Car tires tend to wear out at different rates due to the different weight distribution as well as the additional torque distributed at the drive wheels. The front tires tend to bear the brunt of usage at every turn but also because most cars are front-wheel drive. Rotating the tires ensures that the tires wear out evenly throughout its service life.
According to most car manufacturers, car tires need to be rotated as frequent as lubricant changes. This can take approximately half a year or 12,000 km (7,460 miles). This can vary according to the type of lubricant used too. Some car manufacturers provide a 22,000km (13,670 miles) between oil changes which is too long a duration to wait for a tire rotation. If you drive less than 12,000 km between oil changes then you can rotate the tires every 6 months.
In the case of all-wheel-drive cars where there is a more even wear as compared to a front-wheel or rear-wheel drive vehicles, there will still be some level of uneven wear from the front tires. Most all-wheel-drive car manufacturers recommend a tire rotation every 12,000 km or seven months.
Tyre Rotation Patterns
Wheel alignment is a relatively quick and simple procedure where adjustments are made to the wheel alignment of a vehicle. This process also may require adjustments to both the front and rear suspension systems.
Not to be confused with wheel balancing where the wheel is tuned to prevent vibration when the wheels spin which occurs when a wheel is not balanced. Wheel alignment focusses on fine-tuning the angles of the wheels such as its camber, caster and toe. The wearing of the tires also indicate the alignment issues of a vehicle as you can see in the illustration below:
Frequency of wheel alignment
Tire pressure may very well be one of the last things we think about when it comes to driving. However, driving within the specified tire pressure actually ensure that your vehicle operates in its optimum traction whilst ensuring even wear resulting prolonged use and more bang for your buck for sure.
Here are 3 simple steps you can take to ensure that you not only inflate your tires as recommended but you do so regularly:
1. Refer To The Manufacturer Specifications
You can find the manufacturer specified tire pressure you should use for your vehicle in the vehicle owner's manual or on the sticker located in the driver's side door jamb. Though you can also find the tire pressure markings on the side walls of your tires, you should never use them as they indicate the maximum and not the recommended pressure.
2. Checking Tire Pressure Regularly
It is rather obvious that simply knowing the correct tire pressure and inflating them to the specified pressure is just half the story. If this is not done regularly, you will only enjoy the optimum traction and even wear of your tires for as long as the tire pressure remains within that desired pressure. It is recommended to test your tire pressure at least once a month.
3. Checking Tire Pressure In Ambient Temperature Changes
Automotive brakes work by applying friction from the brake pads against the disc brake in each wheel. This same friction over time will produce wear and tear. Unlike the routine automotive service maintenance schedule which is determined by mileage or time, the indicator for the replacement of worn out brake pads isn't that simple as it is affected by driving styles, traffic and road conditions. So what would be some indicators to know that it is time to replace brake pads, brake disc or both?
1. Visual Inspection
As your brakes wear out, the most obvious sign you will notice is excessive brake dust residue that accumulate over the wheels of your vehicle. This accumulation of this brake dust will rust and will form a brown to dark brown tinge.
2. Physical Inspection Of Disc Brakes
Disc brakes are visible and accessible with most modern automotive wheel designs. You can physically inspect the brakes when they have cooled if the vehicle had just been used. Disc brakes work when the brake pads clamp on to the disc brake from the center so over time the center side of the disc brake will wear out more than the outside rim. So you can tell the degree of wear by running your fingers from the inside to the outer edge on the disc brake. This form of inspection however is not possible with drum brakes where the brakes are concealed and inaccessible.
Choosing The Right lubricants
The heart and soul of every vehicle is its engine and keeping it well lubricated ensures minimal friction as well as wear and tear. This immediately translate to better performance, efficiency and fuel savings. There are three forms of mineral and synthetic motor oils with the third being the hybrid of the two - Semi Synthetic lubricant.
Mineral engine lubricant is the earliest form of motor oil used which does produce excellent lubrication. With its low cost of manufacturing, it is the lowest cost among the motor oils and has a wider appeal among the budget conscious drivers. This oil does come with shortcomings. Contaminants such as sulfur are not filtered out with the usual filtering process. This impurity under extreme temperatures tend to solidify, oxidize and breakdown faster than synthetic oils.
All lubricants contain additives that prevent foaming, engine wear and viscosity conditioners that determine a lubricant's effectiveness. Both mineral and synthetic oils are pumped from the earth but synthetic oils go through a much more refined process resulting in a higher performing lubricant. This clearly translate to higher production cost and price tag.
With less contaminants, synthetic motor oils are very effective in preventing engine wear despite extreme usage.
Semi Synthetic Lubricants
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