HOW TO SET TYRE AIR PRESSURE
Did you know your tyres can be under-inflated and still look properly inflated? Nitto Tyre highlights the signs of improper inflation, explains where to find the proper inflation pressure for your vehicle and how and when to check your air pressure.
ABOUT AIR PRESSURE
With the right amount of air pressure, your tyres will perform better, wear longer and save fuel. The vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure for the original equipment size tyres is specified and may be different for front and rear tyres and will vary as tyre loads change. Check with your Nitto dealer if the replacement tyres on your vehicle are no longer the same size as the O.E. tyres.
WHERE TO FIND THE CORRECT O.E. INFLATION PRESSURE
You will find the recommended pressure on a placard or sticker in the doorjamb, glove box, or under the fuel-filler flap. If your vehicle does not have a placard, check the owner's manual or consult the vehicle manufacturer, tyre manufacturer, or your local tyre dealer. The tyre placard tells you the maximum vehicle load, the vehicle manufacturer’s cold tyre inflation pressure, and the tyre size(s) recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
USING A TYRE PRESSURE GAUGE
Check inflation pressure (including the spare) at least once a month and before every long trip. Tyres must be checked when they are cold (before driving). If you must drive over two kilometres for air, measure and record the pressure increase amount of each tyre. Upon arriving at the service station, measure each tyre's inflation again and if the pressure has increased, adjust the amount of additional air pressure needed. For example, if cold pressure should be 35PSI, but cold pressure was 28PSI, and current pressure is 33PSI, you should inflate the warm tyres to 40PSI and recheck them again when cold.
HOW DO TYRES LOSE PRESSURE?
Tyres lose pressure naturally through the process of permeation.
Changes in outdoor temperature can affect the rate at which tyres lose air. This change is more pronounced in hot weather. Generally speaking, a tyre will lose one or two psi of air pressure per month in cool weather or even more in hot weather. Remember, under-inflation is the leading cause of tyre failure, so check inflation pressure regularly.
- Never "bleed" or reduce air pressure when tyres are hot. It is normal for pressures to build up as a result of driving.
- Make sure all tyre valves and extensions are equipped with valve caps with rubber gaskets to keep out dirt and moisture.
- Have a new valve stem assembly installed whenever a tyre is replaced.
- Under inflation or overloading creates excessive heat, and can lead to tyre failure, which could result in vehicle damage and/or serious injury or death.
ABOUT TYRE ROTATION
Irregular tyre wear can be minimised by rotating your tyres. Consult your vehicle’s owner's manual, the tyre manufacturer, or your Nitto Tyre dealer for the appropriate rotation pattern for your vehicle.
If your tyres show uneven wear, ask your Nitto Tyre dealer to check and correct any misalignment, imbalance, or other mechanical problem involved before rotation. Sometimes front and rear tyres on a vehicle use different pressures. After rotation, adjust individual tyre air pressures. The proper inflation section has more information.
The purpose of regularly rotating tyres is to achieve more uniform wear for all tyres on a vehicle. Before rotating your tyres, always refer to your individual owner's manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period or pattern is specified, you should consider rotating your tyres, front to back, at least every 10,000 kilometres. Tyres that have comparatively fast wear rates may require more frequent rotation.
POPULAR ROTATION PATTERNS
Sometimes tyres cannot be rotated according to popular patterns. Such tyres include uni-directional tyres with asymmetric tread designs. Also, some vehicles may have different sized tyres mounted on the front and rear axles, and these different sized tyres may also have rotation restrictions. Check your owner's manual or consult your Nitto Tyre dealer for recommendations for rotations patterns to suit your tyres & vehicle.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER TYRE ROTATION AND BALANCE
Everyday driving can affect the balance of your tyres. Nitto Tyre explains how your tyres can come out of balance and how routine inspections for tyre rotation and balance can extend the life of your tyres and increase your driving enjoyment.
You may have noticed the small weights placed on the rim of your tyre. These weights help the tyre and wheel assembly remain balanced. At specific speeds, a tyre that is not balanced properly can generate severe vibrations causing ride disturbance to the vehicle occupants. An unbalanced tyre and wheel can also lead to irregular treadwear.
Some alloy wheels can be damaged with the use of standard lead weights and may require the use of a coated weight. See your Nitto dealer for more information.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WHEEL ALIGNMENT
Proper wheel alignment is essential to maximise tyre life and vehicle handling performance. Nitto Tyre helps you identify if your vehicle is out of alignment, explains what the alignment process includes, and defines common alignment settings such as positive and negative camber and toe-in and toe-out.
Proper alignment is essential for optimum performance and maximum tyre life. Misalignment in the front or rear, improperly operating brakes or shock absorbers, bent wheels, worn bushings, and any other mechanical problems can cause uneven and rapid treadwear. Each of these situations should be corrected immediately by your Nitto dealer.
Front-wheel-drive vehicles and those with independent rear suspensions require special attention, and should be checked periodically.
At least once a month, inspect your tyres closely for signs of uneven wear. Uneven wear patterns may be caused by improper inflation pressures, misalignment, improper balance, or suspension neglect. If not corrected, further tyre damage will occur. If you discover uneven wear, bring your car to your nearest Nitto dealer. In many instances, the dealer can correct the problem so you can continue to use your tyres.
When the tread is worn down to 1.6mm on any part of the tread, the tyre is worn out and it is time to replace it. Built-in treadwear indicators, or "wear bars," which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will appear on the tyre when that point of wear is reached.
OTHER THINGS TO LOOK FOR
- Look for any stones, bits of glass, metal, or other foreign objects in the tread or sidewall. These may work deeper into the tyre and cause air loss.
- If any tyre continually needs more air, have your Nitto dealer check to find out why it is leaking. Damage to the tyre, wheel, or valve may be the problem.
- If you have any further questions please visit a Nitto Tyre dealer.
REPAIR OR REPLACE
Which types of tyre injuries are serviceable? The answer to that question depends upon the injury itself. Every injury, including punctures, scrapes, bulges, separations, or cuts should be evaluated by your Nitto tyre dealer.
Air loss due to punctures can ruin tyres that might have been saved had they been removed in time for proper repair. Gradual air loss raises a tyre's operating temperature. This can cause some of the components to separate, or damage the tyre body in ways that create rapid or sudden air loss. Driving on a tyre that has an extremely low pressure for even a short distance will cause irreparable damage.
You can never play it too safe; if your tyre shows visible damage or you suspect hidden damage due to small punctures or impact, consult your Nitto Tyre dealer.