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We may take them for granted, but tyres are possibly the most important parts of the car. This is because they form the only link between the car and the road, and are the only parts that actually transfer the power from the car on to the road surface.
As a result, tyres need to be maintained well and regularly checked for any damage. This is imperative since the contact patch, or the part of the tyre that is actually in contact with the asphalt, needs to be constantly kept optimal. Things like tyre pressure and tread depth need to be monitored regularly to ensure your tyres last as long as they should.
We have compiled a set of myths and facts about tyres that will provide you with valuable information about your tyres. Tyres don't come cheap, so we recommend that you read this article carefully to ensure you get maximum life and performance out of the tyres installed on your car.
Scroll through the slides for vital information on your tyres:
Myth: Tyres need to be inflated based on the pressure (PSI) value mentioned on the sidewall of the tyre.
Fact: Whatever is mentioned on the side wall of a tyre indicates the maximum pressure value. In a car, you should refer to the inner side of the door where the recommended tyre pressure value is mentioned. In this case, the recommended tyre pressure for the front and rear is 35 and 32 PSI respectively.
Myth: Valve caps prevent the tyre from losing air.
Fact: Valve caps do not prevent the tyre from losing air but are present to keep dust, water and mud from entering the valve and cause air loss.
Myth: Lowering the tyre pressure betters the grip you get on wet surfaces because they will skid less.
Fact: With low tyre pressure, the tread or grooves gets shut, or the gaps between the groove or tread become less and do not deliver optimum water discharge. As a result, the car could lock up and skid even more.
Myth: During summer times, the air in the tyre expands due to high temperatures and thus the tyre pressure should be reduced by a few PSI.
Fact: The tyre heats up when PSI is reduced which causes the tyre wall to flex or bend. We advise you to maintain the company-recommended PSI even during summer months.
Myth: The tyre pressure should be reduced by a few PSI during the winter season to improve handling.
Fact: During winter, you should look at increasing your tyre pressure by 2 PSI for every three to four degree drop in temperature. This is because the pressure of the tyre decreases by 1 PSI for every such drop in temperature and can shorten the life of the tyre and can lead to serious safety hazards.
Myth: Tread patterns are required primarily for delivering excellent handling on dry surfaces.
Fact: While a tyre's tread pattern plays a key part in appearance, its major role is actually to discharge water on wet surfaces.
Myth: It is possible to check by hand whether tyres have a soft or hard compound structure.
Fact: The exterior surfaces of the sidewall and tread of the tyre can give you only a hint about the tyre compound as there are many other layers beneath the exterior surface that gives the tyre its hard or soft compound characteristics.
Myth: Winter tyres are only required during snowfall.
Fact: Winter tyres are not just required on snow or icy roads. If you stay in a location where the temperature is below 10 degrees, we suggest you opt for winter tyres as these tyres have a more optimal tread pattern in addition to special rubber that prevents them from getting stiff due to the cold.
Myth: You should check your tyre pressure only when you service your car.
Fact: Air pressure should be checked weekly as tyres lose pressure naturally.
Myth: Slick tyres or racing tyres make your car/bike go faster.
Fact: This is only true to an extent because slick tyres provide better grip and handling only in dry conditions because of a larger contact patch with the road surface. That is why one sees Formula 1 and MotoGP machines making use of tyres with no tread pattern. However, it is extremely unsafe to install such tyres on road-going vehicles as the car/bike will lose traction very easily on a wet surface.
We hope you find these information useful. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for any queries.
Remember, take care of tyres so your tyres don't get "tired" of you.