Whether you’re heading out on the road for a fabulous trip with your girlfriends, romantic weekend or a much-needed family holiday, it is best you take the time to check out the following to make sure that all is in order before you’re stuck on the side of the road. Many tyre ‘emergencies’ prove to be avoidable provided one takes the time to educate themselves about basic tyre care.
The average lady’s handbag often contains a myriad of emergency fix-its, so why not ensure peace-of-mind and safety on the road with these easy tyre care tips from Dunlop?
How to avoid tyre failures
It’s always first prize to avoid an emergency altogether so follow these pointers from the experts and you’ll soon be joining the dots together like a pro:
1. Check all your tyres frequently for any signs of irregularities or damage. If you have any doubts, pop by your closest Dunlop Zone for some expert advice. Some major snags to consider are: sidewall damage like cuts, scuffs and bulges. This sort of damage can be incurred by simply hitting the kerb too hard when parking or bumping through one too many pothole. Severe sidewall damage is not repairable so the tyre will have to be replaced.
2. Tyre pressure - one of the most important elements that a motorist should consider is to check their tyre pressure regularly and make sure it complies with the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Over-inflated or under-inflated tyres wear quicker, fail more easily and are extremely dangerous at high speeds and in the wet.
Remember: the best time to check tyre pressure is when the tyres are cold, about 30 minutes after the last drive. Make sure that the tyres are inflated to the pressure levels specifically recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. This can be found on a sticker on the driver’s door pillar, inside the fuel flap or in your Owner’s Manual.
3. Be aware of punctures - if you find you often have to top up your tyres with air, there is a possibility that you have a small puncture, which not be noticeable with the naked eye and may not cause the tyre to deflate immediately but, nonetheless, should be repaired as soon as possible as it can be extremely dangerous when traveling at high speeds over long distances.
Also, check that your valve caps are secure, as these prevent contamination of the valve core and may also leak air out of the tyres.
4. Watch out for those potholes! The scourge of our roads are often difficult to avoid and invariably crop up when we least expect it.
Potholes can cause a whole host of damage to your tyres – which may not be evident at first. Dunlop Zones often see vehicles with complaints such as sidewall bulges and penetration cuts – all thanks to that last pothole you smacked into a few months back, often through no fault of our own.
Keep your eyes peeled while you’re on the road as even a small, insignificant pothole can have a serious knock-on effect regarding tyre damage, ultimately leading to a potential tyre failure at speed.
5. Avoid curb climbing – parallel parking has to be every drivers’ worst high-risk undertaking and that sharp knock of mounting or hitting a curb can damage the wall of your tyre. If the tyre hits the curb hard it may result in a puncture or other such damage
6. Remember the spare - it’s vital to remember your spare tyre when checking the condition of your other tyres. Over a period of time the spare tyre may lose air as it permeates through rubber. Check the spare every few months and before long journeys. You never know when you may need it.
7. Tyre treads that are worn or smooth on the roads are dangerous, especially in the wet because smooth tyres lack the grip needed for your car to stay firmly on the road. So make sure that all your tyres have a remaining tread that falls safely within the legal requirements. A legal minimum of 1mm in depth across the entire width and circumference is stipulated in South Africa, while Dunlop adheres to as a professional yardstick of 1.66mm.
It always helps to be prepared and these handy tyre care tips will ensure both your safety and confidence in taking that out-of-town roadtrip.
Dunlop wishes all our women drivers well in their travels. Embrace our challenge to empower yourself with the knowledge to keep your tyres in tip-top shape and your car safely on the road.