Take care when it comes to tyre safety

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - THIS WEEK YOU’RE SAYING ... -

WITH what ap­pears to be an ever increasing rate of fa­tal ac­ci­dents where ve­hi­cles are ei­ther trans­port­ing peo­ple or goods we should turn our at­ten­tion to tyres and the con­di­tion thereof.

Tyre pressure is ex­tremely im­por­tant. It is the air in a tyre which car­ries the load, so if the in­fla­tion pressure is not cor­rect it could lead to ex­ces­sive flex­ing and over­heat­ing, and even­tu­ally fail­ure.

A cor­rectly in­flated tyre can be ren­dered as under-in­flated if the load is ex­ces­sive – more flex­ing, more heat and a fail­ure is in­evitable.

Some­how a mes­sage or form of ed­u­ca­tion needs to be done to in­form mo­torists of cor­rect tyre pres­sures for their size of tyre and what it is be­ing used for.

In short, the tyre and pressure must suit the pur­pose for which it will be used.

The tyre tread is also ex­tremely im­por­tant. Have tyres checked at a rep­utable tyre dealer, that can in most cases guide you through se­lect­ing the cor­rect tyre pressure v load for the weight of the ve­hi­cle.

Do not fit re­grooved tyres or tyres which the ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer has not spec­i­fied. Once again, go to a rep­utable tyre dealer and take their ad­vice.

Check tyre pres­sures reg­u­larly to de­tect slow leaks from valve, valve core or slow punc­tures from for­eign objects in tyres.

Use metal valve caps with wash­ers to act as a sec­ondary seal on the valve. If the valve core leaks, then the valve cap will pre­vent air from leak­ing out.

If you do not have a TPMS (tyre pressure man­age­ment sys­tem) in your ve­hi­cle, it is dif­fi­cult to note a slow punc­ture or air leak.

When air leaks out of the tyre, it causes it to flex more and gen­er­ate heat, which even­tu­ally could cause a pre­ma­ture fail­ure. Heat can also af­fect the per­for­mance and mileage you get from your tyres.

When fit­ting a new tyre or hav­ing a punc­ture re­paired, buy a new valve. Valves can crack and de­te­ri­o­rate over time from the heat build-up in the rim from brak­ing. If a valve leaks the same cy­cle of heat build-up or rapid air loss can oc­cur.


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