Properly balanced tyres can mean the difference between a good or bad driving experience. Some cars are much more sensitive to an out of balance tyre, however, no car rides properly when there is a vibration coming from the tyres, not to mention vibration means increased wear. This is why it’s important to have your tyres balanced regularly.
An out of balance tyre will affect ride quality, shorten the life of your tyres, bearings, shocks and other suspension components. If you have a vibration that increases when your speed increases, the problem is, most likely, related to your tyre balancing.
Another primary cause of vibrations is that the tyre and wheel assembly isn’t perfectly round. This includes your wheels and tyres. The problem is when the high spot on the tyre, is matched to the high spot on the wheel.
This effectively doubles the amount of “hop” or runout. If rebalancing doesn’t cure the problem, you need to have your professional installer check the runout of the tyre. If there is a “hop”, most often the problem can be fixed by simply rotating the tyre on the wheel slightly.
The technician should loosen the tyre on the wheel, and turn it 180 degrees, then reinflate the tyre after relubricating the bead. The runout should be significantly reduced or eliminated, and if it’s not, they should try it again, but this time rotate it only 90 degrees. If this still doesn’t work they should then try rotating it 180 degrees on the third try.
This means that the high spot on the tyre has been tried at each quarter of the wheel. The tyre should be good and round at one of those points. Then the tyres can be rebalanced, and should run properly. However, if this doesn’t solve the problem then there is an issue with either the tyre, the wheel or some other component on the vehicle.
Advances in Pneumatic Tyres
Pneumatic tyres are the industry standard for all consumer vehicles. Early rubber tyres were solid, however, ever since John Dunlop designed the first pneumatic tyre in 1888, the world embraced this form of tyre, in spite of the durability of solid rubber, they were downright uncomfortable.
In approximately 455 factories around the world over 1 billion tyres are produced every year containing the same basic ingredients; rubber, carbon black and various chemicals.
Tyres are constructed on a drum and cured in a press under heat and pressure. The heat creates a polymerization reaction that links the rubber monomers and creates long elastic molecules. This allows the tyres to compress where the rubber meets the road and then reform to their original shape.
Different manufacturers uses their own compounds to deliver a combination of durability and performance. However, most tyres all start out the same way.
Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has been testing “digital tyres” on the Ferrari FXX K supercar to collect data about coefficient of friction, footprint and pavement grade. This information is then transferred to the car’s ECU and the traction control systems to optimize power delivery based on grip.
Michelin has made some very impressive developments in the longevity of tyre wear. The tire manufacturer has invented a tyre that will evolve as it wears out, preserving its road-gripping performance until the bitter end.
This new technology uses main tread grooves that get wider as they wear down, leaving plenty of space for water to still escape. The new tyres have tiny slices that expand into teardrop shapes and compensate for having shallower grooves, making the tyres safer as they age.
Self-inflating tyres for the consumer market are also being currently explored. This technology is already being used for heavy machinery and military vehicles, and uses sensors that measure the tyre pressure. If the pressure drops too low, an air compressor inflates the tyre, if the air is too high, a pressure relief valve deflates it.
Hankook has been experimenting with a tyre design that doesn’t require air. One of, if not the biggest drawbacks to pneumatic tyres has always been punctures and leaks. The new “iFlex” tyres are being made from completely eco-friendly materials.
The tyre manufacturer has been working with geometric shapes, in place of air, to offer pliable, bouncy qualities of a typical tyre. When tested for durability, hardness, stability, slalom and speed the Hankook NPT (non-pneumatic tyres) performed comparable to traditional air-filled tyres.
Keep tyres align
Suppose one of your tyres has worn down and you need to replace it with someone else. If the new tyre is not in sync with the rest three, the tyres will wear down at different times! So you need to make sure that tyres are aligned and at least you can curb down the chance of accident while driving on the roads!
Check the tyre pressure
We all know that it is important for us to maintain a certain tyre pressure in the tyres we are using. Depending on the distance we are going to travel and the number of people travelling the pressure requirement changes. But it is important for you to make sure that there is a certain pressure exists in the tyre! The wheel and tyre companies of your locality can help you with it. He will be the best person to tell you the perfect air pressure that needs to be in the tyres.
Keep the second one
While you are travelling to a good distance, it is important for you to keep a spare tyre for your use. You never know what happens in the car. So it is important for you to keep an extra tyre in your car. No matter how far you are travelling, if you have adequate amount of fuel in your car and an extra tyre, you can drive with a contended heart!
- Firstly, make sure that you stop on the side of the road where it is safe and you have enough space to change the tyre. Always be aware of the oncoming traffic where you are changing the tyre.
- Making sure that you have all the necessary tools to do this job is an important factor. You will need a tyre iron, a jack, a spare tyre that is properly inflated and fit for the purpose, as well as the manual for the car. This manual will give you the necessary instructions on how to change the tyre if there are specific features your car may have.
- Make sure that you have the handbrake activated before you start with the wheel changing process. It is also important to place an object behind the opposite wheel in case the car starts to roll backwards.
- On most cars, there are indentations under the car that make for a stable place to place the car jack. You can see where these indentations are by means of small markings along the side of the car. The side of the car has to be at least twenty centimetres off the ground so that you can easily change the part.
- You will need to remove the hubcap so that you can reach the tyre. The hubcap has been clipped on and can be removed by wedging the flat part of the tyre iron into the crevice of the cap. The hubcap is the part of the tyre that protects the lug nuts beneath.
- Loosen the lug nuts using the correct side of the iron. Some cars have special adaptors that fit onto the nuts. You won’t need to completely remove the lug nuts as of yet. You can remove them as soon as you have taken the tyre off of the wheel. The tyre should simply click out of place and be easy to remove.
- Fit the spare tyre to the wheel piece. The bolts have to line up with the holes. Place the lug nuts onto the bolts and start tightening it equally by hand. You can then use the iron to tighten the nuts properly without having wasted too much energy. Do not over fasten as it could break.
- You can then place the hubcap back onto the face and lower the car. The spare tyre should only be used for emergency moments. You will notice that they are narrower than a regular tyre.
Now you can drive safely to a fitment centre. As soon as you get there you should get the tyre replaced.