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Extend the Lifespan of Your Tyres

Care for Your Tyres to Extend Their Lifespan and Save Money in the Process

Tyres are, arguably, the most important components to keep your vehicle moving. Of course, your vehicle wouldn’t work without an engine or fuel, but, and this is flippant, your vehicle could still roll down a hill. Without tyres, that vehicle’s going nowhere. Yet many of us take tyres (all five of them, including the one in the boot) for granted and don’t pay enough attention to their maintenance. And, since we don’t, we’re looking at wearing tyres out quicker than we should be, and needing to replace them prematurely. Proper inflation alone can extend the average life of a tire by almost 20 000km and save motorists up to R1.65 per litre.

Extend the Lifespan of Your Tyres

So, it’s more rands for you. And in today’s economy, with increasing inflation, and COVID related job insecurity, every cent counts. Here is a practical list of the things you should do to extend the lifetime of your tyres.

Properly Inflated Tyres

Know your vehicles correct tyre pressure.

You’ll find the right pressure on a label in the vehicle (usually on the driver’s doorjamb). Use this figure rather than the maximum pressure found on the tyre itself, because the vehicle manufacturer has taken all the factors of your vehicle into account (e.g. handling) and not just the maximum pressure of the tyre itself.

Check your tyre pressure monthly, and before you take long trips.

This keeps the vehicle running at its most efficient, increases tyre longevity, and improves the safety of you, your friends, and family.

Check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cold.

Tyre pressure decreases in cold weather, and can led to underinflation, which affects handling and increases rolling resistance. This means tyres needs to work harder to keep you mobile, and therefore shorten their lifespan.

Move to nitrogen.

Tyres stay correctly pressurised for longer, and since nitrogen makes them run up to 20% cooler, they last longer too.

Caring for Your Tread Depth

Legal limits.

The legal minimum tread depth is 1mm but you need to consider that insufficient tread will result in a drop in performance with an increase in braking distances, loss of traction, aquaplaning in wet conditions which may result in a blowout.

Clean and inspect your tyres regularly.

Extend the Lifespan of Your TyresUse soap and water to remove foreign objects and substances from both the tread and sidewalls. A visual inspection will reveal if they are wearing unevenly, allowing you to have preventative maintenance done. As a bonus, clean and blackened sidewalls on your tyres always makes them (and your vehicle) look better.

Replace old tyres with an identical set.

Low-rolling resistance is a common trait of original-equipment tyres.

Drive more carefully.

This is obviously crucial for safety, but it has an impact on your tyre’s lifespan too. Remember, if you enjoy your tyres squealing on takeoff or grinding them on curves, what you’re really doing is leaving the rubber of your tyres on the road.

Reduce your top speeds.

Driving faster generates more heat for your tyres and accelerates their wear.

Buy premium brand tyres.

They generally come with a warranty, have undergone extensive testing and R&D, outperform unknown brands, and give you peace of mind.

Rotate, balance, and align your tyres regularly.

This means more uniform wear on tyres. Do this every 10 000 km or as recommended in your vehicle’s manual or if you have hit a pothole or curb. If you notice signs of vibration or the steering is pulling to the one side.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa