‘Tis the season to be jolly - not to be stuck on the side of the road!
This time of year, country roads are full of vehicles filled with people travelling to visit family, friends, or maybe just a good ol’ road-trip for the Christmas season.
Most people are sensible enough check their car engine (oil, water etc) in preparation for the upcoming winter trips. However, one thing which is almost always overlooked is a car's tyres. The consequences if not checked can lead to a flat or blown tyre, decreased traction, and even increased hydroplaning (to you and me - when the driver loses control of tyres due to water on road).
So before you set off on your family rounds to deliver all those pressies and especially if you’re setting off on a long road journey, ensure you and your passengers enjoy a safe and trouble free Christmas by following our simple steps to get your car tyres are ready and willing for the holiday period.
1. Ensure your tyres are not bald
While illegal in its own right, bald tyres on your car also present a severe safety issue. A tyre showcasing worn out threading has an increased risk of a tire blow-out due to puncture.
Regularly check the thread grooves of your tyres, if it has worn down to less than 1.6mm your tyres may be classified as unsafe.
2. Check the inflation of your tyres
While it is good practice to check your tyre pressure monthly, most people tend to let this slide. Use a tyre pressure gauge to certify that the amount of air in each tyre is the appropriate amount. Most service stations supply an air gauge, however due to exposure and abuse by customers the readings may be inaccurate or false. This is why it may be a good idea to invest in a quality air gauge for your own personal use.
Properly inflated tyres can perform to their intended capacity, while also improving your gas mileage by more than 3 percent.
• Reduces the amount of shock your car can handle, resulting in a much bumpier ride
• Will cause over excessive wear and tear of your tyre’s centre
• Will cause excessive flexing, build up of internal heat, while also rapidly deteriorate your tyre’s thread
• Creates rolling resistance which negatively affects your fuel efficiency
Another thing to remember is to always check your tyre pressure before you go out, or when your tyres are cold. The reason being, a tyre which is hot contains expanded air from the heat, thus your reading would be higher (not to mention inaccurate).
3. Check your wheel alignment
Uneven wheel alignment can lead to uneven thread wear of your tyres resulting in vibrations as well as compromising your tyres ability to perform.
4. Regularly rotate your tyres
Rotating your tyres every 5,000 to 8,000 Kms will help in reducing uneven thread wear and result in a prolonged life for your tyres.
5. Listen to irregular noises
Try to keep an ear out for any noises your car makes when in motion, particularly in excess of speeds of 50 kph. This could mean irregular wear or other problems associated with your tyres. Should you hear such noises, have a professional mechanic take a look.
From all of us at Fleetcare, we would like to extend our warmest season’s greetings to you and your family. Remember to be patient and responsible on the roads this festive season. Wishing you a safe and Merry Christmas!