If you’ve been a driver for quite some time now, then you’ll have to know how important your tires are.
They’re your vehicle’s most valuable safety component, which is why many drivers would very much like to use their sets for as long as they could last.
However, many factors can affect your tire’s mileage, and it’s your responsibility as a driver to understand each so you can maintain your set of tires.
Understanding how the things you do as a driver affect your tire mileage has its benefits. Not only will you prolong the life of your tire, but you also get to save on possible maintenance and repair expenses as well.
That makes your car more useful because you’ll be able to drive more instead of having it stuck at the auto repair.
Learn more about what things about your tire usage and your driving impact the life of your tires so you can have a better understanding of how to take care of them.
This article discusses the important factors that influence tire mileage and how much of an effect it has on your tires.
Factors with low to medium-level effect
We’ll start with the factors that have low to moderate impact on your tires — their width and the case of overinflation.
Wider tires have a bigger contact patch, which is the one property of tires that touch the road all the time. This translates into lower ground pressure, which reduces tire wear.
However, handling behavior is also enhanced, so if you drive your car aggressively, there’ll be some impact on its mileage.
It’d be better if you adjust your driving, including when you turn corners, and avoiding rapid acceleration and deceleration so you can get higher mileage from your tires.
Note that the width of your tires also affects their fit to your car, and if your tires don’t fit, you have to replace them and find ones that do from the nearest tire shops.
If the inflation pressure is too high for your car’s load, the ground pressure will increase around the center of your tires’ contact patches and will wear it out faster.
As good practice, always follow the recommendations of your car’s manufacturer when inflating your tires according to the load your vehicle is carrying.
Factors with medium-level effect
These mid-level factors are more diverse but can be addressed by preventative maintenance.
Tire wear is higher on the driven axle of your car than on the free-rolling axle. It’s because the steering forces increase the wear to the front tires exerted on the front axle for front-wheel drive vehicles, while rear-wheel drives have a more balanced relationship between tires on the front and rear axles.
The best way to extend the life of your tires is to reduce the wear it accumulates by tire rotation.
Having your tires rotated at regular intervals throughout the year is an effective way of lessening the impact they absorb on a regular basis. A good time to schedule tire rotation is during the switch from summer to winter tires.
Wheel alignment can be up there with overinflation in terms of points of concern for tire mileage.
Your vehicle’s wheel alignment can be obstructed due to things like excessive steering or suspension wear or a small accident such as driving against a pavement.
If you notice that your car pulls towards the left or right when you’re driving in a straight line, that means your wheels are misaligned.
You can get your wheels back to proper alignment by having your vehicle’s steering and suspension components adjusted.
Aside from having decreased tire wear, you also get the benefits of faultless driving and stability at higher speeds.
The chemical and physical properties of summer and winter tires are optimized for specific operating temperatures.
Summer tires will wear out quicker at temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter tires at temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
The point here is to fit tires that are appropriate for the season to maintain the safety characteristics of your car throughout the year.
If you drive your vehicle normally, this factor will only have minor effects on your tires. But if you drive roughly, the surface of the roads you’re driving on can significantly reduce the service life of your tires.
Avoid poorly maintained roads if you can, and don’t go off-road too often without the appropriate set of tires.
If rough-surfaced roads are a regular part of your journeys, then consider fitting dedicated all-terrain tires instead.
Factors with high-level effect
Finally, here are the factors that have a significant impact on the lifespan of your tires.
Strong acceleration and braking, plus fast cornering speeds, will increase the wear on your tires quickly. Therefore a more relaxed and a bit slower driving style can do your tires some good.
Tire manufacturers mark tires with a speed level index which specifies the speed level tires should be used corresponding to the maximum speed. You should note your tires’ index to know how fast you should go while using them.
Pressure and load
If the inflation pressure of your tires is too low for your vehicle’s load, a slip can occur in the contact patch between the tire shoulder and the center, which leads to higher wear and tear concentrated on the tread edges.
It’s the same if the tire pressure is too high for the load your car carries, which causes the wear concentration to the center of the tire’s tread.
Try to keep the weight off of your car and adjust your tire pressure between normal and full load as required. Unequal load distribution wears tires faster, which leads to premature removal and replacement.
Just like any device or product, there are conflicts in the development of tires which means, one property is strengthened at the expense of another.
One of these tire properties is the tread compound. Thus, it’ll help if you research the strength of the tire compound design when buying new tires, so you won’t be surprised when you find out that certain designs or brands wear sooner than others.
Now I know that this can be a lot to take in, but in summary, the mileage of your tires depends on how you drive, how much load you put in your vehicle, and if you’re properly maintaining and choosing the tires that you use.
So focus on regularly maintaining your tires and following the proper recommendations from the manufacturer and experts, and you can get more tire mileage than you ever thought possible.
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Rosette has a knack for anything DIY, but not only that, she also knows a lot about manly chores and stuff as she spent her younger years immersed in books about hardware tools, equipment, and tires.