Check your wheels | News | NamAuto

Check your wheels


​Barry de Klerk - Tyre bursts are one of the main causes of motor vehicle accidents every year. Drivers should always remember that tyre safety should be at the top of their priority list.

Unchecked tyres can lead to bursts which in turn causes accidents. Drivers can easily forget to check their tyre pressure and thread on a regular basis. Motor vehicle owners should make sure they replace their tyres before they become rundown, this is even more important for long haul drivers.

Tyre dealerships usually inform their customers on how far they can travel when they replace their old tyres. According to Andre Carstens at Windhoek Super Tyres, tyres need to be rotated at most every 10 000km and a vehicles’ wheel alignment should also be checked every 10 000km.

The main causes of tyre bursts are:

Under-inflation

The most common cause for a tyre blowout is under-inflation. An under-inflated tyre will bulge under your car’s weigh and this causes it to bounce up and down at fast speeds. The high level of friction results in heat, which eventually weakens the tyre and causes the burst. Make sure to check your tyre pressure regularly.

“Tyres should be checked at least once a month and especially before leaving on a long trip. Pressure must be checked on a cold tyre and not when it is hot,” Andre said.

Overloading

Overloading is something traffic officers around the world deal with on a daily basis. Drivers should know that it can be dangerous, especially if a vehicle’s tyres are under-inflated. The extra weight puts more pressure on the tyres. Make sure you keep to a car’s max load weight; this will reduce the risk of a tyre burst.

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Pot holes

Some tyre burst might not always be the vehicle owner’s fault. Pot holes become prevalent during the rainy season ant that is way drivers should be on the lookout for them. Driving through a pothole at high speeds can cause an immediate bursts. Hitting a curb can have a similar effect on the wheels.

Heat

The temperature and the change in climate can also have an effect on your tyres. Atmospheric pressure changes due to the difference in climate or elevation. More pressure on the outside means your tyres are put under more strain. It is important to check your tyres on the long road, every time you visit a service station make sure you check your tyres too.

Over used tyres

Some people think they can drive for years without replacing their vehicle’s tyres, which can be dangerous. All tyres only have specific lifetime, after which they should be replaced. The thread gets thinner and the rubber gets weaker over time.

Tyres are an important part of a vehicle, so make sure you take care of them. Tyre bursts can easily be avoided; it just all depends on whether they are looked after.

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Mohammed Bhamjee, of Tyrerack Namibia says that people should remember that the only thing holding the car on the road is the wheels. He says it does not matter how good the car is, it is only as good as the weakest link.

“Always buy new tyres and buy them from reputable dealers which sell approved products which carry international standards certification. Cutting corners is gambling with your life and that of your family and other road users,” Mohammed said.