How to Maximize Friction Between Your Car’s Tires and the Road?
You would have heard about the importance of being able to maximize friction in vehicles. It keeps your car on the ground. Without it, you won’t be able to drive anywhere. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to increase friction while driving so that you don’t lose control of your car anytime soon.
From how to choose the right tires, to getting to know what stops friction from happening, there are lots of things you need to know! Here are some tips to maximize friction between your tires and the road:
What Is Friction?
Friction is the force that resists the movement of two objects when they are in contact with each other. The friction force depends on the materials, surface area, and pressure between them. The idea behind friction is easy to understand. Like masses attract each other so do rough surfaces repel each other.
With this principle in mind, one could conclude that all surfaces experience friction at some level because they’re all made up of atoms that repel each other when they’re close enough.
Importance of Friction in Vehicles
Since friction opposes motion, it allows a car to stop, start, and move forward when you want it to. Without friction, your car would slide uncontrollably every time you tried braking or accelerating.
And even though friction is essential for controlling your vehicle, it’s often overlooked by drivers who don’t realize its benefits until they reach their destination safely and realize there were no problems along the way.
Many accidents occur across the USA because of car problems, and one of the problems is inflated tires, leading to less friction. Of the total crashes, some of them even lead to fatalities. According to CNBC, the number of deaths due to road accidents is increasing. There were around 42,915 road accident fatalities in 2021.
Drive on a Smooth/Flat Road
Driving on a smooth, flat road will let you go at maximum speed. This will also help you avoid potholes, uneven pavement, and gravel roads. If you have to drive in snowy conditions, increasing the tire pressure and using snow tires is good.
If there are any rocks on the road while you are driving, then they can cause damage to your car’s wheels. Similarly, when driving on icy roads, avoid sharp turns, as it could cause a loss of control over the vehicle, leading to an accident if not appropriately handled by the driver.
A recent study was conducted and published in the PLOS ONE Journal to analyze roadway conditions’ effects on vehicle crashes. The study concluded that many roadway factors, including improper horizontal alignment, contribute to accidents.
Use Suspensions to Maximize Friction
The next thing to consider is the suspension. Using a suspension helps maintain constant contact between the tire and the road, which enables you to maximize friction.
Suspensions are used in vehicles that are not as smooth or flat, such as trucks and sports cars. They help reduce the impact of bumps and potholes on your vehicle by absorbing some energy before it reaches the tires.
Suspensions are most widely used in diesel trucks. The reason is that trucks are often overloaded and don’t run on smooth roads. Hence, suspensions are vital for trucks. If you own a diesel truck, look for diesel parts like suspensions for your truck.
Look for an auto parts provider that can offer you a wide range of products for your diesel vehicle, from suspensions to fuel lift pumps to lubricants. These diesel parts will ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently, reducing fuel consumption and increasing safety.
Avoid Over-Inflation or Under-Inflation of Tires
The first thing you should do when optimizing your tires is to ensure they are properly inflated. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can cause problems, including less optimal traction and increased wear.
The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle is listed on the tire placard in the driver’s door jamb or glove box door. If it’s not there, or if you’ve lost yours, you can find the information online by searching for “tire placard” plus your car’s make and model. An ideal pressure level will allow enough sidewall flexing but still, provide good contact with the road surface and maximize tread life.
While overinflation isn’t as bad as underinflation because it causes less heat buildup in the tire, reduces fuel economy, increases wear on internal components like valves and valve stems, and reduces handling capabilities by increasing rolling resistance. This can result in more noise from road imperfections, such as bumps and sags.
Besides the increased accident chances, tire inflation is also linked to reduced fuel efficiency. A study by San Jose State University shows that tire inflation can increase fuel consumption by vehicles. However, the evidence is inconclusive, and further research is needed.
Tread the Tires
As you know, the tread is that part of the tire that comes into contact with the road. It’s sometimes called a “contact patch” because it is usually no more than 1.5 inches wide, but it can be much larger if needed to support heavy loads or high speeds.
The depth of this contact area varies from vehicle to vehicle, and there are many reasons for this variance in design depending on what type of vehicle is made. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans have different needs regarding how much traction they need underfoot.
Treading tires is an easy way to keep your tires in excellent condition and extend the life of your car. It’s also inexpensive to keep your tire tread intact and maximize friction. A recent study published in the Springer Journal shows that treading can directly impact stress distribution on the tires, thereby impacting friction.
First, you’ll want to ensure you have a good set of tools. You’ll need a hammer, chisel, screwdriver, and tire iron. If you don’t have access to these tools, ask around at your local hardware store or auto parts store for help.
Next, find out what kind of tires you have on your vehicle by looking at the sidewalls of each tire. If they’re not labeled with “P” or “R,” they’re probably bias-ply tires and need special treading techniques. Bias-ply tires should be replaced with radial-ply tires as soon as possible because they’re unsuitable for highway driving.
- Insert the chisel into the center of one of the grooves between treads, then move it around until it’s firmly lodged. Make sure it is parallel with the wheel’s surface so it doesn’t slip out accidentally while working inside this groove.
- Hammer away at this spot until it becomes wide enough for your tire iron to fit inside without touching the tire’s inner wall.
- Once you can fit your tire iron in quickly, use it to pry out the remaining pieces of tread that are still attached to this groove.
- Continue this process until there is no more tread left on the wheel.
- Try not to get too frustrated when removing this first layer because it can sometimes be challenging.
Maximize Friction in Your Vehicle Today!
Friction is a necessary part of driving, and it’s important to understand how to maximize it. This can be done by driving on smooth roads, avoiding over-inflating or under-inflating tires, using suspensions to maximize friction, treading tires with spikes or investing in spiked tires, and much more.