Tires maintenance is a crucial element of car upkeep and should under no circumstances be overlooked. As well as increasing general user safety, effectively maintained tires can also increase a car’s road efficiency, cutting fuel costs.
Unmaintained tires are susceptible to blowing out, incurring a serious safety hazard. Prevention is cheaper than replacement and there is ample help to replace tires cheaply.
The average driver knows little about tire maintenance and, for many, it rarely crosses their mind. Any responsible road user should know how to maintain tires to prevent blowouts and other hazards whilst driving.
Below some of the most common causes of tire blowouts are listed as well as cheap and efficient preventative measures.
What Causes a Tire to Blowout?
Tire blowouts are such a potential hazard because they can occur from multiple sources. However, such issues can be easily prevented with prior maintenance and caution.
Whilst many causes of tire blowouts are obvious, others may slip under the radar and be overlooked without prior knowledge.
- Uneven Pressure Levels
By design, tires are developed to contain specified amounts of air, and deviations from this can be extremely impactful. Tire blowouts can be caused by both over and underinflation.
Underinflation causes excessive amounts of friction that deteriorates the tire, significantly increasing wear with distance traveled. On the other hand, overinflation can increase miles per gallon, overinflated tires also risk being less puncture resistant.
- Misaligned wheels.
The fact that many cars operate under a two-wheel drive system means front tires are often under the most stress. The resulting wear is amplified when tires are misaligned as the wheels aren’t rotating along the same axis.
Every reputable car dealership offers alignment services and doing so should be a natural component of any check-up.
- Improper Tire Rotation
The aforementioned strain placed on the front wheels under a two-drive system can be eased with proper tire rotation. Ignoring tire rotation is not only a safety hazard but also requires tires to be replaced more frequently, adding to costs.
Potholes and poorly maintained roads are every driver’s worst enemy. As well as damaging tires, they can degrade suspension and have a seriously detrimental effect on car performance.
Try to be mindful of a road’s condition, driving slowly and cautiously when a road appears to be neglected.
Although many drivers trust their tires, as with everything, age eventually catches up with them. Tires aren’t designed to be infinite and road wear is amplified by the fact that UV rays also degenerate wheels.
The general lifespan of tires is around 60,000 miles; however, better quality models can last up to 100,000. Although you might feel as though your tires are managing fine, they all need to be replaced eventually.
One of the most important steps to increase safety and reduce blowouts is simply attentiveness. Tires naturally lose pressure, which can be exacerbated by weather conditions, therefore, monthly pressure checks are vital to prevent blowouts.
General inspections are equally important, especially before extensive journeys. A thorough observation means a very close examination of the tire for any abnormalities including cracks, bulges, and punctures.
Tire rotation is another measure to ensure tire longevity. Exchange the respective places of your tires to ensure all tread wear is evenly maintained and distributed.
Every car comes with pamphlets detailing the maximum weight the car can carry. Excessive weight puts added pressure onto tires which can cause them to fail.
The cost of tire replacement deters many car owners from getting new ones. However, sooner rather than later ensures safety by drastically reducing the risk of blowouts.
Try to ensure that all tires are the same and avoid mismatching. Although many will overlook this, mismatched tires can be seriously detrimental, increasing wear and the likelihood of punctures.
Tire Maintenance Is a Key Component of Road Safety
Driving can be a stressful experience and, at times, dangerous. Tire maintenance is an often-overlooked aspect of road safety, and proper tire care to prevent blowouts is every driver’s responsibility.