It is a fact that tyre failure accounts for many road accidents. You may have the best brakes and shocks but if your tyres are worn beyond its safety limits, you are in fact placed yourself and your passengers at risk, not to mention other drivers too.
Some basic rules about tyre safety
Always spend time to ensure you have correct, safe tyres on your vehicle:
- Tyres should always be replaced with the same size designation as recommended by the vehicle or tyre manufacturer.
- Tyre brand, size and tread pattern must be the same on each axle unless otherwise specified by the car manufacturer.
- Guard against used “tyre imports”, many of which are beyond rethreading but are rethreaded and sold illicitly. Similarly watch out for counterfeit tyres - illicit copies of respected brands. In addition be careful of second hand tyres. Many have defects that may not be immediately visible.
- Never assume that the tyres on your vehicle are correct, even if you have just purchased it. Unless you bought new from an authorised dealer your vehicle may already be fitted with potentially lethal tyres. Moral of the story? Buy from reputable dealers.
The correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated and over-inflated tyres affect handling and grip, and can potentially cause irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour. These tyres are also much more likely to suffer from a dangerous blowout while driving, especially a high-speed.
By keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure, your running costs are also reduced. It is a fact that tyres, which are not set to their correct pressure, wear out more quickly, not to mention that it results in higher fuel bills, shorter tyre life, reduced safety and increased CO2 emissions.
- Check tyre pressure, including the spare, once a month or before undertaking a long journey.
- Check tyre pressure early morning (low ambient temperature)
- Always use a reliable pressure gauge
- Only use tyre sizes recommended by the manufacturers at the recommended inflation pressure.
Tyres should be inspected often, and the following list highlights some of the things that you need to focus on:
- Check tyres regularly for punctures, penetrations, cuts and bulges.
- Cuts in the tyre could permit damp to reach the casing plies. This is harmful for both textile and steel casings and will affect safety and tyre life.
- Wheel alignment - misaligned wheels will lead to excessive tyre wear.
- A worn steering mechanism, ball joints and wheel bearings will also reduce tyre life.
- Consult your vehicle manual for the proper size and speed rating.
- Check the tyres for one-sided wear.
- Check for tread-centre wear.
- Check for inner- and outer-edge wear.
- Check for irregular bald spotting.
- Missing valve caps should be replaced.
- Torque wheel studs /nuts to correct setting when mounting new tyres - check for loose or missing wheel nuts.
- Check tread depth on all tyres and replace well before they reach regulatory minimum depth of 1.60 mm to reduce the risk of aquaplaning on wet roads. The tyre specialists suggestion is to change the tyres before 2,00 mm depth, mostly in the winter.
- Tyres, sizes speed / load ratings must conform to the specifications in the Vehicle Owner’s Manual.
- Check tyres and rims for any accidental damage after impact with potholes/curb stones or other obstacles in the road.
- Tyres, brakes, shock absorbers and rims should always be checked when servicing the vehicle.
- Vehicle wheel alignment should be tested at regular intervals to obtain even tread wear and maximum service life.