There are a number of reasons why the ride quality of your car can be less than pleasant. This can include bouncing or jolting even on relatively smooth roads, the car pulling to one side or another, and even a loud, incessant noise whenever you drive. Let us take a look at some causes of an uncomfortable ride, and how changing your tyres can sometimes be the solution you need.
A poor suspension can give you a very uncomfortable ride. Too soft a suspension will see the car swaying alarmingly on rough roads, while too tight a suspension can cause even the smallest bumps to jolt you in your seat: neither are ideal and both can worsen car sickness for your passengers, and even yourself. (Drivers tend not to suffer from car sickness as they can anticipate the car’s movements more easily, but it does happen.)
Engine problems can cause the car to buck and jump as it goes along the road. Usually, you will be aware that the engine is where the problem lies rather than the tyres, but not always. Listen to the sound of the engine and see if a change in its note follows or precedes a bump or jolt: if the latter, then the engine is more likely to be the cause of the problem.
Finally, before we look at tyres, axles can become bent from jolts on rough roads, accidentally climbing and dismounting the curb, and a number of other causes. When the axle is bent, this changes the movement of the wheels and tyres, causes excess wear and tear and translates into a bumpier ride all round.
Size Does Matter
With tyres size is important when it comes to offering a smoother ride, and – perhaps surprisingly – it is a smaller tyre that offers a more comfortable ride to those inside the car. While you should never use a tyre that is not recommended for your model, choose the smallest possible option for your model to enjoy a gentler ride.
Quality and Noise
Poorer quality tyres tend to be a little more rigid and ‘plasticky’ which can cause ‘noise’. Noise is, exactly as it sounds, the loudness of the tyres rolling over the road, and it can be surprisingly exhausting to experience loud ‘noise’ for hours while driving. The results can be tension headaches, stress and an inability to focus for a while following the completion of the drive. Better quality tyres hug the road surface, being more flexible and this not only improves the grip on the road, it is quieter and smoother too.
Unbalanced and Unaligned Tyres
Tyres should be evenly aligned on their axles, meaning that they are all facing in exactly the same direction when the car is going straight, and they should be balanced too, each tyre taking the same amount of the car’s weight. Tyres in need of alignment and balancing can pull against each other, causing excess wear and tear and giving a very uncomfortable ride at the same time. Your tyres should be balanced and aligned with every major service that your car has, and this will give you a much gentler ride even as it takes care of your car.
Your tyres wear slightly unevenly because of their placement. To keep this wear from affecting your drive, they should be swapped: back to front and left to right to allow the unused sides to be used before the tyres are eventually replaced.
There is seldom any need for you to keep putting up with a rough or uncomfortable ride. Take steps to find out what is causing your issue, and you will almost certainly find an easy fix for it, so you can go back to loving your daily drive. Need new tyres for your truck, car or van? Shop at Headley Basingstoke Tyres Centre!