Purchasing a quality set of tyres is a great place to start. There are many perceived benefits associated with quality tyres, which include reduced braking distances, improved grip, better handling and greater vehicle control.
But how do you know if you’re really getting your money’s worth? This is where tyre maintenance has an important role to play. Tyre longevity and performance can be largely achieved through regular checks and maintenance both by yourself and at your local tyre store.
Here are some of the key aspects to tyre maintenance that you should consider.
Tyre pressures should be checked once a month. There are many associated benefits to driving on correctly inflated tyres, which include:
To locate your manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressures, refer to your vehicle manual or the vehicle placard. This can be located on the door jamb on the driver’s side of the car, inside the glove box or inside the fuel filler flap.
To check your tyre pressures, you can use a quality tyre pressure gauge, which you can find at an auto parts store. Using the gauge, check and record the pressure of each tyre. You should also include your spare tyre in the check.
It is important to be aware that the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressures assume that the tyres are cold. Your tyres are considered cold when the vehicle has been parked for at least 3 hours, or driven less than a distance of 1.6km at a moderate speed.
Once you have assessed each tyre, you can adjust tyre pressures as required. If you do adjust the pressure of any tyre, you should re-read the pressure to ensure accuracy. If needed, you can always let some air back out of a tyre until you reach the correct pressure.
A wheel alignment is considered to be an essential maintenance service. When your tyres are correctly aligned, vehicle handling is improved and even tyre wear is promoted.
It involves the measurement, analysis and adjustment of your vehicle’s steering and suspension angles. A wheel alignment makes sure that your vehicle’s wheels are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other.
Your wheels will typically become unaligned over time. This is simply the result of everyday driving but can be worsened by incidents such as hitting significant potholes.
You should have a wheel alignment at least once a year, in conjunction with a tyre rotation. You should also have a wheel alignment completed whenever you are fitting new tyres.
There are many associated benefits to a wheel alignment, which include:
A tyre rotation aims to achieve even tyre wear, which can greatly improve the longevity of your tyres. It is the moving, or rotating, of tyres to trade places on your vehicle in a systematic way. Vehicle manufacturers typically recommend that you rotate your tyres at least every 10,000 kms, or every 6 months - whichever comes first.
Adhering to the recommended tyre rotation schedule will help to preserve tyre wear, enhance balance, handling and traction.
Poor tread depth greatly reduces your ability to effectively brake and corner. It can also compromise the overall safety of your vehicle.
Continental acknowledges that 1.6mm is the most widely accepted minimum tread depth standard after which time, your tyres require replacement. You can easily assess the current tread depth of your tyres as all tyres have a tread wear indicator in their tread. You can monitor the tread wear indicators to see when they become level with the tyre tread. When this occurs, it is time to buy new tyres.
You can also assess the tread wear of your tyres using a tyre tread depth gauge. You can purchase one from a car part store. When using this method, it is important to measure the tread of each tyre at least 3 times, on the outer and inner sides as well as in the middle. Alternatively, you can use a 20c coin to measure tread depth by placing it into the tread of your tyre. If the tread doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus, this indicates that there is less than 3mm of tread.
Continental produces an extensive range of quality tyres to suit a range of vehicles, including luxury SUVs, passenger cars and performance vehicles. When you choose a Continental tyre, you are choosing a safe and reliable tyre that delivers on driver and passenger comfort. Making the time to correctly maintain your Continental tyres will ensure that you enjoy all of the benefits these tyres have to offer.