Tyres will lose pressure over time, so check them on a regular basis. Checking pressure once or twice per month is probably not a bad habit. As pressure is affected by heat the tyre pressure should be measure when cold. The manufacture’s recommended pressure should be given in the owners; manual and may be written on the inside of the Driver’s door.
Wheel balancing and wheel alignment are often confused: your car needs both.
- Wheel balancing optimizes each wheel in isolation. A perfect wheel would rotate on the exact centre and have its weight evenly distributed; wheel balancing may attach weights to a tyre in order to bring it nearer to optimal performance. This process looks at a wheel’s performance in isolation.
- Wheel alignment looks at how the four wheels work together. Wheels are aligned in accordance with the manufacture’s specifications. This usually means the wheels are parallel to each other, a situation that reduces uneven wear and prevents the vehicle drifting to one side. Vehicles used for rugged terrain or racing may have their wheel aligned is a different manner to well performing road vehicles.
Check the depth of the tread. The minimum to be road worth is 1.6 mm, but performance is compromised as the tread diminishes, especially in wet weather. Also check to see that the tread wear is even; uneven wear means alignment or balancing needs attention.
All four wheels are usually identical. On some cars the front and rear tyres are different, but the tyres on each axle are always identical.
Brakes can be made to last longer, while maintaining good performance, with good driving technique.
Some parts of a car are meant to last the life of the vehicle; they are only replaced if they suffer accidental damage. Other parts of the car will steadily wear out with use; brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers and other arts fall into this category. Neglecting these issues is extremely dangerous. Tyre and brake pad suppliers stock the necessary replacement parts for all makes of cars. There is no reason to compromise car safety by not using correct and fully functional parts.
When to replace Brakes?
We know to have our brakes the moment their performance starts to change. If the brakes make a noise or show any suspicious signs, have them professionally inspected.
Tyres tread wears out with regular use and with time. Tyres should be replaced when:
- The tyre tread is too thin. The tread should be several millimetres deep. If the tyre tread is less than the performance will quickly start to degrade, and the vehicle handling will be compromised.
- If the wear on the tyre is uneven it almost certainly needs replacing. Ask a mechanic if in doubt. Correct wheel alignment will prevent the problem reoccurring.
- Replace tyre after any accident that required hard braking. If the tyres suffered damage the car’s handling and safety will probably be affected. Ask a mechanic if in doubt.
- If there are cracks appearing in the tyre wall the material is starting to deteriorate. The tyres need to be replaced promptly before they fail.
- If the car steering wheel vibrates there is a problem, possibly with the brakes or tyres. Always have this remedied.
- Periodically exchanging the front and back tyres will allow the regular wear to be more evenly distributed between wheels. This is recommended
- Front wheel drive cars will wear out the front wheels more quickly. Always be aware of this tendency.
- Old age – Tyres should not be more than five years old. Always replace after five years. Even an unused spare will degrade in this time.
Cars are complex systems. All systems are an interaction of several parts. If one part is compromised the other will be affected. Any car in good repair suffers less wear than a similar car that has faults. Any car that has one fault part will quickly wear out other parts of the car. Faulty brakes will compromise tyre wear. It makes better sense economically to keep car brakes and tyres in good repair. It is also much safer.
Brake pad suppliers such as ICER Oceania have replacement brake pads for all makes of modern vehicle.