Here’s How Your Tyre Can Serve You Longer
Over the years, emphasis has been placed on speed, faulty vehicles, bad roads and wrong safety practices, sidelining tyre blowouts, as the cause of most road accidents. Nevertheless, the occurrence of road crashes doesn’t seem to be abating, despite concerted efforts to address these issues.
Recent investigations reveal that tyre blowouts are becoming one of the most frequent causes of road crashes, a development which, if not immediately addressed, could lead to many more crashes in the coming years.
Read also: 10 Steps to Ridding Your Car of Ugly Scars
For a better understanding of the importance of a tyre in a car, it is necessary we define what a tyre really is. A tyre is a rubber covering for the wheel of a vehicle, typically inflated or surrounding an inflated inner tube, which serves to provide traction, reduce shock and protect the wheels of the vehicle, making a soft contact with the road.
Since loosing traction could cause the vehicle to lose balance and control, it becomes important to use good functioning tyres for your vehicle.
So, how do we identify a good tyre?
Firstly, it is very important to check and ensure that the tyres you are currently using are in perfect shape, so as to keep your vehicle moving safely. Then, you must also ensure that your car tyres have not expired. The expiry date of a tyre is often found by the side of the tyre and comes in four digits, often times with letters before the digits, e.g. *PHN0510*.
The last two digits on the tyre signify the year, while the first two signify the week of the year it was produced. If the tyre has only three digits, it should be discarded immediately because it was probably manufactured before the year 2000. It is also essential to check if the numbers were genuinely written and not hand crafted.
Statistics confirmed by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) show that most accidents in 2016 were a result of tyre blowouts – a situation where a vehicle tyre bursts out while the vehicle is in motion.
Mr. David Mendie, Gombe State Sector Commander, FRCN, in a recent media brief, emphasized the dire need for motorists to heed to the caution against the use of expired tyres, pointing to the spate of tyre blowouts in the country in recent times as regrettable.
Urging motorists to ensure that the manufacture and expiry dates of their tyres are properly checked before purchase, he added that tyres can also go bad before the expiry date if not properly managed, noting that excess pressure on tyres, and leaving a car in a spot for too long, could also lead to a blowout while the vehicle is in motion.
How do we care for tyres?
In view of the foregoing, it is therefore, advisable to leave tyres suspended in the air when there is need for the vehicle to be parked on a spot for a long time.
Research has shown that the quality of a carefully used tyre drops by 20% after the first two years and by 50 % at the third year. In the fourth year, it should be replaced as it has reached its maximum life span.
Despite the lifespan of 4 years, experts advise that tyres be replaced after they have covered a maximum of 80,000km, even if the maximum life span hasn’t been reached.
In all, it is clear that proper care for your tyre would go a long way to keep you safe from road crashes. So, here are a few more tips to keep your tyre rolling safely.
Inflate tyres properly
You probably do not know that a tyre is designed to hold up only a specific amount of pressure at a time. Tyres should be inflated to the suitable pressure fit for the size of the tyre. It is every driver’s responsibility to know the recommended pressure fit for the tyres in use.
This is because over-inflated tyres do not function as effectively as they should. They are often prone to cuts, concussion, smogs and rupid centre wear. Then, they are not as flexible as they are designed to be, or able to absorb shock as a properly inflated tyre would.
On the other hand, an under-inflated tyre results in an excessively flexed tyre, with excessive heat generation and rapid shoulder wear.
Never reduce tyre pressure when the tyre is hot and always ensure the tyre valves are equipped with valve caps to keep dirt and moisture away.
Know the tyre’s heat resistance
Letters A, B and C on the walls of the tyre indicate its resistance to heat. The most popular ratings are A and C. A is best suited for tropical regions like Nigeria, with a mid to high temperature, while C is most appropriate for cold regions and is apparently not fit for a country like Nigeria.
Rotate tyres often
Rotating tyres often ensures all tyres wear evenly. The rear should be changed to the front and the front changed to the back often. You can speak with your mechanic on how to go about it.
Read also: What To Do When You Have A Tyre Blowout
Tips to note in case of a tyre blowout
- Try hard to not panic
- Carefully reduce the speed of the car by gently removing your leg from the accelerator. Whatever you do, do not apply the brake.
- Be conscious of your environment. Avoid crashing into humans. It is better to damage properties than lives.
- Gradually bring the vehicle to a stop and park safely after the speed has been drastically reduced.
Remember, a vehicle moving at the recommended speed limit stands a better chance of getting out crashes safely than a vehicle moving at a high speed. So, always obey traffic rules and adhere strictly to speed limits.