3 Reasons Why Your Tires Can Fail
Current automobile tires are made to strict limits resulting in fewer manufacturing defects. Many tires fail because of driver error or a maintenance issue. While you can't avoid that nail in the road that you drive over just right, there are ways to prevent from finding yourself in the auto shop waiting on a tire repair.
Your tires are made to operate optimally with a precise amount of air in them. The air pressure, measured in pounds per square inch, indicates how much pressure is being exerted on the internal structures of the tire. When the steel, rubber, fabric and composite materials in your tire are under the right pressure, they can flex just enough to keep you safe when starting, stopping and cornering on various road surfaces.
When your tires are under-inflated, these materials can flex too much. This puts stress on the materials, wearing them out sooner. It also puts more surface area of the tire in contact with the road. This creates more friction and will heat your tires up. All of these can cause a tire to fail unexpectedly.
It's hard to spot an under-inflated tire until it is seriously low. Check your tires with a pressure gauge every few stops at the gas station. Or have a tire dealer that offers free air pressure checks do it for you.
Overloading Your Car
Just because you can load that old, broken refrigerator into the back of your SUV to take it to the recycling center doesn't mean that you should. Loading up your car puts excess pressure on the tires. Once stressed beyond their maximum weight limit, they can fail easier should you hit a pothole or other road hazard.
If you want to do the math, find the Gross Vehicular Weight Rating for your car on the door placard. Find the Maximum Load rating for your tires printed on the sidewall or in the literature you received with your tires. Each tire can carry that much, so multiply the Maximum Load for each tire by four and subtract the Gross Vehicular Weight Rating of your car. The result is the maximum weight of stuff that you can put in your car. This covers the driver and passengers, too, so include them when calculating what you can really carry.
Potholes and Curbs
The danger of hitting a pothole is not in puncturing the tire. It is because the tire's internal materials get pinched between the wheel and the road. This can cut or split the steel and composite layers in the tire, weakening them against a future blow. If the tire doesn't blow right there, the damaged materials may fail weeks or months later when you least want a tire failure to occur.
Curbs can take a toll on your sidewalls if you aren't the best at parallel parking. Hitting a curb and sliding the tire against it scrapes the sidewall down into the tire layers. Do this often enough and you can separate the layers, weakening them to another blow to the tire.
Knowing what your tires are capable of and how to prevent them from becoming stressed are the best ways to keep yourself from a tire repair bill. If your tires do need repairs, visit a local auto shop like Terpstra's Sales Service & Rentals.