UNDER-INFLATION. The no.1 problem we encounter are under-inflation of tires. Most people don't know that tire pressure drops about 1-2 psi every month just due to oxygen permeating the rubber causing tire pressure to drop even if you don't use the vehicle. When tire pressure drops, your tires encounter more and more rolling resistance therefore causing you higher fuel consumption and tire wear.
If both outer treads are thinning out while the center part is thick, that is indicative that your tires are usually under inflated. Furthermore, under inflated tires become vulnerable to damage and side wall tears and wheel damage when you hit a pothole, crevice or large object on the road (like wood blocks or large metal reflectors).
Tire rubber cracks usually occur when tires are old, even when treads are thick. When you see this on your sidewall or treads, it is imperative that you change your tires lest they fall apart on a trip. This happens because all rubber products deteriorate in time. (We usually experience this when tires are about 7 years or older)
ALIGNMENT. It is prudent to do periodic checks on your tires. Just by looking at the treads and spotting for uneven wear from one side to the other can indicate suspension alignment issues. If the tread depth on one side is thinner than the other, it is a sure sign that you need to have your alignment corrected and it is reducing tire life. Another indication of alignment problems is when steering wheel constantly pulls to one side even when tire pressure is even in both sides.
BALANCING. When you're on the highway and your steering wheel is shaking at a certain speed and it becomes steady in slower or faster speeds, it is usually a wheel balancing problem. If it persists even after balancing, your tires or rims might be out of shape.
OVER-INFLATION. If the center tire tread is thinning while the other treads are thick, that probably means that the tires are usually over inflated.
ABUSE. While tires are made to take the max load of the vehicle and withstand the heat that compounds from the climate and heat from the road, tires and not indestructible. Rubber tires are no match to metal or concrete objects.
I have encountered some clients who just run their tires on anything because the suspension doesn't "feel bad". As I always illustrate to people, while the sheet metal and steel beams around the car can give you adequate protection in cases of accidental collision, one doesn't do ahead and drive onto a road barrier or concrete post.
We have encountered clients who come in with rims scratched and dented out of shape, tire wall with tear, and tell us they didn't hit anything just to insist on tire warranty
WORDS BY SAM LIUSON
CEO / Managing Director of Concept One Wheels since 2002. Official Philippine agent for Black Rhino Wheels and Saffiro Tires Philippines.