It’s not just Boy Scouts who should be prepared,
motorists need to be too as the holiday season approaches and South Africans hit the roads and travel back home from Varsity or their holiday spot.
Tyres are a vehicle’s only point of contact with the road, and with only an area equivalent of four size eight men’s shoes in contact with the tarmac – you need to ensure your tyres are fit for driving before you depart. It could be the difference between arriving safely or not at all. Research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists found vehicle defects are a factor in three per cent of fatal car accidents with tyres mostly to blame.
Before you hit the road – give your tyres a 360˚ check
Know your tread
Tyre treads are designed to displace water from the road surface and provide maximum grip. ContiPartner recommends that worn tyres are replaced well before the legal minimum tread limit of 1.6mm is reached – ideally as soon as they reach 3mm.
Keep tyre treads clear of stones and other foreign bodies, and check regularly for damage to the tread and side-walls. If you do notice any damage, a ContiPartner dealer will be able to check it out and advise on repairs or if a replacement is needed.
Rubber compounds used in tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals that help to slow down the natural ageing process of rubber. However, tyres do deteriorate with age, which increases the risk of tyre failure, and there are many ways in which this can be spotted:
- Cracking on the side wall of the tyre, caused by its flexing
- Distortion of tyre tread
- Deformation of the carcass of the tyre
Check your pressure
Your vehicle’s handbook will contain information about loads and the corresponding tyre pressures, but check the pressure when your tyres are cold and use the recommended pressures for a full load if your car is full. After the trip, reduce the pressure to those recommended for normal driving conditions, when the tyres are cold.
By over or under-inflating impairs tyre performance: over-inflation decreases contact with the road and sidewall flexibility making vehicle handling difficult. Running an under-inflated tyre may cause premature tyre failure, as a result of heat build up.
Do have a spare wheel in good condition. Don’t have a spare that is suspect – you never know when you will need it.
Puncture repair (Remove the word “kit”)
Do have a “combination plug/patch repair” for punctures. Don’t use plug repairs – they are temporary and designed to only get you home.
If you have any concerns after checking your tyres, ContiPartner dealers are happy to check and advise on repair, alignment, or replacement.