The overall condition of your tyres on your vehicle directly impacts the safety of you and your family on the road. We have prepared these tyre safety tips so that you can easily get into a routine of checking the health of your tyres.
One of the best recommendations we at GP Motor Works can give you is to frequently get your tyres inspected. This will not only save you a lot of money but could also potentially save your life.
Check Your Tyres Regularly
For some reason, people simply don’t carry out regular inspection of their car’s tyres. It is often that only when there is a problem that suddenly we pay attention – why is that? It seems to be the human condition…..the age-old saying “prevention is better than cure” is so important for tyre safety.
A simple inspection of your tyres every couple of weeks will prevent problems or potential accidents. It is estimated by the CSIR that more than 20% of all accidents on the roads in South Africa are directly due to tyre failure. The Automobile Association of South Africa states “tyre faults are noted in half of all fatal crashes where vehicle defects are a contributing factor.”
Tyres that are damaged have a huge negative impact on the way the tyres perform. This means that your ability to brake, steer and change direction is far less effective when the tread is worn or tyres are under inflated. If you add wet weather and poor road surfaces into the equation, this becomes significantly worse.
These are the five things to check:
- Assess the tyre pressure according to your car’s manual
- Examine the inner and outer side walls of each tyre
- Determine the tyre tread depth
- Make sure that there are no foreign objects embedded in the tyre
- Look for signs of any type of abnormal wear on the tread surface
Schedule an inspection at GP Motor Works today!
Why is Tyre Pressure so Important
This is probably the single most important factor for motoring safety. There are two conditions that come into play; either under or over inflation. Both are dangerous.
When your tyres are under-inflated, the tyre cannot maintain its shape and this increases the flexibility in the walls and tread. Then as the speed and distance increases, this deformation causes excessive heat to build up which causes internal structural damage.
The deformation also means that the ability to steer, turn and brake is made more difficult. The tyre and wheel is much more likely to be damaged if you hit a pothole. All of these issues are the major cause of blowouts.
Tyres that are over-inflated essentially mean that the entire width of the tread is not in contact with the road surface. This impacts road handling including your comfort, steering and braking. It also means that because the tyre is too hard it more likely to be damaged. A clear sign of tyres that are over-pressurised is that the tread is excessively worn in the middle.
Recommendation – obtain the correct tyre pressure values from your owner manual and check it on a weekly basis. Remember that your pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold otherwise you will have no idea if the reading is correct or not.
It is vital that you get the condition of the tyre surface inspected regularly. The common things to look for are abrasions, bulges, cuts or for anything that has penetrated the rubber. This is of particular importance if it affects the sidewall. Sometimes after bumping the curb or hitting a pothole a bulge develops on the sidewall. This is very dangerous because the internal structure of the tyre is compromised. This is a problem waiting to happen – a blowout can occur when you least expect it. You need to urgently change this tyre for your spare and then purchase a replacement. Don’t mess around with your safety…..
Tyre Tread Depth
Let’s face it, the more tread on your tyres the better and safer your driving experience will be. When the tread is worn, you can’t brake effectively and when the roads are wet the tyre doesn’t displace the moisture properly and the car will tend to aquaplane or skid.
Abnormal or Irregular Tyre Wear
If your tyres have any sign of irregular wear it is an indication that something is out of alignment. We have already mentioned the signs of over or under-inflation but sometimes the wear may only be on one side. This is a sure sign that the camber is out and needs to be fixed.
The issue with uneven wear is that it is often a warning sign that there is a mechanical problem such as loose wheel bearings or tired shock absorbers. So again, take note and get these things inspected.
While you are about it, have your wheel alignment and tyres balanced on a regular basis. The cost of these services is small in comparison to being forced to replace your tyres.