Tired of ordering expensive replacement golf cart tires every season due to tread wear? Tired of having your tires losing their traction and “stickiness”? Tired of having dry looking tires wrapped up on your clean aftermarket wheels? No… there is no punchline here pitching you a magical product to increase the life of your golf cart tires. We are wish there was.
But what we can offer you, free of charge, are these 4 great tips for getting the most out of your golf cart tires; whether your tires are turf / street tires, all terrain tires or off road tires. Read on for tips that can save you money and keep your tires looking fresh longer!
Check Your Air Pressure
This is a simple, but commonly overlooked practice. We know, we know… you would much rather be out conquering the next dirt trail or gravel pathway with your ride than sitting in your garage (like a nerd) ensuring the proper pressure has been established in your golf cart tires. But trust us when we say that checking your tire pressure every few weeks can help you conquer more terrain on a smaller tire budget.
It is best to check your tires when they are cold (before driving your cart) as driving the cart before checking will heat up your tires and give you a false, higher tire pressure reading. It is wise to check your tire pressure once a month (every 3 to 4 weeks) because 1 pound of air pressure or more can be lost each month due to permeation resulting in lower gas mileage and additional / uneven tire wear. Even more permeation than this can occur in the warmer months of the year.
Tires that are under-inflated run hotter than those that are properly inflated due to excess room for air expansion in the under-filled tire. Over inflating a golf cart tire, on the other hand, can cause tire blow outs at higher operational temperatures.
You don’t trust strangers… right? Good. Don’t trust the strange tire pressure gauge at the gas station or club house. Those things are about as useful as scraping your knee in the parking lot. Get yourself a good tire pressure gauge (they are only a few bucks). Use it on ALL your vehicles and start realizing better gas mileage and less wear. It’s un-American not to do it.
Check your Camber
Walk to the front of your glorious golf cart, turn around and stare back at the modern marvel you have worked so feverishly on. After you snap a few art-museum worthy photos and posted them to Facebook (wait until you get at least 3 likes), take a second to observe the camber of your golf cart. Camber is the angle of tilt the tire shows toward or away from the frame of your golf cart. If your tires slant inwards — (with the tops closer together than the bottoms, like a school child holding in the need to go to the bathroom) — your tread will wear away on the inner portion of the tire first. If the tops of the tires tip outwards then the opposite is true and there will be more wear on the outside of the tire.
The way to mitigate a camber issue is to make sure your tires are in proper alignment. This brings up the issues of toe, tie rods, alignment adjustments, camber and more. Check out our quick guide on fine-tuning your golf cart alignment at home to help you easily tackle this issue.
Toe is not difficult to check. Toe is a simple way of measuring the stance of your tires, Think about it as “camber from a birds eye view” because in this case we will be looking at our tires from the side of the cart and not the front or rear. Your golf cart tires are on one axle and this axle can be thought of as the “foot”. Staring at your cart from the side (after snapping a few more pictures) Toe in means that the tires are slightly closer together at the front of the tire which will cause additional tread wear from the outside. Toe out means that the rear of the tires are closer together (imagine the visual of putting your heels together) which will cause the tires to wear from the inside more quickly.
Avoid Hazards and Potholes
Unless you have one meanoff road tire, you should probably not purposefully attack every curb or embankment you see. Try to avoid road hazards and high speed pothole / hole-in-the-path impacts. This simple trick will no doubt increase the life of your tires by 1,000 miles. Even if you are running an aggressive tire, it is wise to avoid powerful impacts to the tire construction.
Keep Your Shoes Clean!
Go grab a good tire shine / protectent to shield your tires from unnecessary ultraviolet wear. Wipe that baby all over your sidewalls LIBERALLY. You can always get another can!
Hope these tips help extend the life of your tires. As much as we love selling you your next set of tires (nothing better than fresh rubber), we do not want you to spend your hard earned cash before it is necessary (or before you decide you need both off road and low profile wheel and tire sets).
Keep up the good work, studs!