All posts tagged tires

7 Tire Hacks You Need to Know Before Going on a Road Trip

The road can be a cruel mistress. Not only do you have to exercise caution and vigilant driving in order to avoid causing mishaps, but you also need to pay attention to other participants and their conduct while at the same time reassuring yourself that your vehicle is in top condition, ready and able to traverse any distance.

Whether you are planning a road trip to the outback, or you’re heading to another city by car, you need to optimise your vehicle, run diagnostics and take it to your mechanic for a final check-up before it can truly be tarmac-ready. Here are seven essential tire hacks that might just end up saving your life.

Assess tire pressure

You might feel encouraged to pump as much air into your tires as possible, but that would be a rookie mistake that could spiral your vehicle out of control as soon as you hit a bump on the road. However, this doesn’t mean you should keep your tires underinflated either, as that might produce the same results.

The key to maintaining tire longevity is finding the pressure balance that will allow you to drive safely. Use a tire pressure gauge at your local gas station to determine the pressure levels, and pump the air accordingly.

Mind your driving style

More often than not, people don’t correlate their driving style with the quality and longevity of their tires. However, the way you drive has a major impact on the health of your tires, and the first thing you need to do is master the art of shifting. Shifting plays a key role in tire preservation, and rather than flooring the gas pedal in order to get the car moving, you want to alleviate any unnecessary pressure from the tires by gradually operating the acceleration process.

Wheel alignment and balance

Due to the constant wear and tear on the road, the entire chassis can become misaligned, thus causing the tires to become damaged and in need of replacement because of the uneven load. While you do want to avoid hitting potholes, bumps and sleeping policemen at high speeds, troubles with wheel alignment and tire positioning become inevitable over time.

That is why it is crucial to research wheel and tire packages so you can replace your worn-out tires, but the research also helps you make sure that your mechanic has positioned and aligned your new parts perfectly in order for your car to be safe and in good shape.

Rotate tire position

Replacing tires can be a pricey endeavour, but luckily, you will rarely have to replace all four tires at once. This gives you an excellent opportunity to rotate your rear tires to the front of the car, as you are most likely to change your front tires first, especially on a front-wheel drive vehicle. By rotating your tires, you will make substantial savings on tire replacement in the future.

Inspect tread grooves

Before heading out on a prolonged road trip, you need to check the tread grooves of your tires for any foreign objects and inspect the area thoroughly in case of any damage. Sometimes objects such as rocks, metal and other materials found on the road can get caught inside the tire grooves and produce microscopic damage that will start spreading as soon as you hit the road, so make sure you avoid that risk and clean your tires thoroughly.

Adhere to maximum vehicle weight

Maximum vehicle weight refers to the maximum weight at which a vehicle is able to operate properly without risking damage or endangering the passengers. You should be able to find the maximum vehicle weight clearly stated in the owner’s manual.

Excessive loads will put unnecessary pressure on the tires and cause substantial heat accumulation, which leads to the risk of damage and rupture.

Learn how to change a tire

Keeping a spare tire in your trunk is a must, and having the necessary skill set to change a tire on your own is a modern-day necessity that could one day save your time. If you’re on the road and having issues with your car, it would be the best to consult mobile mechanic for quick and effective help.

Ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride starts with the quality and state of your mechanical parts, so make sure you adhere to these seven essential tire hacks and you will be one step closer to the road trip of a lifetime.

Peter is a car lovin’ writer at Blades Magazine. Beside writing he worked as a journalist for many publications in UK and AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.

Why Choosing Goodyear Tires for Your Car

Goodyear tires have managed to retain its popularity and reputation due to the quality of the tires manufactured by them. There are no compromises made on the quality, and run for a long period of time. You are saved from constant problems related to tires. This leads to few visits to your mechanic, which in turn, means fewer expenses.

Goodyear tires can be used for all types of passenger cars. You can say this is the only option when talking about tires. Let us go through few of the benefits offered by Goodyear tires and then we can help you in choosing the right one for your car.

  • The ‘right’ tire can help the vehicle in the maintaining of traction.
  • You can brake quickly.
  • The drive tends to be smooth.
  • The Goodyear tires ensure the safety in a vehicle.
  • Your vehicle has enough and more power even in undesirable weather conditions.
  • The gas mileage offered is better with the right Goodyear tires.

Different Goodyear Tires:

Goodyear offers a choice between 7 types of automobile tires. Choosing the right one means considering the surface for driving and also the weather conditions.

  1. All weather tires are for those who experience all types of weather conditions. These tires are apt for the wet monsoons, hot and dry summers and also during snowfall.
  2. The ROF Goodyear tires (Run on Flat) are for the vehicle owners where the servicing of the roads is almost negligible. These tires can run at 50 miles per hour for over 50 miles. These tires are ideal for a tough terrain saving the drivers from hassles of changing the tires on a frequent basis.
  3. Opt for the fuel-efficient Goodyear tires if you tend to drive a lot on highway in rainy or dry weather conditions. These are specifically designed with great density of rubber and less of tread resistance.
  4. All Terrain tires from Goodyear are for those who tend to go off road occasionally. These are quieter but can offer the required traction on muddy or dusty surfaces. The longevity of these tires is ensured due to the Kevlar used.
  5. Winter Tires can be safely used for SUV’s crossover vehicles, cars, transport vehicles and also light trucks. These tend to offer traction on freezing rain, ice and other development in cold weather conditions.
  6. Considered as summer tires, this line of tires offered by Goodyear can actually be used in all types of weather conditions. You can count on the durability of these tires due to the ease of handling and traction offered.
  7. For the drivers who are aggressive, Goodyear offers you the option of the Sport Performance tires. These tend to be helpful in tractions, maneuvering and handling. Using the carbon fibre, Goodyear has ensured the reinforcement of the sidewalls. This is a perfect option for the SUV.

How to Choose Goodyear Tires:

Before you decide on a specific Goodyear tire it is important to understand and know the Tire grades manufactured by Goodyear. You have a choose between the performance and the standard tires. It is advisable to opt for the performance tires if you are looking for mileage of longer tread-mill and for better traction. These can produce a higher rate for speed. Opt for the standard grade tires if you are looking for speed ratings on the lower side, basic abilities for traction and lower guarantees for tread-wear mileage. These works out to be more affordable.

Go through the different tires offered by Goodyear before you decide on a specific one. This can be done by conducting a research online or asking the dealer for information on the different tires. 

Roadside Fixes to Get You Back on Your Way

It’s inevitable. Cars break down. And when they do, it’s usually at the worst possible moment. While many breakdowns will require a tow truck and can only be repaired at a qualified shop, some can be remedied with a small repair on the roadside if you are equipped to do so.

Flat-Fixin

First, familiarize yourself with your vehicle before it breaks down. Know where the spare is, how to get the jack and tire iron out and how to use them. If you have wheel locks, know where the wheel lock key is. Changing a flat tire is one of the most fundamental repairs that one can do to get back rolling. Even if your vehicle has large oversized tires, replacing a flat tire with a spare can be done safely if precautions are taken. Make sure your vehicle is parked on flat level ground before getting the jack under it. When jacking the vehicle up, don’t lift it higher than you need to. You will have to lift it high enough to get the flat tire out, and the full spare under it. Going higher than that could make the vehicle shift and unstable. Make sure to tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern in order to get a consistent tightness on the wheel assembly.

Breaking Murphy’s Law

Some basic hand tools in a repair kit kept in the trunk of your vehicle may get you back on the road quickly so you can get your vehicle serviced on your schedule, not at the mercy of Murphy’s Law. Even quick roadside repairs are inevitably dirty, so it’s a good idea to have some gloves or other protective coverings on hand in the event your vehicle would break down.

Toolin’ Around

In your hand tools, a Leatherman or multi-tool is a great tool to have. Most of them have needle hose pliers, at least one knife blade, screwdrivers and other useful tools to get you back on the road. Some breakdowns are caused by something as simple as a loose connection, clamp or fitting. By identifying the problem and using some hand tools to tighten the offending part, you could remedy the problem yourself with the spin of one tool.

Call a Tow Truck

Sometimes it’s best to recognize when you are in over your head and call a tow company. Some services will bring you fuel or do minor fixes, and others will come to your location nearly regardless of conditions outside. For getting your 4×4 out of that gutter, consider a company like Mike’s Auto and Towing that specializes in difficult recoveries.

Release Your Inner MacGyver

For those old enough to remember MacGyver, he had a fix for everything—and most of it involved duct tape. There’s a good reason for that. It’s durable, flexible, and under the right conditions, can make a near water-tight seal. A blown radiator hose once cleaned up a bit and allowed to cool can be fixed temporarily with a couple rounds of duct tape just to get you to a shop for a permanent repair. If the hose is broken close to the clamp, it may be possible to remove the clamp, cut off the damaged portion and put the hose back on with the clamp moved further up the hose. This only works if there hose has enough length. Again, this is a temporary fix.

 

Sometimes, the repair is just too much to do on the side of the road. Times like these, sometimes the best tool to have in your toolbox is a cell phone and the number to a reputable towing service.

Warm Weather Tire Care Basics, Helping Your Tires Last

Americans spend millions of dollars each year preparing their cars for winter, namely purchasing heavy-duty snow tires. Unfortunately, many of these same well-meaning vehicle owners don’t realize the havoc wreaked on their all-weather or passenger tires during the hotter periods of the year. It’s just as important to keep a watchful eye on your tire’s appearance and performance during the summer months, especially as the temperatures rise and you plan that yearly road trip. Here are a few tips, tricks and suggestions to help ensure your tires remain functional until the leaves change and the snow begins to fall:

Remove those Snow Tires Immediately

In theory, you could leave your snow tires on all-year round, but don’t be surprised when all they’re good for after your summer road trip is a backyard tire swing. Snow tires are constructed from softer materials than your regular or all-season models, meaning they’ll wear out more quickly. This fact will become more evident as you notice the visible signs of wear after traveling along sun-scorched, asphalt highways for three months. Do your pocket book a favor and save your snow tires for the winter.

Take a Cue from the 16th President

A tire’s tread degrades more quickly when exposed to the heat, making for an unsafe situation. Instead of wasting your time and money by having the tread examined by a professional, use a tool found at the bottom of your purse or between the couch cushions: a Lincoln penny. Place a penny, Lincoln’s head down, into several of the tire’s tread grooves. If any part of Lincoln’s head is covered, you’re tires are street legal. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to have the tire replaced.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Before you begin to perform this ritual, stop and realize that chances are you’re performing this deceptively simple task incorrectly. First off, your tire’s recommended inflation pressure is found inside the owner’s manual, not printed on the tire’s side. Also, it’s best to check the pressure with a gauge first thing in the morning when the tires are cold, which allows you achieve a more accurate reading. Keeping your tires properly inflated not only increases fuel efficiency, it can actually prevent catastrophic tire failure. If you don’t own a proper tire gauge, check out the specials available for these, and all of your others car needs, at www.partsgeek.com.

Don’t Forget the Spare

A properly maintained spare tire can mean the difference between getting you to a nearby town or service center, and remaining stranded on the side of a hot, busy highway for several hours. Before heading out on the yearly summer road trip, pull out the spare and perform a visual inspection. If the tread is acceptable, and there are no visible signs of wear or damage, finish your quick once-over by checking the spare’s tire pressure.

Tire Rotation

Last, and by my no means least, it’s crucial to have your tires rotated at a service center at least every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, or according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. If you’re handy, and have the proper tools, don’t hesitate to rotate the tires yourself, but realize that there’s more to this procedures than simply switching your back tires with the front. Tires are manufactured with either directional or non-directional tread. If your tire’s tread follows a one-directional pattern, you have directional tires. Rotate your directional tires by switching the front driver’s side tire with the back, and the passenger front with the back. If you have non-directional tires, rotate the left rear and right front and the right rear with the left front. This may seem confusing, but you’ll thank yourself when you save a few bucks, and your tires last for several miles longer.

Loading Up for a Summer Road Trip

One universal mistake made by summer road travelers is over packing, which is not only a gigantic waste of time, but all of this unnecessary weight is also detrimental to your tires. To ensure your tires remain viable from point A to point B, pack sparingly and leave room for all the souvenirs you’ll accumulate along your travels.

If you notice certain spots on your tires are wearing faster than others, it’s crucial to take your vehicle to a mechanic immediately, or at least before you hit the road. These uneven wear patterns are a signal of larger problems, including improper alignment or even worn shock absorbers.

About the Author:
Charles Corbin is an automotive mechanics instructor and retired mechanic. In his free time he works on his classic cars and is currently writing a book on the Chevelle.