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Holiday tyre safety tips

2013-03-20 08:59

TRAVEL SAFELY: The safety of your tyres is important especially when travelling long distances. Make sure they're up to standard or chuck them!


General Motors's James Bell and Edmunds.com editor Bill Visnic talk about the simple mistakes drivers make when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Here Bell emphasises the importance of the correct tyre pressure.

Schools across the country are about to break for the holidays and with that comes the guaranteed final dash to the coast to extend the summer. As you prepare for your holiday, Tiger Wheel & Tyre has some important tyre safety tips.  


Before you leave for a holiday, check your tyre tread. The minimum legal tread depth limit in South Africa is 1mm.

Joe du Plooy, marketing executive of Tiger Wheel & Tyre, said: “Tread depth directly impacts your car’s traction and grip on the road. The less you have, the greater your braking distance will be and the more likely your car is to skid when driving in the rain.”

Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. If you’re driving stock tyres, check the manufacturer’s recommended pressures inside the sill of the driver’s door or inside the fuel cap. For aftermarket tyres, check your tyre manual or ask the dealer who installed them.

Remember heavy loads put extra strain on your tyres, so if your car is jam-packed with luggage make sure you adjust the tyre pressure. 

Du Plooy said: “The correct tyre pressure is absolutely critical. Over-inflate tyres and they’ll erode faster at the centre. Under-inflate them and they’ll wear out quicker on the outside; be more likely to blow-out while driving; and will also increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption.”

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 up to 20%.

Of course checking tread depth and pressure also applies to that lifeline inside the boot, on the back door or under the tailgate of your vehicle – your spare tyre.

Finally, if your car feels like it’s pulling to one side, shakes while driving or if it has been more than 10 000km since its last wheel balancing and alignment, it’s time to get it checked out. 

Read more on:    holiday season

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