How To Pre­vent Dan­gers in your Tyres

THISDAY - - AUTO -

If your una check on you ty re pres­sure snow with a qual­ity tyre pres­sure gauge (not the abused/ overused road side vul­can­iz­ers gauge), you will ap­pre­ci­ate why the above alarm is sounded. Such a check may re­veal that at least one of your tyres is in­cor­rectly in­flated. Very few ve­hi­cles, if any, will pass this test. In­cor­rect ty re pres­sure is the No .1 cause of ty re blowouts, sud­den tyre fail­ure sand pre­ma­ture tyre wear. In­cor­rect ty re pres­sure is an in­vi­ta­tion to dis­as­ter even if the tyres are brand new! It is a time bomb wait­ing for the right time to ex­plode. The im­pli­ca­tion is that each time such a ve­hi­cle is driv­ing; the oc­cu­pants are fac­ing grave dan­ger with­out be­ing aware of it. As the hours count down to this year’s fes­tiv­i­ties which as usual has wit­nessed in­creased mo­tor­iza­tion in keep­ing with our pen­chant for trav­els, I wish to run my last piece on tyres for 2017 hop­ing the few tips con­tained in this piece will help us make the right safety choices ahead of the cross­over into 2018 by the mer­cies of the Al mighty God. I humbly urge you not to ig­nore the tips as it re­minds me of a re­call a re­cent crash caused by tyre blowout which claimed the life of an of­fi­cer who was part of a con­voy con­vey­ing the corpse of his late fa­ther.

Types of in­cor­rect tyre in­fla­tion

There are two types of in­cor­rect ty re pres­sure. These are over in­fla­tion and un­der in­fla­tion. Let us take a look at how they can af­fect your tyres and cause dis­as­ter and what could bed one to main­tain a proper pres­sure for your tyres and so pre­vent or dras­ti­cally min­i­mize blowout and other forms of tyre fail­ures.

Blowouts; un­der-in­fla­tion is the cause Un­der-in­fla­tion is the ma­jor cause of tyre blowouts. When a ty re is un­der in­flated, it in­creases what is known as the ROLLING RE­SIS­TANCE (RR) as the ve­hi­cles move. RR gen­er­ates a tremen­dous amount of heat that could make your tyre ex­plode like a bomb. Such an ex­plo­sion (blowout) will desta­bi­lize the bal­ance lead­ing to a crash and dis­as­ter.

Other types of tyre fail­ures; over in­fla­tion is the cause

When over in­flated, a tyre be­comes stiff. This can make it punc­ture eas­ily. The in­ter­nal ma­te­ri­als used in mak­ing the ty re are also sub­jected to un­due strain. This would make them snap, lead­ing to bulges or swells. As the tyre hits a pot hole or bumps, it can eas­ily cut and have a sud­den de­fla­tion that could cause a crash. Over-in­fla­tion also leads to par­tial con­tact of the tyres with road sur­face.

This re­duces trac­tion and can eas­ily lead to loss of control when one is on high speed, wet sur­face, cor­ner­ing or break­ing. Each of these con­di­tions can eas­ily lead to a crash and dis­as­ter.

Preven­tion

There are two very ef­fec­tive op­tions to preven­tion or dras­tic re­duc­tion of blowouts and other form of tyre fail­ures.

Op­tion 1: own a qual­ity ty re pres­sure g au ge. As al­ready pointed out, in­cor­rect tyre pres­sure is the ma­jor cause of blowouts and sud­den tyre fail­ure. So, cor­rect tyre pres­sure is a must for any safety con­scious mo­torist. But the big ques­tion is, how do you en­sure that what the vul­can­izer pumped into your tyre is the cor­rect pres­sure? Only a qual­ity tyre pres­sure gauge will tell you. A qual­ity gauge will also en­able you tog au ge your tyres at the right time and to en­sure that all the tyres main­tain cor­rect pres­sure be­fore the ve­hi­cle is driven out for the day. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant if you are in the trans­port busi­ness or if you are trav­el­ling. Never rely on the road side vul­can­iz­ers’ gauge. Most of their gauges are out­right in­fe­rior, have been over used or abused over­time and may have im­proper mea­sur­ing units. In fair­ness to the vul­can­ize rs, how­ever, they may not be aware of these short­com­ings with their g aug es. Op­tion 2: in­stall a high pro­file au­to­matic ty re mon­i­tors. This is a state of the art de­vice that use sen­sors and a wire­less mon­i­tor to mon­i­tor your tyres on a 24hours ba­sis. It alerts the driver well in ad­vance about an im­pend­ing tyre blowout or fail­ure. It pin­points the ex­act tyre so that the driver will take ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sure to deal with the sit­u­a­tion. It also ef­fec­tively takes care of pre­ma­ture tyre wear.

What is your ve­hi­cle’s cor­rect tyre pres­sure?

By the end of the driver’ s door of your ve­hi­cle, or in the ve­hi­cles’ man­ual, you will see spec­i­fi­ca­tion that shows size of tyre for your ve­hi­cle and the in­fla­tion pres­sure for the tyre in psi (pounds per square inch) religiously stick to that spec­i­fi­ca­tion. Do not al­low any­one( es­pe­cially the vul­can­izer) tell you other­wise un­less you want to gam­ble with your life. It is in­struc­tive to note here that it is not the tyre man­u­fac­turer that de­ter­mines the pres­sure for your tyre, but the ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer. It is the ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer that spec­i­fies the size of tyres and the pres­sure to be given the tyre.

He has taken into con­sid­er­a­tion the weight, speed, num­ber of pas­sen­ger, ar­ti­fi­cial in­fla­tion by the heat and other fac­tors to de­ter­mine what the proper in­fla­tion pres­sure should be. The spec­i­fi­ca­tion you see on the tyres are to en­able you match the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the ve­hi­cles’ man­u­fac­turer. In this light, it is equally dan­ger­ous to use tyre sizes dif­fer­ent from what the ve­hi­cles man­u­fac­turer spec­i­fied for the ve­hi­cle.

Gauge and pump tyres at the right time

The right time to gauge /pump is when the tyres are cold. Morn­ings are most ideal. Be­fore you drive out, gauge the tyres and if there is need to pump, slowly drive to the near­est vul­can­izer. If you are the type that leaves home very early, week­ends maybe the most con­ve­nient time for you. When hot, the tyre pres­sure in­creases. Any ac­tion (gauge, pump) you take when the tyres are hot will be mis­lead­ing and could be fa­tal.

On for­tu­nately, most peo­ple g au ge and pump ty res when the tyres are hot. Never do so. If tyres are hot, leave them for about 3hours to cool down.

SAFE DRIV­ING with Jonas Agwu am­nipr, mcipr,mprsa,arpa (Corps Com­man­der) Corps Pub­lic Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fi­cer Fed­eral Road Safety Corps. + 2348033026491

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