Tyre safety is paramount in mobile tyre fitting, tyre selection and care of your tyres. Here are some points worth keeping very much in mind.
- Never overload your tyres. The maximum load and inflation pressure of the tyres is moulded into the sidewall. Also, remember the tyre is capable of carrying the maximum load only if it is inflated to its correct air pressure.
- Do not use tyres with a tread depth of less than 1.6mm. Apart from being illegal, tyres with low levels of tread will slide easily, suffer from extended braking distances and will be more susceptible to rupturing (blow out). In wet conditions the vehicle will aquaplane making braking and handling almost impossible.
- Make sure your air pressures are correct. Low air pressure generates heat which can result in the rubber and cord separating, which in turn leads to the cord becoming cut and puncturing the tyre. Low pressure also results in excessive wear on the edge of the tyre, shortening the tyre's life and can cause your vehicle to pull to one side. Excessive pressure, meanwhile, results in unpredictable handling in addition to which, if the tyre suffers an impact, it is easily ruptured and cut. If you brake hard, the tyre may skid, which reduces tyre life as the centre of the tread becomes worn. Check tyre inflation pressures at least twice a month. Always check pressures when tyres are cool and maintain the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
- Don't drive with damaged tyres. If you drive with materials such as stone in the tread groove, or with a nail stuck in the tyre, the tyre can become punctured or ruptured. You should change the tyre immediately on discovering any damage to avoid any further damage to the carcass. See your vehicle owner's manual for details on the removal and replacement of wheels to your vehicle.
- Treat abnormal tyre wear immediately. To ensure normal wear you should check air pressures and alignment and rotate the tyres regularly. In addition you should avoid bad driving habits such as sudden acceleration, braking and cornering.
- Check the spare tyre. Make sure you regularly check your spare tyre for air pressure, damage and tread depth.
- Never mount radial tyres on the same axle as non-radial tyres or radial tyres on the front axle when non-radial tyres are mounted on the rear axle. These conditions are likely to cause vehicle instability resulting in a sudden loss of control.
- Check regularly that the wheel nuts are securely tightened.
- Do not use detergents or chemicals containing petroleum products for cleaning or polishing your tyres.
- Tyres are designed for specific types of road surface. Try to avoid prolonged use of road tyres on off-road conditions.
- Never fit used tyres unless you are sure of their past history. Check your tyres' age, even if they have not been used or have only been used occasionally. Cracks in the tread or in the sidewall rubber, sometimes accompanied by deformation of the carcass, are a sure sign of aging. If you are unsure have your old tyres checked by a tyre specialist so that you can be certain they are still suitable for further use.
- If you get a puncture, stop as soon as possible and change the tyre. Besides the obvious safety considerations, continuing to drive on an under-inflated tyre can cause structural deterioration. Punctured tyres must always be removed from the wheel to check for secondary damage. See your vehicle owner's manual for details on the removal and replacement of wheels to your vehicle.
- If it is necessary and feasible to repair a tyre, it must be carried out by a tyre specialist as soon as possible to avoid any structural deterioration. All tyre repairs must be entrusted to a tyre repair specialist.
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