Just like our body needs extra care during the summer to stay cool, our cars and especially our tires need extra attention during the scorching summer months in Dubai. High temperatures can take a severe toll on the tires of your vehicle, especially if you are not very careful about proper tire maintenance.
Pierre Granzotto, General Manager for Passenger Cars and Vice President for Michelin Africa, India & the Middle East (AIM) has shared some tire tips that can help you stay safe and comfortable on the roads this summer:
Check all tires regularly
All tires – including the spare – should be checked regularly. Some of the warning signs that the tires need expert attention are visible signs of wear or damage, like deep cracks, exposed cables, cuts or uneven wear of the tires.
The depth of the tire tread points to its remaining service life. To determine the tread depth, a tread depth gauge can be purchased and used. A new tire usually has a depth of 8 mm, and the minimum legal requirement for a tread in motor cars is 1.6 mm. Generally, motorists are recommended to change a tire when its tread is 3 mm
Check the tire pressure – once a month
Tire pressure needs to be checked at least on a monthly basis. The air pressure in the tire drops naturally at the rate of up to two pounds of air every month. During summer, high temperatures can increase the drop. Lower pressure means that tires wear more quickly, and generate more heat due to excessive sidewall flexing, thus affecting the overall performance of the vehicle, including braking distance, handling, safety and fuel consumption.
Make it a point to always check the pressure when the tires are cold, meaning you have not driven the car for at least 2 hours or for not more than 3 km.
Check the tire balance – when you feel a vibration
Ensure that your tyres are properly balanced. If you feel vibration through the steering wheel or through the vehicle body, your tyres could be balanced incorrectly. Balancing helps prevent premature wear of your tyres and eliminates vibration. It also protects the suspension, steering system and bearings of your vehicle.
Check the wheel alignment – when your vehicle tends to drift
Make sure the wheels are properly aligned. When tires hit a solid object, like a kerb or pothole, or when there is uneven wear on the tyres, the suspension can be disrupted and this makes the wheels sit at improper angles.
During summer, such tire discrepancies need to be carefully monitored as uneven tyre alignment can affect the handling of the vehicle. Tires then wear unevenly and prematurely and this can lead to a blowout.
If your car tends to drift to one side even when you are steering straight, your steering wheel vibrates or your steering wheel is not centered when you are driving straight, then you need to take your vehicle in to a garage to get the wheels aligned as these are all signs of uneven tire wear
Tire alignment should be checked and corrected by a professional.
Other tips to avoid tire wear
Tires are the only contact point between the vehicle and the road, and hence you should always use tires of the best quality. While regular maintenance checks need to be carried out throughout the year, motorists need to take extra care during the summer.
Always make it a point to never overload your vehicle. Overloading leads to higher fuel consumption and greater tire wear. It adversely affects the vehicle’s stability and handling, and increases the braking distance. The suspension also needs regular checks as old or worn shock absorbers can lead to more strain on the tires and affect the handling of the vehicle.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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