As the first term at public schools comes to an end, many of us are looking forward to a trip away to our favourite holiday destination or to visit family members. For those planning to travel long distances by car these holidays it is essential that you ensure your tyres are in good condition. “Tyre safety should be a top priority to ensure your safety,” explains Dean Horn – Super Tyres Managing Director.
To avoid any problems when driving to your holiday destination, Dean Horn offers these important tyre safety tips:
- Inspect your tyres for damage: It is essential to regularly inspect your tyres for wear and any damage to avoid sudden problems. Check for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures and any other signs of damage, wear and tear. Keep in mind that whilst minor damage might not cause an immediate risk, the damage can worsen, especially when travelling long distances, and may result in severe safety consequences. Don’t forget to inspect your spare tyre too.
- Check tyre pressure: Driving with incorrect tyre pressure can affect a vehicle’s handling and braking, particularly in wet conditions, which can create a serious safety risk. Driving on under-inflated tyres can cause heat build-up and premature failure. Under-inflated tyres are also less fuel efficient and wear out faster. Check tyre pressure when your tyres are cold (usually 3 hours after you have parked). The optimum air pressure level for tyres can be found on the inner side of the car door, inside the fuel cap or in the car manual.
- Check tread depth: Your tyre tread plays a crucial role in your car’s handling, helping you control your vehicle easier in a variety of conditions and stop as quickly as possible. Worn tyres can present a significant safety issue. In terms of the law, the tread on tyres must be at least 1mm deep across the tyre’s entire width over the full circumference of the tyre – this is the legal limit, but 1.6mm is safer.
- Respect the load capacity: Always ensure that all four tyres are the same size as specified by the vehicle manufacturer as well and the same speed rating and load index (including your spare tyre). Do not exceed the load capacity relative to the tyre’s load index. Tyres loaded beyond their maximum loads can build up excessive heat that may result in sudden tyre damage with severe safety repercussions.
- Get your wheel alignment inspected: Inaccurate wheel alignment causes faster, uneven wearing on tyres, noises, vibrations and skidding whilst driving, causing potential safety risks. We recommend that you rotate and balance your tyres, and have wheel alignment done every 10,000 Km or before any long trip.
“If you are unsure about the condition and safety of your vehicle’s tyres, get them checked by a tyre specialist for peace of mind before heading off to enjoy your holiday,” concludes Horn.
For more information visit www.supertyres.co.za or call 031 337 4521