Safety is important in vehicle management. You can never place too much importance on having safe and dependable tires on your car. The following guide helps you understand just what is true and what is false of popular myths about using car tires safely:
1. Tire manufacture dates affect safety and performance - False!
According to tire experts Bridgestone, manufacture dates are NOT a good indicator of safety or performance. Rather storage methods are a better way to rate tires. Once tires have been warehoused following standard procedure and industry best practice, and providing the tires are undamaged, they are as good as newly manufactured ones. By the way, this guideline also affects new manufactures also. The Singapore Motor Tires Dealers Association agrees with this, concluding that proper storage ensures tires do not lose quality over time.
Tire manufacture dates can be misinterpreted
2. Ignore TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) if nothing seems wrong - False!
Your car’s tire pressure monitoring system is technology working to keep you safe without much input from you. TPMS has been a trusted tire safety innovative tech for years, and is reliable when used the right way. When you ignore the warning signals from your monitoring system, or as is customary with many drivers, delay in stopping the car, you are risking your safety and those of other travelers in the car with you. Whether or not you do see anything visibly wrong, stop and get an expert to check those tires.
3. You can safely leave your tire pressure to your car’s TPMS - False!
Your car’s tire pressure monitoring system, also called TPMS, is a last minute warning indicator, according to experts like AAA. TPMS only warns you when your tire pressures fall a good 25% below the car manufacturer’s stipulated pressure minimum. This level, however is inadequate to bear the vehicle’s maximum capacity. The way to go is to get a good tire pressure gauge and then you can also monitor your pressure by yourself, relying on TPMS for emergencies. Most cars will indicate the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure on the door jamb by the driver. It is also advised that a few psi above the recommended psi is totally fine, as tires can deflate by up to 1 psi every month.
4. You need wheel alignment only when you change your tires - False!
Many good folks are totally guilty about this. It is virtually a custom to only check your car’s wheel alignment each time you are having the vehicle fitted out with new tires. However, experts say this is wrong and potentially dangerous. Properly, you need to realign your wheel and tires as often as once each year, or after your car has travelled 10,000 kilometers. It is also advised that you have a wheel alignment done each time your tires are rotated.
Get better control with regular wheel alignments
5. Over-inflation will cause tires to explode - False!
According to tire manufacturers and experts, Bridgestone, pumping in too much puts your tires at no risk of exploding. Exploding tires are caused by other factors as well, such as impact with something hard. Watch out for deep potholes when you feel your cars are over-inflated, because that can do it for sure. Tire manufacturers advise that you do not go over the maximum pressure for any tire. You will find this figure usually on the sidewalls of each tire. It is when you exceed this maximum pressure that your tires are truly in danger of exploding. You must also note that excessive inflation can cause loss of safe contact with the road, and can also cause hydroplaning in some instances. Over inflation of your tires is also responsible for faster wear on tires.
6. Kicking or prodding tires are effective ways to gauge pressure - False!
You may sometimes detect softness in your tires by kicking at them, prodding with a thum, or sometimes even by looking at them. Nonetheless, any of these methods are only good for checking air pressure no more than in 20% of instances. To ensure accurate tire pressure readings, a good tire pressure gauge is necessary. You must remember that excessively high pressure can be as bad as a low pressure in some cases, especially when it is approaching the maximum pressure limits of the tire by manufacturer’s recommendations. It is not so easy to diagnose a dangerously high tire pressure using the methods above.
7. If you change only some tires, new ones should go behind - True!
Experts say you have more traction or control over the front end of your car than the back axle. Also, any loss of control or skidding at the back end will almost always result in an accident. Therefore, you need the newer threads of new tires working for your car safety in the rear. This is especially true in rainy or other wet road conditions.
Take care of your tires and they will take care for you
Tire safety is a subject that every car user needs to give constant and adequate attention to at all times. The above guidelines will help you know just what is valid, and what is just wind, in your daily quest for tire and car safety.