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 In order to get more life from the tyres following parameters has to be checked on regular basis

  • Inflation pressure
  • Tyre Balancing and alignment
  • Tyre Rotation
  • Physical inspection
  • Repairs

For operating safety, reliability and economy of the commercial vehicles and cars, the right tyre maintenance plays a vital role.

Inflation Pressure :

The single most important thing everyone has to do for maintaining the good tyre life is to maintain the proper tyre pressure. Within the span of one month the tyre loses 10 pound of air pressure. Hence it is very important to check and correct the tyre pressure on regular basis and to make sure the tyres are neither under nor over inflated.

Under inflation is the worst enemy of the tyres. This leads to increased inner friction of the tyre and hence generates excessive heat which reduces durability. Also it causes excessive tread wear on the outer edges of the tyre. Ultimately it increases rolling resistance of the tyre and reduces fuel economy.

Over inflation also equally bad for the tyres. Over inflation causes the centre of the tread to bear majority of the vehicle weight and which causes uneven tread wear at the centre of the tyre and drastically reduces the life of the tyres. The over inflation reduces the effective contact between tyre and road surface which leads to safety concern.

In the case of purchase of new tyre get the tyre inflation details from the tyre dealer and check the tyre pressure at least once in a month.

Tyre Balancing And Alignment:

Proper tyre balancing and alignment is important for life of the tyre and safety to the driver and the performance of the vehicle as well.

Unbalanced tyre causes uneven wear and due to excessive vibration causes fatigue to the driver. Unbalanced tyre also causes unnecessary wear on vehicle suspension which will drastically increases the maintenance cost. Tyre should be balanced when they are mounted in the wheels for the first time or when they are mounted after the repair.

In most of the commercial vehicles the Camber angle is kept at 2 Degrees. Also it depends on the rated pay load of the vehicle.

The symptom of the unbalanced tyre is excessive vibration and poor steer ability of the vehicle.  A well balanced and aligned vehicle will have sound suspension and steering components and the tyre and wheel assemblies are running straight. Improper alignment causes uneven tread wear and hard steer ability.

Tyre Rotation:

Regular Tyre rotations being done in the vehicle to achieve uniform tread wear. This is necessary because the weight of the vehicle is not uniformly distributed among the tyres.

The commonly used tyre rotation is as shown in the sketch above. The tyres from the rear axles are moved to the front axles and crossed to opposite sides of the vehicle. The tyres from the front axles are moved to rear of the same side. This is called as “X” pattern.

But in the case of Tyres with “directional design”, the rotation is carried out from front to back and back to front. In this case the tyres remains on the same side.

Tyre rotation normally being done at every 10000 KM and for four wheel drive it should be done at every 4000 KM. After every tyre rotation it is advisable to check the inflation pressure as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Physical Inspection:

  • Remove small stones any object that must have entered in between tyre tread.
  • Check for any sharp edges that might have punctured your tyres.
  • Check the wear pattern of the tyre tread and take necessary measures to sort out. Excessive shoulder wear and the wear on the centre of the tread mean improper inflation pressure.
  • Check for any damages on the side walls. Side wall punctures and tread punctures of less than ¼ inch can be repaired with specialist tyre technician.

Repairs:

If the Tyre losses air in regular intervals, it is necessary to remove the tyre from the wheel for complete internal inspection to decide on whether to repair the same or go for complete replacement. Most of the puncture up to ¼ inch can be repaired by the tyre specialist as long as the damage is confined to the tread. It is advisable not to repair tyres where the tread puncher is more than ¼ inch and the tyres which are worn below 1/16 inch of tread depth.

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Comments

  1. Tarik Arora says:

    Gr8 article….

    The user handling is one such grey area as well- Sudden Braking, Sudden acceleration (not applicable to vehicles with traction control, so for Indians it is applicable to almost 100% vehicles:-)) are like “Yamraj’s” as far as tyre life is concerned. Keeping a check on our driving habits through optimum use of ABC pedals can surely enhance the tyre life by a few percent.

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