Tyre tips for added safety
We often don’t give our tyres a second thought - until something happens. Your tyres are, however, vital to your safety and overall car performance. Just like the soles of your shoes suffer wear and tear from walking long distances, over time, your tyres take a beating too. It’s important that you know how to protect and look after tyres, as well as inspect them to determine when it’s time for a new set.
Talking about tyres, you’ll need to understand some tyre terminology. There are five main terms you’ll need to understand:
Your tyre width is measured from sidewall to sidewall.
Your tyre’s aspect ratio is the ratio (%) of your tyre’s height to its width. An aspect ratio of 70, for example, indicates the tyre’s height is 70% of its width.
Your wheel diameter is the height of your wheel in inches.
Your tyre’s speed rating is the maximum speed it can travel. This figure applies to tyres that are correctly inflated and not carrying a heavy load.
Your tyre’s load index refers to the maximum capacity (in kg) that your tyres can carry.
You may notice other markings on your tyres, such as:
Passenger vehicle - P Radial tyre construction - R United Nations Commission for Europe compliant - ECE
Tread wear indicators placement - TWI
Date of manufacture (four digit code) and tyre pressure information may also be visible on your tyre.
There are several ways to extend the life span of your tyres Make sure your tyres match. Whenever you replace tyres, try to replace all four simultaneously. If this isn’t possible, at least ensure that you buy matching pairs. Also make sure that the new tyres match the older ones you’re keeping, and mount the newer tyres on the driven axle - this will give you better stability, ensuring a safer ride.
Check your tyre pressure regularly
Your tyre pressure impacts your car’s handling on the road, as well as your fuel efficiency. The wrong tyre pressure can wear down your tyres faster, and affect your ability to brake properly, causing a safety hazard. Your tyres lose pressure over time - so it’s a good idea to get them checked whenever you stop to fill up with petrol. If you’re not sure what the ideal tyre pressure for your vehicle is, you can find the correct tyre pressure on the inside of the driver’s door.