Most car owners understand how important it is to pay frequent attention to the mechanical components of their vehicle, especially when it comes to keeping themselves safe on the open road. Yet while they may worry about their suspension system and shock absorbers when it comes to keeping the car stable, they may not be paying enough attention to something even more critical. What do most people miss, when it comes to the importance of safety?
The Simple Answer
The answer is quite simple and it involves something that has no real financial value attached – air. In other words, do you know exactly how much air is in your tyres, right now? Certainly, people (especially auto enthusiasts) often spend a lot of time figuring out what brand of tyres they should buy, but then they don't maintain these covers as they should. While the tyre is very well engineered and fit for purpose, by itself it's not really supporting the vehicle. The amount of air that you put inside is critical and equally as important as the type of spring, or the state of the shock absorber nearby.
How Danger Builds up
If you don't have enough air in the tyre, many things can go wrong. You have to be able to balance the load being supported by the size and proportion of the tyre. Look at the tyre when it is sitting stationary and you will see quite clearly the part that is carrying the largest load as it appears to be "squished." However, when the cover is rotating down the road, different parts of it are flexing as it goes. This, in turn, causes heat buildup and if a tyre is flexing too much excessive heat can lead to a burst. The amount of air that's carried within the tyre dictates exactly how much each part of the cover flexes and, as a consequence, the associated risk.
Even though you may imagine that the tyre is completely sealed, it will not hold the exact amount of air that you originally insert for an indefinite period of time. Certainly, it won't leak from around the flange or near to the valve stem, but some of it will naturally diffuse through the sidewall of the tyre. Over time, this will add up and it won't be that long before your tyre is underinflated.
Keeping an Eye
Get into the habit of checking your tyres at least once a week with a trusty pressure gauge. Keep an eye on the external condition and the depth of the tread as well and do everything that you can to avoid overheating. If you're not sure about the quality of the tyres on your vehicle, change them as soon as possible.