Whether your car is old or new, when it comes to components of your car, your tyres are the parts that you will most likely need to replace more often than any other part. This is largely due to the serious wear and tear in certain areas from the friction they experience whilst touching the road.
Tyres have a limited lifespan and replacing a set of tyres is by no means cheap which is why most drivers attempt to make the tyres last as long as possible. The best method to prolong the life of your tyres is to rotate and balance your tires routinely. Which brings us to the question….
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU ROTATE AND BALANCE YOUR TYRES?
Each car comes with an owner’s manual and it is advisable to become well acquainted with it. You will find recommendations and suggestions specifically for your vehicle such as correct tyre pressure, which fuel is optimal to use as well as a recommended rotation schedule, amongst many other valuable bits of information.
Generally, though most tyre specialists and car manufacturers recommend tyres are rotated and balanced on a 6 monthly basis or between 6 and 8 000 miles. This usually coincides with every other oil change, but may not always be the case as it depends on the age of your car and the standard of the oil used.
Balancing and rotating your tyres increases the tyre’s lifespan and saves you money from having to replace all 4 tyres.
WHY SHOULD YOU ROTATE YOUR TYRES?
One of the most important reasons to rotate your tires is for your safety because as you drive, your tyres wear out unevenly and this could cause you to skid and slip. Tread is usually worn much faster on your front tyres and it is very possible you could lose control of your vehicle as these are the tyres used to brake and turn. If you do not rotate regularly you would end up replacing your front tyres more often than the rear ones.
WHAT IS TYRE ROTATION?
Tyre rotation is when you remove the tyres from their current position and replace them in a different position – front tyres to the back and vice versa (keep on the same side) or switching between right and left sides.
Tyre rotation will counteract the uneven wear and tear of each tyre. This allows all 4 tyres to wear out in different ways at the same rate so they can all last longer, making it cost-effective and efficient.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BALANCING AND ROTATING TYRES?
It’s important to understand that Balancing and Rotating are actually 2 separate and specific procedures which accomplish different things. In order to increase the safety and efficiency of your tyres, BOTH of these procedures must be done.
SO THEN WHAT DOES TYRE BALANCING INVOLVE?
Balancing your tyres is when a mechanic uses a special machine to check if the combined weight of the tyre and wheel is evenly distributed. Small lead attachments will be attached to the rim of the wheel if they are not balanced which will balance out any imperfections in the mass distribution.
This procedure is inexpensive and definitely worth doing when rotating your tyres.
CAN I ROTATE THE TYRES MYSELF?
Yes, it is possible to do the rotation yourself but remember to consult your owner’s manual first and follow their recommendations. It is still preferable to have balancing of the tyres done at the same time so most motorists will take their car in to a garage or body shop to have this completed.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
It is worth doing some research as some garages and tyre shops even offer a free rotate and balance service, especially if you bought the tyres from them.
If you do an online search for tyre companies and mechanics you will be able to find plenty of businesses in your area. Similarly, if you are looking for any extra parts, new or used, an online search for auto parts companies is the way to go. An example would be Volvo parts cape town – all Volvo dealers, auto parts companies and car shops in Cape Town will appear and you can review them online, call them and decide if you are happy with their prices and service without having to drive all the way there first.
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