Tyre Checklist for a Monsoon Roadtrip
Published On 14-Sep-2016
Monsoon brings along with it a relief from hard Indian summers and overall good vibes. Arrival of monsoon also gives us a good enough reason to take a roadtrip with friends and family but, driving in rain also brings along some challenges and risks like flooded roads, puddles, open ditches and traffic for which we should be well prepared beforehand. What follows is a checklist that will make sure that you don’t get stuck roadside in pouring rain and if that happens, makes sure that you have proper tools to get you out of there.
1) Check Alignment and Balancing - Most people think that the only negative aspect of poorly aligned cars is that it makes the ride uncomfortable, but actually it has a major effect on the handling of the car as it makes the vehicle unstable, and this gets magnified as the speed rises. You can well imagine that how dangerous it can be to drive an unstable car on wet roads. Alignment and Balancing are two separate things. Alignment means adjustment of car’s suspension to make sure they are properly aligned. Balancing refers to balancing the wheels by adding small ballast weights on the rim so that the wheels rotate evenly without any vibrations. Properly aligned and balanced wheels make sure that tyres interact with the road like they should.
2) Tyre Valves - Tyre valves are made out of rubber, and as we know rubber deteriorates over time and therefore, it can get several micro cracks. Valve’s internal mechanism can also get damaged over time due to road debris accumulating inside if valve cap is not used. During monsoon, valve caps should always be used since dirty water and muck can easily get in the valves.
3) Keep emergency tyre inflator and tools - Check the condition of your car’s spare wheel sometimes people ignore inspecting it and when the need arises then they find out that the spare tyre is missing air in it. What good a spare tyre is, if you don’t have proper tools to install them? So, always check if you have sufficient tools in case the emergency arises. You can also keep emergency tyre inflator cum sealer can. It is a can which contains compressed air and tyre sealant and this can be very useful when you don’t want to replace the tyre after puncture, you can simply use this can and the tyre will be inflated and puncture sealed itself.
4) Tyre Tread - One of the most important purpose of tyre tread is to displace water away from the tyre contact area and maintain the road-tyre friction. A poor tread on tyre will make the car skid easily on wet surface or might even result in aquaplaning. Depth of the tread can be checked easily since lot of tyre makes now include a wear marker that tells that it’s time to replace tyres. If your tyres don’t have these markings then as a thumb rule, it’s often advised to use a 1 rupee coin to check tread wear. If the head of the Ashoka symbol is visible when the coin is placed inside the tread, then you should replace the tyres.
5) Air pressure - Tyre pressure should be set according to manufacturers recommendation. A tyre cannot function at its full potential if the tyre pressure is not correct. Most people think that reducing the air pressure means more grip but they are so wrong. When a tyre is under-inflated or over-inflated, it loses stability, negatively affecting handling, cornering, and stopping. Eventually the tyre will also start to wear unevenly.