre wear, fuel efficiency and safety. So, by driving more conservatively, you not only increase your tyres’ cycle life, but also improve fuel economy and pre-mature failure of other suspension components.
Here are some of the pointers on how you can alter your driving habits to improve the life of a tyre:
1. Maintain correct tyre pressures in order to ensure the longevity of a tyre. An over- or under-inflated tyre will result in uneven wear while also affecting the vehicle’s dynamics, mechanical components and ride quality.
2. Over enthusiastic or quick take offs from standstill result in unwarranted tyre wear. Leaving tyre marks on the road might look impressive at first but, eventually, it is only going to harm your tyres and pocket alike.
3. Similar to the above point, coming to a screeching halt every time you stop at traffic signals or intersections is a strict no-no. Good drivers always anticipate braking distances, thereby, saving fuel, reducing excessive brake-pads wear and of course, minimizing stress on tyres.
4. Driving at higher speeds regularly will shorten your tyres’ life significantly. For a simple fact, a tyre generates more heat as it is made to roll faster. This results in increased wear as the tread leaves more rubber on the road as it moves along. Try and keep to the speed limits.
5. Turning in quickly around corners at significantly higher speeds than normal is another major factor that causes rubber on your tread and sidewall to strip down faster than usual. Life’s a race, true. But it isn’t Formula 1.
6. Given our tough and varied road-conditions, it’s inevitable for a tyre to encounter unwanted obstacles like potholes, ruts, etc. Drive over these kind of terrains carefully and try not to dismiss them in an unruly way. A crushed rock can damage your tyre’s sidewall beyond repair, forcing an early tyre change.
7. Try and understand your vehicle. Develop a relationship with it and get used to how it behaves over different types of stretches; look out for any unusual sounds from the tyres. See if it ‘pulls away’ abnormally while you’re driving your vehicle. Carry out routine tyre maintenance services like wheel alignment, balancing and rotation.