When it comes to your car’s maintenance, keeping your wheels in good shape is a vital aspect. It is very dangerous and illegal to drive around using non-roadworthy wheels. There are several factors to consider in regards to wheels maintenance. This article covers seven vital car wheels maintenance tips to follow, in order to drive safely.
Car wheels move evenly from one position to another often in order to ensure balanced wear and tear. The front wheels of the car carry the most weight and therefore they tend to wear out twice as fast as the front wheels. Therefore rotating them can extend their life. Recommendations are different depending on manufacturers tips, however, most recommend tyres should be rotated every 8,000-10,000 kilometres. There are different types of car wheels rotations, the common ones include cross rotation, straight rotation, 5 wheel rotation, and 4 wheel drive.
2. Balancing and alignment.
Your car wheels might possibly be unbalanced if you experience irritating vibrations and uneven tread wear. When the wheels are properly balanced it reduces wear and hence they last much longer. You should check on the wheels balancing after repairing a puncture or after you have installed new ones. There are different alignment settings for different cars. You should ensure your wheels are aligned to the specified setting, to prevent uneven handling and tread wear.
Tread and wear will also cost you a lot as it increases fuel consumption. Ensure you check the alignment of your car’s wheels if you experience unusual steering problems.
3. Tread depth.
Your car’s proper traction on the road is maintained by the wheel tread, as you check on your wheels pressure you should also check on the tread. When the tread is not in good shape, it can cause skidding and slide in wet environments. You can do a tread depth check using a coin. Insert the coin with the head of the national emblem in the director the wheel. If you clearly see the head after insertion then it means your tread is very low.
Other ways to detect tread wear is if you notice indicators that look like thin strips of rubber. The wear bars typically appear on the wheel when the tread is worn out to 1.6 mm, this shows it’s time for a wheel replacement.
4. Replacing your wheels.
Always check your vehicle hand manual before replacing the wheels to see the replacement recommendations. A change in the size and type of wheels can significantly affect vehicle handling. If you use wheels that are different from the original ones you had, you should ensure that inflation pressure, load-carrying capacity, and proper clearance are picked. Most times it is recommended that new wheels be put on the back axles to ensure proper traction.
Losing traction on the back will make the car spin for sure. All four wheels should be the same size and type for proper handling and control unless the manufacturer suggests otherwise. Non-radials should be mounted in the back if they are used with two radials. You shouldn’t use mixed wheels for too long. Ensure you check on the recommendations by the manufacturer on mixing and matching.
5. Correct pressure inflation.
Your car will have better safety, mileage and performance with appropriate air pressure maintenance. Most wheels are damaged due to under-inflation. Under-inflation produces rolling friction, thus leading to mechanical problems and heating. It also leads to tread wearing which significantly shortens the wheels service span. Under-inflated wheels aren’t the only problem, over-inflated wheels can have adverse effects too.
They increase tread wear because the mid-part of the wheel remains in contact with the ground due to stiffness. Use a proper measuring gauge to frequently check your car’s wheel pressure, and the spare wheel too. You should check the pressure when the car has not been in use for some time. Check your manual to see the proper level of air pressure you should maintain. Proper pressure increases the durability of wheels.
6. Driving properly.
Always ensure you drive at optimum speeds. Driving at high speeds is dangerous as it leads to damage on your wheels, excessive build-up, and possible explosion of the wheels. When you apply brakes abruptly, is not good for the wheels as it leads to skidding and wearing out of the tread. You should drive at a constant speed and avoid abrupt brakes for the car wheels to last longer.
7. Load limit.
Poor handling of your car might result from overloading, due to the increased weight on the car’s wheels and other equipment. Ensure you check your car’s load limit to avoid exceeding it. The heavy load increases fuel consumption and car wheels damage.
Use these simple steps to ensure your car’s wheels safety. Also, store your wheels in a cold dry place, and prevent water from entering them.