Considering tyre maintenance – 6 tips

Tyres are an integral part of the vehicle. As a driver or vehicle owner, knowing when your car tyres are in bad condition can save your life and that of your passengers. It can be detrimental to operate a car with low tyre pressure or where the tyre treads have worn off.

Here are 6 tips:

  1. Know when to replace them

While conducting proper tyre maintenance is key to extending the life of your tyres, it is also a good thing to know when your tyres have served their term and are due for replacement. When your tread depth goes below 1.6 mm, you know your tyres are worn out. Pushing their limit beyond that level is detrimental to your life. Worn-out tyres have a low grip because the treads are worn out. This can cause your vehicle to skid and slip when driving on rainy days.

There are several things to consider when replacing car tyres. First of all, what is the state of your current tyres? Next, check your vehicle handbook to confirm which tyres are correct for your vehicle. It is recommended to install tyres that exceed or have the same load capacity for your vehicle.

2. Install the right tyres at the right time

Tyres are expensive, don’t be tempted to replace worn-out tyres with part-worn (used) or cheap tyres that are not recommended for your vehicle. While this may seem like a great idea, if you calculate the cost per kilometre you will see how expensive that option is and the harm it may cause to your vehicle. When replacing tyres on your car, always try and fit the same brand and pattern. Mismatched tyres can cause the other tyres to experience uneven wear, as well as additional handling issues of the vehicle.

3. Check your pressure

Check tyre pressure regularly but only when the tyres are still cold (less than 3km of driving). Tyre pressure will fluctuate due to temperature. This will reduce the risk of under-inflation and over-inflation.

-Under-inflation can cause the outer edge tyre treads to wear off much faster. Under-inflation can also lead to crashes due to tyre blowouts from overheating when driving.

-Over-inflation on the other hand will cause the centre treads to wear off rapidly. Over-inflated tyres provide a harsher ride and reduced road-holding as well. You can confirm the correct tyre pressure in the vehicle’s manual.

4. Rotate your tyres frequently

For proper maintenance, you need to rotate your tyres at least every 8000km to 10 000km. This will allow the tyres to age uniformly, thus prolonging their life. Most local tyre stores provide free tyre rotation when you buy tyres from them. However, it is cheap to get your tyres rotated at any garage. Rotation compensates for the load distribution of the engine, the drive wheels front or rear, the braking forces and internal weight distribution within the vehicle. Extended periods in one location allows for uneven stress wear on the tyres.


5. Do not exceed your vehicle’s maximum carrying capacity

Every vehicle has a specified maximum carrying capacity. This information is in the car manual or on the sticker in the car door frame. Excessive loading exerts uneven forces on the tyres which can lead to tyre failure. Overloading also can damage other parts of your vehicle, such as shock absorbers, causing costly repairs.

6. Examine your tyres frequently, especially before long journeys and road trips

How well do you know your vehicle’s tyres? It is essential to know what to look for when inspecting the tyres of your car in your garage. Check each wheel for cracks or bulges on the tyre surface or sidewall. Look for objects such as nails or glass that are stuck in the tyre surface which will cause a puncture. By doing this it will allow an estimation as to how long the tyres will last. Before a long trip, assess the tyres carefully to avoid side of road problems during your journey.