Auto Wheels and Tyres: understanding, care, and effective use

Wheels and Tyres

Replica of a well gaged Tyre
Replica of a well gaged Tyre | Source

Proper understanding of your tyres, how to care for them, and how to put them to productive use; are essential for better driving experience. Here are important Tips to transform the way you view your car and by extension, the wheels and tyres.

What is Aquaplaning?

This is also referred to as Hydroplaning. The car's tyre should be able to pump out water from the thread patter fast enough. Insufficient drainage of the water could create a situation where the wheels are lifted off the wet ground so that the tyres begin to slide on compressed layer of water. And is more serious when the car is moving at a very high speed.

Aquaplaning actually means floating on water like a seaplane. Although associated with high speed situations, it could also take place when the car is moving slowly if the tyres treads are badly worn out. It's a very dangerous situation that could cause the tyres to leave the surface of the road to float on a film of water thus reducing the tyre grip to virtually zero. This could cause the car to slide and skid out of the road.

Parts of a Tyre

Automobile tyres are of two types. They could either be those that requires an inner tube or others that do not and as such regarded as tubeless. Tubeless tyres are gradually replacing conventional tyres because of their special self-sealing properties made up of a special rubber that eliminates small punctures and prevent sudden deflation.

The general structure of the tyre is divided into two main parts: The carcass and the thread.

1. The Carcass - It is the tough outer structure made up of layers of fabrics. The layers can either be Cross-ply or Radial-ply. The Cross-ply layer is made up of a number of fabrics with the cords at defined angles to one another. Radial-ply tyres, on the other hand, have the layer of fabrics running radially across the tyre from bead to bead, with another belt of fabric running around the circumference of the tyre.

2. The Tread - This is the site of prevention of Aquaplaning. It is the outer part of the tyre made up of a thick moulded surface with a pattern of deep grooves cut into it to aid grip on the road and direct rain water away. Simply, it's the rough outer surface that is in contact with the road.

Rules to maintain and use tyre correctly

• You must always be conscious of the dept of the tread so as to replace the tyre when the tread is below the legal limit. Light motor vehicles has a legal limit of 1.00mm, while motor vehicles and trailers are 1.60mm. You should play the video to see how to monitor the dept of the tread.

• You must always pay attention to the cords via the side walls of the tyre, because you wouldn't know when there are cuts. This is particularly is important in that a fault may result to sudden deflation. And this could cause a serious traffic situation.

• Always check the inflation pressure of the tyre and any other possible leak. Here, the tyre pressure must conform with the manufacturer's directive.

• You should have the wheel balance checked periodically to avoid steering vibration.

• Always use the same type of tyres on the wheels of the same axle.

• Only use tyres of the size specified by Road and Transportation Authorities.


Further few tips on tyres

1. Road Grip could also be reduced by: mud, leaves, oil, or grit on the road.

2. travelling with tyres of the same axle at different pressure could cause the vehicle to pull towards the best side of the front tyre with the lowest pressure.

3. Leakage of tyres could also be caused by age.

4. Tyres could also worn out when the pressure is too low.

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Comments 4 comments

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James Agbogun 4 years ago Author

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Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Very useful, particularly for the ladies. Let me share something with you... (just b/w me and you)

I once had a puncture on my tyres and had to call the AA. (Roadside help). When they came, they put something blue on it and I was thinking "why is he putting blue plasticine on my tyres?" Anyway, it did the job, but til this day, I still don't know what that blue stuff was.

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