10 Things to always keep in mind regarding your car’s tires

This is kind of important
by TopGear.com.ph | Apr 27, 2019
PHOTO: Drei Laurel

Grab a pen and open a notebook, because this is kind of important.

If you own a car, you know its tires are a pretty big deal. It’s what’s keeping you and your ride firmly planted on the asphalt, whether you’re turning, grinding to a sudden stop, or speeding down the expressway in a hurry. If that rubber slips, slides or bursts, you’re in real trouble.

With that in mind, here’s pretty much everything you need to know about your tires courtesy of our writes. Embed these into your brain, guys.

1) Are you wearing out your car’s tires?

“No one wants to spend when they don’t have to. Once you pony up the right amount of cash for quality tires, you should then do everything in your power to make sure they last. More than not getting your money’s worth, early or uneven tire wear poses serious safety risks.

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“To make sure your car’s tires stay in tip-top shape, avoid the following pitfalls.”

2) How to deal high-speed tire blowouts

“A slowly leaking tire won’t noticeably feel different at first, but given enough time, it will become so soft that it will deform to the point of shredding its carcass and possibly going exploding. For the daily commuter who spends just an hour or two on the road in gridlock, this is a very rare possibility. But for the road tripper clocking in hundreds of kilometers at highway speed, this can be life-threatening.”

3) The basics of wheel alignment

“Although there are more complex variables involved in truly dialing in your alignment settings, we’re going to keep it simple by discussing just the three properties you need to know when taking your car in for an alignment service. Let’s employ the help of our friendly neighborhood dictionary to help us wrap our heads around these terms: caster, camber, and toe. Take it away, Merriam-Webster!”

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4) What do I do if I get a flat tire?

“It can even happen while you’re driving. If it’s the front tire that’s gone flat, you’ll feel it in the steering wheel, which will become much harder to turn and may even appear off-center. And whether it’s a front or rear tire that’s gone flat, there will be a sudden degradation in ride quality. If you feel this happening, slow down, pull over to the side of the road, and inspect your tires.

“After the inspection confirms that you do have a flat tire and you have no experience being in a situation like this before, here are your options.”

5) Yes, you need a tire pressure gauge

“In this day and age, it may not make sense to still keep a tire pressure gauge. Any decent gasoline station already has one built into the air pump. A good gas station will have one that is properly calibrated. However, keeping a quality gauge handy is better than not having one at all. Here are the reasons why.”

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6) How to avoid damaging your mags

“Thankfully, there are more experienced motorists out there willing to lend a helping hand and give some advice. Former race car driver and current Mazda Philippines marketing man Mikko David shares some tips below on how to avoid ‘bengkong’ in claustrophobic driving areas.

“While he knows his way around a track more than most drivers do, that’s not the entire reason we reached out to him: His office’s parking garage is tight as hell, and is notoriously challenging for anyone who has been there. Trust us, he knows what he’s talking about.”

7) Taking care of your spare tire

“Taking care of the four rubber things that keep your car on the ground is important. But it’s just as vital you look after the spare tire that’s in place in case one of those four goes flat. Here’s a list of things you should always keep in mind about your spare tire, compiled from tips our writers have published in the past.”

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8) Basic tire rotation patterns

“Taking care of the four rubber things that keep your car on the ground is important. But it’s just as vital you look after the spare tire that’s in place in case one of those four goes flat. Here’s a list of things you should always keep in mind about your spare tire, compiled from tips our writers have published in the past.”

9) How to check a tire’s tread depth

“Insert the coin into the groove, with Jose Rizal’s head facing upright. If your tire’s tread is still in good conditon, the year at the bottom (below Rizal’s head) should at least partially be covered when inserted. If it falls below that, then it’s time to invest in some new rubber. Be sure to do this test across the length of the tire. In the UK, it’s legally required that the tread should be at least 1.6mm deep across 75% of the tire.”

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10) How to keep your tires looking fresh

“Your tires take more of a beating than you think. The roads you drive on a daily basis aren’t exactly friendly to your car’s rubber, thanks to myriad road imperfections such as debris from roadside construction and vehicular accidents. Fighting off the effects of the elements such as sun damage can take its toll as well.”

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PHOTO: Drei Laurel
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