Tires are your friends. They always roll with you. And knowing a few important things about them will make you “BFFs.”

When you need to travel long or short distance, it is always a good idea to check your tires before you start on your journey. The air pressure, signs of any punctures, wheel nuts, condition of the spare tires, etc. You do not know when you might run into trouble due to all these, so getting them checked by your mechanic or by yourself if you have proper knowledge is advisable. This comes in handy especially when you are planning a long trip, as service centers or garages may not be readily available on the highways. You may even get stranded in strange places with help nowhere in sight.  Here are some guidelines for you to go through before you buy a tire and embark on your journey.

Criteria of a suitable tire

  1. Safety:  You should be able to make full use of the tires without any trouble, free of harm and danger.
  2. Economy:  It is important to select tires only after factoring in costs, including the cost of maintenance.
  3. Size:  Different vehicles require tires of different sizes. As such note down the tire size specifications before you head to the store.
  4. Tire tread depth:  Tires with low levels of tread will slip easily, suffer from extended braking distances, and will wear out quickly. Do not use tires with a tread depth of less than 1.6mm. The mark on both sides of the walls on tires to indicate the place of Tread Depth.

Precautions to take before embarking on a journey

  1. Air pressure:  Low tire air pressure causes heat separation, cord break-up and make the wheel go flat. Always check the tire pressure and maintain proper inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturers
  2. Tire matching:  Using tires of different sizes same the vehicle may cause vehicle instability, which could result in a sudden loss of control and serious injury. Always use proper matching tires.
  3. Alignment:  Improper tire alignment may reduce its life. The irregular wear of tires can be adjusted by a process known as ‘wheel alignment’, which is usually available at a service center.
  4. Rotate tires every 5000kms:  Visit a reputable tire shop to rotate your tire.  You need to check your vehicle owner’s handbook to know the rotating sequence. Balance all tires at the same time.
  5. Punctures:  Penetration of foreign materials like stones, nails, etc, into a tire may result in tire puncture. Check for the presence of these materials in the tire.  Also if you have puncture, stop as soon as possible and change the tire. Never drive with punctured tire, unless you want to ruin the wheels rims.
  6. Wheel Nuts:  If wheel nuts are not properly tightened, there is a high risk of tire breaking free which may result in serious injuries. Always ensure the wheel nuts are properly tightened when the wheel is put on the vehicle.
  7. Spare tire:  Always keep the spare tire in good condition with proper air pressure, so that you are in a position to use it when you have a flat tire.