How to pay less for tyres

Regular rotation and balancing will ensure that your car’s tyres last much longer, saving you money in the long run

SOME OF US relish the chance to splurge on new shoes, but who likes spending money on tyres? They’re just round, black and boring things, after all.

But the truth is, tyres do much more than just spin in circles, and taking good care of them can extend their useful life by thousands of kilometres. That’s where tyre rotation comes in.

Sure, tyres rotate all the time as they roll down the road. But that’s not what it means to “rotate” your tyres. Rotating tyres involve moving them from one wheel to another and from left to right or back to front, or even diagonally.

Rotating and balancing your car’s tyres regularly is the most efficient method of making sure they wear evenly.

Tyres don’t wear at the same rate because they are subjected to different stress. For example, the front ones tend to wear on the outside edges because the tyres lean over more than the rear ones when you turn a corner.

The front tyres take a bigger beating during braking, too, because the weight of a car shift forward during deceleration.

Tyres live a particularly stressful life in Singapore, too! The sharp turns in a multi-storey carpark, hard braking for ubiquitous traffic lights, and start-stop traffic can all accelerate wear and tear on a tyre.

As your car tyres wear, the balance will slowly and dynamically change over time. Regular balancing will ensure that your car’s wheels spin smoothly at high speeds, giving you the best possible mileage.

If left unbalanced, the resulting vibration will cause your steering to vibrate and lead to long-term damage to steering and suspension components. If nothing else, it makes for an uncomfortable ride.

What can you do to avoid all of this from happening? Simple, just make sure that your tyres are properly rotated, checked and balanced every 5,000km to ensure a smooth drive.

Before you start wondering how you’re going to do that all by yourself, here’s a tip: buying tyres from a reputable and professional operation sometimes means you can get it done for free.

For example, the Drive-in Tyre Shop at Cycle & Carriage carries a wide range of tyres to suit all budgets and needs, from brands such as Yokohama, Roadstone, Michelin, Achilles and more.

All tyres sold there come with a 5-year warranty, and if you purchase two or four tyres at the Drive-In Tyre Shop you’re entitled to free tyre patching if you need it, free nitrogen gas conversion and refilling, and one free rotation and balancing service.

As the name implies, you can turn up with no appointment needed, and with your tyres set to last longer, that leaves more money for things like shopping for new shoes.