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5 things you may not know about tyres

2017-06-08 10:28

A vehicle is made up of lots of parts – from the engine to the seats to the antennae – and in order to make sure the entire package is working as it should be all the parts need to be maintained regularly.

And for many of us, we maintain our vehicles by having it serviced regularly or taking it to a mechanic when there is something wrong, but that does not mean that you should not be aware of what is happening with your vehicles, especially with regards to your tyres, as those are often the most overlooked part of the car even though they are one of the most important parts. The more you know about tyres the more time and money you can save on these in the long run.

Here is a list of 5 things that you may not know about tyres and could help you better understand the rubbery wheel coverings:

1. How to read your tyre size

Every tyre has a number on the side, but being able to understand how to read these is another ball game, so here is a guide on how to read them correctly.

We will use 205/65 R15 as an example:

  • 205: Section Width – this is the width in millimeters of the tyre
  • 65: Aspect Ratio – this is the percentage of the tyre’s sidewall height compared to the tyre’s section width
  • R: Construction Code – this means the tyre is manufactured with a radial-ply construction
  • 15: Rim diameter – the diameter of the rim in inches, measured on the wheel flange

2. How long you can drive on your spare tyre

Have you noticed that your spare tyre, when fitted with a space-saver (temporary spare wheel), is smaller than your other tyres? This is usually because, for convenience sake, these are easier to change in case of an emergency, and takes up less boot space. These are lighter and easier to fit in a boot. Although this also means that they are not as stable and durable as the rest of your tyres.

When you are using your space-saver spare tyre you should not drive faster than 80km/h because these are not built to handle the pressure of faster speeds. If you do use your spare tyre for long term it will put a strain on your other tyres because those will wear unevenly.

3. What patterns on the tread do

The patterns on the tyres have different results when driving:

  • Non-directional – The most common type of tyre, this features the same pattern and continuous grooves across the entire tyre. These are known for their longevity and versatility and can be rotated in a number of different ways, and are best suited for non-high performance cars.
  • Directional – These are the tyres that feature a large V-shaped pattern with large grooves. These are designed for water drainage and are helpful to reduce hydroplaning (aquaplaning).
  • Asymmetrical – These are the tyres that are usually found on sport cars and come in multiple tread patterns. This design maximises grip and stability of the tyres on both dry and wet roads.

4. How punctured tyres are repaired

Most punctures can be repaired if is not through the sidewall of the tyre or if it smaller than 6mm or if it isn’t worn below the wear indicator bar. When a tyre is repaired, it is repaired from the inside out; the tyre is deflated and removed from the rim. The casing is sealed where the puncture happened. It is then refitted onto the rim and put back onto the vehicle.

5. To always check for cracks or bulges in the wall of the car tyre

Cracks and bulges in the wall of the tyre could cause the tyre to blow out and cause an accident if you put too much pressure on the tyre.

Wanting to test out your knowledge of tyres? Why not head over to AutoTrader to find your next car?! AutoTrader South Africa has been the leading media market space for the past 25 years for buying and selling vehicles. Whether you are looking to buy a brand new car or are in the market for a pre-loved model, AutoTrader has over 69 000 cars to choose from to suit your tastes and needs. Find your perfect car on AutoTrader.

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