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12 tips on tyre check ups

2014-05-23 10:35

RATHER SAFE THAN SORRY: Doing regular tyre and rim checks can save you a lot of time and money. Read the 12 tips about keeping your car in good condition. Image: Shutterstock

 •  Tyre failure accounts for 10-12% of crashes
 •  20% of minibus taxi incidents involve tyres
 •  Tyre and rim maintenance is important
 •  12 tips to help you to not become a statistic
Failing to maintain vehicles tyres and wheel rims is one of the leading causes of car crashes according to a 2013 report on sanews.gov.za. After that came faulty brakes and faulty steering wheels.
Budget Insurance' Martin Janse van Rensburg said: “South African roads are deteriorating and notorious for potholes. This greatly affects tyre wear and tear. Tyres gradually lose pressure over time. A slow puncture, a leaky valve or poor roads can accelerate this.

“The importance of looking after your vehicles tyres cannot be over-emphasised; get into the habit of regular tyre and rim maintenance. A proper check will take only five minutes."
Van Rensburg also suggests investing in a tyre and rim insurance.

Here are a dozen tips for making sure that your tyres and rims are in tiptop condition:
•  When you fill up with petrol, check the inflation pressure in each tyre with a reliable pressure gauge.
•  Be aware of any unusual trends. For instance, if a tyre seems to be losing pressure faster than the others it could be a slow puncture and that can lead to a blowout.
•  Only check pressures when the tyres are cold. If you deflate a hot tyre to the recommended pressure it may become under-inflated, leading to a heat build up and increase the risk of a blowout.
•  Remember to refit the valve cap.
•  Inflate tyres to the pressure recommended in your owner's manual or the tyre inflation guide in the glove box or on the door pillar.
•  The wheel itself must be checked for things like grease or oil leaking which could indicate a problem with the wheel bearing. Large amounts of grease on the side of the wheel rim facing the vehicle could mean that a constant velocity joint might have torn.
•  Make sure all the wheel nuts are present and tight.
•  Cuts, bulges or bruises on the tyre? Very dangerous – a bulge is caused by internal damage and you are at risk of a blowout
•  Assess tyre wear – if it's wearing more in the middle than on the shoulders, it's probably over-inflated. If it's wearing more on the shoulders, then it's likely to be under-inflated.
•  Have the wheel alignment checked. Misaligned wheels could cause anything from an increase in fuel consumption to uneven tyre wear and blowouts.
•  Replace tyres if they’re worn down to the wear bars on the tread. If they’re more than six years old they should also be replaced - in any case.
•  Set a reminder on your cellphone to do your next tyre check in two weeks.
Van Rensburg concludes, “If all motorists carried out these essential tyre checks, many fatalities on South Africa's roads could be prevented.”

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