Motoring News

Don’t let a pothole blow out your holiday trip

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A video on social media shows vehicles slamming into two large potholes along a road in Mpumalanga. True or not, if you’re heading off on holiday over the Easter break such road obstacles will be inevitable due to higher-than-normal rainfall.

CEO of MasterDrive Eugene Herbert, a frequent contributor to The Corner, suggests preparing for that horrible, sudden thump from your car’s front suspension ”particularly on long stretches between fuel stations”.

There are ways to beat the bumps – if not the assault but certainly the recovery… first, make sure your tyres – particularly the spare – are in good nick. ”Make sure it’s properly inflated,” Herbert warned. ”Visit a tyre centre to make sure all five wheels will get you there – and back.”

SEALANTS NOT ALWAYS A FIX-ALL

There is, of course, the chance of double trouble… “Two tyres could be damaged by the same pothole so consider a tyre sealant. Some cars might even come with repair kits that include sealant instead of a spare wheel.

“Whatever, sealants are only effective in certain circumstances: they won’t fix damage wider than four cm or if the wheel rim is damaged. However, sealant works – provided you know what you’re doing.

”Keep all necessary equipment permanently in the boot and, . For example, some sealants may require driving short distances for the sealant to work properly and an additional stop to check if it worked. Several tyre sealers restrict speed and distance travelled and require more caution cornering and braking.”

DO’S AND DON’TS OF DONUTS

Marie biscuit spare wheels are also useful if you have space in your car/wagon/bakkie. They’re intended to reach professional repair(s). but also require adjustments to driving to ensure safety

“Donut spares are not meant to be driven faster than 80km/hour,” Herbert warns, and be aware they can affect affect steering, braking, and cornering. The ultimate lesson is to know your car and your tyres – research your route for potholes.”

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