It seems like taking care of your tyres is becoming a weekly topic at WOW- but it is that important. Last week we had a few tips on tyre maintenance, and now we are giving you a guide to taking care of your tyres.
Not taking care of your tyres can also cause you additional and unnecessary expense and can put you in danger. Also, taking care of your tyres can prolong the tyre-life up to 30%. Should you have an accident and need to claim on your insurance, your insurance company will investigate whether smooth tyres were the cause of the accident. According to Arrive Alive, ‘Most car insurance policies will stipulate that cover is provided only with the understanding and warranty by the vehicle owner that the vehicle is to be maintained and operated in a roadworthy condition.’
TREAD CONTROL The raised patterns on your tyres aren’t there for decoration- its job is to ensure that your tyres grip the road while you’re driving. According to Tiger Wheel and Tyre and Arrive Alive, the smoother your tyres, the less traction you’ll have on the road. That means your braking distance will increase and you’ll be more likely to skid when driving in the rain. Legally, your tread needs to be at least one-millimetre deep across your whole tyre.
There’s a good reason why petrol attendants ask whether you want your tyre pressure checked or not. ‘Overinflated tyres erode quickly at their centre, while underinflated tyres wear down quicker on the outsides. Underinflated tyres also overheat easily and can cause tyre bursts, which are responsible for numerous road fatalities,’ says Johan Jonck from Arrive Alive. Each car comes with a recommended tyre pressure amount. Find that number in the sill of the driver’s door or inside the fuel cap. Find out the right pressure for your car rather than guessing.
KEEPING IT BALANCED
If your car is shaking or pulling to one side while you’re driving, you need to get your wheels balanced and aligned. Check your tyres’ balance and alignment every 10 000km and before any long trip. This can be done at any reputable tyre dealer or fitment centre, says Jonck. ‘It not only improves the handling of your car, but also extends the tread life of your tyres,’ he says.
THE EXTRA MILE
Spare wheels are often forgotten – until you need them. ‘It’s important to make sure that even your spare tyre is inflated properly and that the tread is over the legal limit,’ says Jonck. If your car is fitted with run-flats, that’s great. According to TWT, run-flat tyres are designed to continue driving after the tyre has been punctured so that you don’t have to stop at the side of the road and put on a spare. They allow you to drive for between 48km and 240km at about 80km/h.