4 tips to keep your tyres in shape

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With the holiday season approaching spare a thought for your vehicle - especially your tyres. Check out our top 4 tips for keeping your tyres in shape.

Here are some tyre-safety basics from Tiger Wheel & Tyre:


1 Take note of your tread
Just like the soles of your shoes, tyres have tread that wears down with driving. The more worn your tyres, the less traction and grip you will have on the road, meaning your braking distance will increase and you are more likely to skid when driving in the rain.

In fact, the legal tread depth limit in South Africa is a minimum of 1mm across the entire circumference of the tyre (Wheels24 believes it should be twice that!)

Not sure whether yours are legal? Ask a wheel and tyre professional to point out the tread wear indicators on your tyres.

2 Under pressure
The correct tyre pressure can mean the difference between life and death. Don’t assume the pressure is two bars, which a lot of people do when we chant “two please” to the friendly pump jockey.

Tyres have recommended pressures which you will find on the driver's door sill or inside the fuel cap and vehicle handbook. Take the time to check these and make sure the pressure is correct. Over-inflated tyres erode at their centre, under-inflated tyres wear more quickly on their outside edges, where the tread joins the sidewalls.

Under-inflated tyres overheat easily and result in a potentially fatal burst.

3 The other tyre
Before you get on your way check that you have a spare tyre and that it is inflated to the correct pressure and has the legal amount of tread (at least 1mm).  If your car is fitted with run-flat tyres you won’t have a spare, check the “Run-flats vs Normal” tip below.

4 Balancing act
Staying in your lane is a basic rule of the road though neglecting the balancing and alignment of your wheels can make you lose your step. If your car is shaking or pulling to one side while moving you need to get your wheels balanced and aligned.

Sometimes the deviation is very subtle so make sure you check your wheel balancing and alignment every 10 000km and before every major trip. This not only improves the handling of your car but also extends the tread life of your tyres and could reduce fuel consumption. The more you look after your tyres, the longer they will last, which means you have more money to spend on your summer holiday.


Nitrogen vs Air
Tyres inflated with nitrogen run cooler, which means they last longer. Tyres running on nitrogen don’t lose pressure as quickly as tyres inflated with air. Inflating your tyres with nitrogen can extend tyre life by as much as 20%.

Run-flat vs Normal
Run-flat tyres are designed to allow you to continue driving after the tyre has been punctured; you don’t have to stop at the side of the road and put on a spare. Run-flat tyres SHOULD NOT BE REPAIRED.

Heavy load vs Light load
Heavy loads put extra strain on your tyres so, if your car is jam-packed with luggage and people, make sure you adjust the tyre pressure. Tyre failure can occur due to overloading, so check your owner’s manual for recommended tyre pressures for “heavy loads” before you pack everything.