We were wondering how many of you actually make the most of your tyres and achieve its optimum life. We spoke to car owners of varied demographics and found that while most people check for tyre pressure regularly, and take wheel alignment seriously, only a handful of them actually follow the sacred practice of rotating the tyres or even knew of the hack.
Nonetheless, we are going to talk about all three. (Do note how these are important to make your tyre last long, conversely, the wear-pattern of the tyres also helps you diagnose issues with your vehicle.)
So What is Tyre Rotation?
Tyre rotation is the practice of swapping the front and back tyres to even out the wear. It results in an even overall wear of the tread depth, and therefore longer tyre life.
And when should one rotate?
Rotation should be undertaken every 5,000 to 8,000 kilometres. Even if they’re showing no signs of wear.
Is there a certain rule to decide which car tyre goes where?
Most certainly there is. If you happen to use unidirectional tyres, then straight-rotation must be undertaken. Otherwise, the cross-pattern provides the best results and can be performed on any vehicle equipped with 4 non-unidirectional tyres.
Depending on the type of the vehicle, whether it is a front-wheel drive (FWD), rear-wheel drive (RWD) or a four-wheel drive (4WD); the position of the tyres change accordingly.
Okay. So how do I tell what is the kind of wheel-drive I have?
Most of the cars on the Indian road (approximately 75%) are front-wheel drives. There are a few 4WDs in the SUV segment like – Tata Safari Storme Sports, Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra Thar, Mahindra Bolero, Ford Endeavour, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, Skoda Yeti to name a few. And. If you happen to own a rear-wheel drive, chances are you would know all about it!
Yeah. And, tyre rotation is especially more crucial for front-wheel drive vehicles because they place braking, steering and driving forces on the front axle tyres. Rear axle tyres only receive braking forces resulting in a much faster wear rate for the front axle tyres. Therefore, tyre rotation for these vehicles becomes very important as the front tyres do tend to wear out fast.
Checking For Tyre Pressure
While you could be cautious not to be caught off guard with a flat tyre, or you may know low tyre pressure could lead to poor fuel economy, you should also note, incorrect inflation -under or over affects your tyre wear. Vice versa, the wear pattern of the tyres tell you if they have been wrongly inflated.
The weather outside has a big effect on your tyre pressure. Tyres lose 1 to 2 lbs. of air pressure for every 10° temperature drop. So, if you wanna make those tyres last long, check for tyre pressure regularly because you never know when it might get low.
We have told you misaligned wheels can result in serious issues and calls for proper attention. There is only one way to ensure the right balance of your car and that is by having your vehicle’s alignment checked. Now, we also want you to know it affects the wear pattern of your tyres. For example,
- If you have improper camber, one side of the tyre will wear unusually fast, known as one-sided wear.
- If you have a faulty toe-in, you will incur feather-edged wear, i.e. the blocks or ribs of the tread would wear in a feather-edged wear pattern.
That’s Not All.
Faulty suspension, rotating parts or brake parts, dynamic imbalance of tyre/rim assembly, excessively runout rim assembly; cause or a few parts of the circumference of the tread to wear faster than other parts or what we call as spot-wear; or parts of the tread to wear diagonally rather fast, referred to as diagonal wear. Bent axle beam may also result in the previously mentioned feather-edged wear.
Just so you know, tyre rotation alone can increase the life of your tyres by an entire year. That’s upto Rs. 20,000/- worth saving!