The condition of passenger car tires is crucial when it comes to the safety of the vehicle. It is very important to ensure the tires are in good condition. Make sure they are well inflated, the treads are not too shallow, and the tires are not very old or worn out.
Failure to keep a close check on the tires may result in accidents that may lead to injuries and fatalities. Fleet managers and drivers must ensure the safety of their passengers, and therefore, it is their responsibility to make sure that tires are in good condition. Moreover, fleet managers should seek to know the behavior of their drivers and be assured of the safety of the car, although this may be a daunting task.
To make things easier, fleet management and leadership can use technology. This enables fleets managers and drivers to manage and monitor with ease records related to work. They also have access to real-time data about the vehicle, for example, the speed, which is relayed to a central monitoring point. These features will help with keeping the fleet, its drivers, and passengers safe.
Security Check Points of Passenger Car Tires
The following are some important tips regarding tires that drivers and fleet managers should keep in mind to ensure the safety of car passengers.
1. Know how to inspect tires
Before getting on the road, the driver should check all the tires of a passenger car. Some of the most crucial things to check are the tire inflation, the treads’ depth, and anything that may easily puncture the tires, such as nails.
In addition to the usual checks, you should do a thorough inspection of the tires at least once per month or before embarking on long journeys. The main things to look for include:
- Extreme or irregular tread wear, which are signs of inappropriate inflation or steering and suspension misalignment;
- Splits or swellings on the sidewalls or tread;
- Indications of puncture or any foreign object like a piece of stone that is embedded in the tire.
In case any of the issues above is detected, the vehicle should be taken for diagnosis as soon as possible. Punctures are generally repairable, but must not be too large. Puncture repairs are best done from the inside with the tire inspected wholly while it is off the rim. Sealing compounds and other methods used to respond to emergencies are just meant to get the vehicle to a safe place before the proper repair is carried out.
2. Know how to check the tire pressure
Although the majority of modern cars are fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), it is very important for a driver to know how to check the tire pressure. Drivers should also know where to find the original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) suggested tire pressure rating.
Most of the times, the tire is likely to be underinflated. Under-inflation is the number one cause of tire failure, leading to crashes attributed to tires. This was corroborated by studies done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The tire loses pressure gradually through the membranes, registering a drop of 1 psi per month. For every 8-degree loss in ambient temperature, 1 psi is lost.
Under-inflation directly affects vehicle handling and fuel usage and has a far-reaching impact on general safety and tire life. It also puts more pressure on the tire material through overheating and stretching. This will mess with the tire structure through various ways such as tread separation. It is therefore imperative to check the tire pressure at least once a month or before starting on a long drive (more than 250 miles).
3. Regular tire and car maintenance
You should take in car tires for maintenance checks and exercises on a regular basis, such as balancing and alignment exercises. Some of the maintenance activities include:
– Tire rotation after covering 6000 miles, or as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. This ensures tread wear is evenly spread and prolongs the tires’ life.
– Keeping tires in the right balance. Out-of-balance tires cause uneven wearing out, and you will end up experiencing an uncomfortable ride. They can also wear out suspensions and other components. It is identified by excess thumping, especially while at highway speeds. Once noticed, the tires should be dynamically balanced at the earliest. A well-experienced technician can tell which wheel is out of balance by driving such a car.
– Maintaining steering and suspension properly aligned. When there is suspension or steering – front or rear – misaligned, this can severely impact the steering feel and vehicle stability. It can also cause quick and non-uniform wearing out of the tires. Alignment should be investigated and adjusted immediately, the driver feels unusual steering, such as the vehicle pulling in one direction when driving on a straight flat road. A vehicle should undergo alignment check after being involved in a collision or being driven for some time on rough roads, especially those with huge potholes.
4. Checking the tread depth frequently
Checking the tread depth can be done effortlessly using a specific treading tool. In case you do not have the tool, you may improvise and use a penny or any other item that can get into the tire tread. Just compare the extent of the item enclosed in your car tires’ treads with a new tire.
5. Know how to read a tire’s sidewall
It sounds obvious, and many take it for granted, but it is important to know how to read the sidewall of the tire and make sense of the writings there. It is an invaluable skill that any driver should have. A driver would then quickly tell at a glance if the right tire is being used on the particular vehicle type.
If the above measures are implemented properly, passenger car tires can be safer, thus guaranteeing the safety of the passengers. In addition, it is very important to replace tires when necessary. Remember to replace tires when any part of the tread is worn out when the tire has a puncture that is too big to be repaired, when the tire sidewalls are adversely cracked, and when there are swellings on any part of the tire. There are other instances that require a change of tires, depending on your or be a qualified technician’s judgment.