At Blue Toro Mobile Mechanics I get a lot of questions about taking care of cars. The questions are of the type you’d expect. Best parts to use, when should I get the oil changed, is doing this a bad idea, and so on. Customers want to make their cars last longer and they want to save money.
While a lot of owners are very good at sticking to their logbook schedule, when it comes to upkeep they often overlook tyre wear and lose a lot of money through bad habits. For example a full set of four tyres for the family Rav4 could cost between $550 and $800 depending on what tyres are bought. The following tips will help prevent unneeded tyre wear and this will save you money over the life of your car.
#1. Check your tyre pressures. This is one of my favourite tips. I’ve mentioned it many times – low tyre pressure costs you money in petrol and wear and tear. However low tyre pressures that cause part of the tyre tread to be worn can also be unsafe and will need to be replaced early. You should be checking your tyre pressures at least once a month while filling up at the service station. You can also check tyre pressures visually. Look for unevenness, sinking, or one side of the car being higher then the other. These are definite indicators you should be adjusting your tyre pressures ASAP.
#2. Reduce bad driving habits. Flooring the accelerator from a complete stop and slamming on the breaks are bad habits that can end up being expensive if they cause undue tyre wear. Going easy on both cuts down on wear to your tyres. By doing this your tyres last longer saving you on pricey replacements. Also remember to watch where you drive. Unless your tyres are made for it stay off gravel roads. The tyre wear is noticeable and the rocks can cause holes. The same goes for construction sites where nails are common.
#3. Spend money to save money with a wheel alignment. Regular upkeep will increase the life of your tyres by preventing them from wearing down before they should. With tyres you want the tread wear to be even. One thing we do to help that at Blue Toro Mobile Mechanics is wheel alignments. When you get your wheels aligned your tyres will wear down evenly saving you money on early replacements. Without proper alignment tyres wear down unevenly and in strange patterns due to misalignment. This wear not only damages the tyres but it results in a nosier and less safe ride.
#4. Ask for a tyre rotation. With proper tyre rotations you can help make sure your tyres reach their rated mileage. Now with tyre rotation the key thing to remember is regularity. Tyres are going to wear down this is just a fact of ownership. However, you want this wear to be as even as possible. Without rotation you’re looking at replacing your tyres one at a time as they wear down at different times. Every car wears its tyres down differently. Front tyres and rear tyres may not wear down at the same rate. This depends on several things such as suspension, overall design, and the type of transmission such as front or rear wheel drive. Your tyres should be rotated every 5,000-8,000km’s. So ask your mechanic to rotate your tyres at your next service.
#5. Avoid road rubbish. Finally one area you shouldn’t forget is to avoid road debris. By being attentive and keeping your eyes on the road you can keep your tyres from being damaged and needing early replacement. Common things to avoid are things you’d expect such as bottles, wood, cans, and other rubbish. Never run over anything in the road because you have no idea if it’ll end up damaging your tyres. If you have to drive over debris be sure to check for tyre damage as soon as you can.
When it comes to tyre wear you can save a lot of money through diligence and regular upkeep. Ignoring tyre problems may not stop you from using your car but the frequent tyre replacements are annoying and costly. This can cost you thousands over the life of you car. It’s worth it to spend a little bit of time on paying attention to your tyres and a little bit of money on upkeep. The investment will save you money over the long haul. Remember if you need advice on tyre wear or needed repairs we’re here at Blue Toro Mobile Mechanics to help you.