Motoring News

Tyre tips: Like your engine, tyres need maintenance

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – Continental Tyres designs, develops, and manufactures its products for long life but South African conditions vary widely according to vehicle, application, individual driving styles, and road conditions.

All of which affects the longevity of a tyre – and cost you serious money.

Many more factors will dictate a tyre’s lifespan: inflation pressure, wheel alignment, load, speed, harshness or otherwise of cornering and braking, regional climate, and ambient temperature.

Ccontact between tyre and road surface causes wear: incorrect wheel-alignment will cause excessive wear on the inner or outer shoulder of the tyre; gravel roads and rough and rocky terrain will accelerate tyre wear; incorrect tyre inflation pressure will increase fuel consumption.

THREE PERILS: PRESSURE, DAMAGE, WEAR

Over-inflation will cause extra wear on the central tread; under-inflation will wear the outer treads. Unbalanced wheels cause uneven tyre wear because they don’t track straight..

Most punctures are caused by incorrect tyre-pressure, damage, and wear.

”You can be proactive and increase the tyre life,” Continental says, ”through proper and regular maintenance – such check pressures, rotate wheels every 10 000km, get wheel-alignment checks, follow a routine of checking tread wear and inspection for visible signs of wear and damage.”

Continental tyres have visual alignment indicators that show incorrect wheel alignment without electronic measurement. After a few thousand kilometres the VAI will clearly show whether wear on each tyre’s shoulders is identical. Uneven wear requires a wheel alignment check and wheels adjustment.

HOW TYRES AGE

”This is caused over time,” Continental says, ”by chemical and physical processes – among them climate and weather, ultraviolet light, moisture, or extremely high or low temperatures, each a cause of loss of elasticity and grip.”

Tyres older than 10 years should be replaced

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