Factors Affecting Audi Tire Life:
Tire match and installation:
It is vital to make sure that your Audi car tires are of the same type. Every tire has its unique loading capacity, pattern, and size, and these can even differ across –and even between – brands. When you mix up the different tire constructions and technologies, it can disturb the entire performance and balance of the four tires, creating a negative impact on the lives of each of those tires. Similarly, improper tire installation can also negatively affect their useful lives. For this reason, if you are not sure about your ability to install a tire, it is best to seek professional assistance.
As we mentioned, the loading capacities are unique for each tire. As a rule of thumb, the higher the loading capacity, the lower the tire’s lifespan will be. Throw in overload, and the lifespan goes down even further. Most Audi tires have their specific load index mentioned on the side walls.
Both excessive and insufficient pressure can lower a tire’s lifespan. A lack of tire inflation can cause insufficient pressure which, in turn, accelerates the deformation on either sidewall. This, in turn, quickens the wearing process of the tread and shoulders, leading to abnormal increases in the tire temperature – and heat is easily a rubber tire’s most dangerous enemy. Ultimately, this entire process significantly deteriorates the health of the Audi tires.
Many car owners feel that extra tire pressure is good as it allows them to carry heavier loads in the vehicle. However, this excessive pressure leads to an increase in tire deformation and rigidity, which, in turn, reduces the area of contact. This leads to an increase in the CUP (Central Unit Pressure), thereby speeding up the tread wear through the middle, and considerably reducing the life and comfort of the tire. In fact, extra pressure of just 25% can reduce the life of a tire by as much as 30%.
Factors like driving against pavements, hitting potholes, excessive steering, or suspension wear can significantly affect the alignment of your Audi tires. When your tires misalign, you feel like your car is tilting towards the left or the right side, even when you are driving absolutely straight. In order to rectify this issue and eliminate the risk, you can reach out to an expert mechanic.
Like we mentioned, nothing damages rubber tires like heat. Since tires move at high speeds, they are exposed to maximum friction, compression, and stretch. Consequently, the temperature of the tires goes up, which damages or even punctures the rubber material, causing the tire to wear out.
Every person drives differently, and the way you drive directly impacts almost every part of your car, particularly its tires. For instance, fast-starting the car, sharp steering, emergency braking, and driving at high speeds – especially on poor roads, and regularly hitting the curbs, are all driving habits that chip away at the useful life of your Audi tires.
Naturally, the condition of the road surface will affect the health and life of your Audi tires. Factors such as the level of road smoothness, the presence of bumpers and potholes, the road gradient, windings, curves, cambers, and terrain, all determine how quickly your tires will wear out. Unfortunately, a lot of factors in this regard can be beyond your control.
The overall climate and temperature of the place where you and your car reside, as well as climatic factors such as heat level, wind speed, fitment period, pollution level, and geographical region, can all have an impact on the lifespan and efficiency of your Audi tires.
How to Maximize the Life of Your Audi Tires?
There are a number of steps that you can take in order to improve your Audi tires’ life, and, consequently, increase the degree of safety and comfort of your ride:
Routinely check the air pressure:
Maintaining the optimal air pressure in your tires is perhaps the easiest way to increase their useful life. Wrong tire pressure does not only cost you money, but it can also hamper your safety. In fact, a survey conducted by the NHTSACC (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Crash Causation) revealed that tire issues were present in nearly 10% of all cars involved in crashes. The pressure in the tires can change:
- Each month (tires lose around one PSI (Pound per Square Inch of pressure on a monthly basis).
- During winters (lower temperature reduces the air pressure).
- During summers (higher temperature increases the air pressure).
For this reason, we recommend checking the air pressure in your Audi tires every month, as well as the start of every summer and winter.
Get the alignment checked at least twice a year:
If the vehicle is swiveling towards the left or the right, or if you feel the steering wheel shaking or vibrating, it is likely that your car is suffering from poor alignment. However, alignment problems can be present even in the absence of any apparent symptoms. Even the tiniest misalignment can expedite tread wear and even lower fuel efficiency. As a result, your tires will wear out at a higher rate, and you will be forced to replace them quickly. Get your car aligned by a skilled mechanic at least twice a year, and every time you sense a problem.
Get the tires rotated:
In pretty much every car, including Audis, only a single or a couple of the wheels are responsible for the actual ‘driving’, which can lead to the tires wearing out unevenly. For instance, in vehicles that are front-wheel drive, the front wheels will wear out relatively quickly, and likewise for rear-wheel-drive cars. You can even notice uneven wear on all-wheel-drive cars since most cars keep shifting the drive between the wheels. A skilled technician can move your tires into different positions, thereby allowing the driving tires a break, and ensuring that the tires wear out at an even rate. Hence, rotation can prolong the useful life of your tires, and, ideally, you should get your tires rotated after every 5,000-6,000 miles.
The tread of the tires offers the traction and gripping action that ensures that your vehicle does not slide and slip, which is why you need to check the tire tread on a monthly basis.
Generally, it is believed that tires must be replaced when the tread reaches 1/16th of an inch. However, Consumer Reports asserts that the replacement must be performed when the tread is worn down to 2/16th of an inch.
You can check the tread depth for your Audi tires by locating the in-built tread-wear indicators present on the tires. Once the tread has worn down to the point that it is in line with the said indicators, you should not delay getting the tires replaced.
About The Author
Matt is a VW Master Technician since 2009 after proceeding through the ranks as a Team Leader and Shop Foreman. He has developed software to increase car dealership efficiency, managed 10+ techs, and instructed students at multiple high-performance driving events since 2011. He is also the lead mechanic, engineer, and driver for Blue Goose Racing.Read More About Matt Meurer