Michelin Shares Tyre Tips to Keep Head Cool During Hot Summer

The scorching summer heat often compels us to pay extra attention to our health. However we often tend to forget that our cars, especially our tyres, need to be taken care of too. Considering the challenging summer climate in the region, high temperatures can become a serious problem for tyres, especially if they are not properly maintained.

Pierre Granzotto, General Manager for Passenger Cars and Vice President for Michelin Africa, India & the Middle East (AIM) shares some key tips on how to maintain your tyres during the hot summer months:

1. Check all tyres regularly
All tyres - including the spare - should be checked regularly. One should look for any visible signs of wear or damage, such as deep cracks, exposed cables, cuts or uneven wear of the tyres.

The depth of the tyre tread indicates the remaining service life. To determine the tread depth, a tread depth gauge can be purchased and used. Whereas a new tyre usually has a depth of 8mm, the minimum legal requirement for a tread in motor cars is 1.6 mm, and motorists are recommended to change a tyre when its tread is 3 mm.

2. Check the tyre pressure - once a month
Tyre pressure is the life-blood of any tyre. Check the pressure of your tyres at least once a month. The air pressure in the tyre drops naturally at the rate of up to two pounds of air every month. However, high temperatures can increase the drop.

Apart from the fact that they wear more quickly, poorly inflated tyres generate more heat due to excessive sidewall flexing, affecting the overall performance of the vehicle, including braking distance, handling, safety and fuel consumption.

It is important to always check the pressure when the tyres are cold, meaning you have not driven the car for at least 2 hours or for not more than 3 km.

3. Check the tyre balance - when you feel a vibration
Ensure that your tyres are properly balanced. If you feel vibration through the steering wheel or through the vehicle body, your tyres could be balanced incorrectly. Balancing helps prevent premature wear of your tyres and eliminates vibration. It also protects the suspension, steering system and bearings of your vehicle.

4. Check the wheel alignment - when your vehicle tends to drift
Ensure that your wheels are properly aligned. If your tyre has come into contact with a solid object, such as a kerb or pothole, or you have noticed uneven wear on your tyres, your suspension can be disrupted making your wheels sit at improper angles.

During summer, tyre discrepancies such as these must be monitored extra carefully. Uneven tyre alignment can affect the handling of the vehicle and will cause the tyres to wear unevenly and prematurely, which in turn may lead to a tyre burst.

There are several indicators of a misalignment; your car seems to be drifting to one side even when you think you’re driving straight; your steering wheel vibrates; or you are driving straight but your steering wheel is not centred.

Tyre alignment should be checked and corrected by a professional.

 5. Other tips to avoid tyre wear
With the tyre being the only contact point between the vehicle and the road, one cannot do enough to ensure the best quality of a tyre. These maintenance procedures must be done all year round, but during the summer motorists are recommended to be extra cautious.

To end, never overload your vehicle. Overloading increases tyre wear and fuel consumption, adversely affects vehicle handling and stability, and increases the braking distance. And keep an eye on the suspension. Old or worn shock absorbers can cause faster tyre wear and impact vehicle handling.

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