Quick Tyre Check For School Holiday Travels

  • Save

Heavy traffic volumes and challenging winter weather conditions are part and parcel of the mid-year school holiday break, so, in the bustle of making arrangements, checking that your car’s tyres are safe for the road ahead should be right up there with wearing seat belts, avoiding fatigue and not speeding.

It’s important to recharge and spend time with family, and many of us look forward to going on road trips or holidays at this time of year when our children are likely to be on holiday from school. We’re urging holidaymakers to dedicate time to ensure their tyres are in good condition, not just for this period, but at all times, so that they can safely enjoy their time away.

The school holidays also mean there will be an uptick in child pedestrians, many of them unsupervised, so it’s imperative to ensure that your tyres are in the best condition to maximise safety and braking efficiency.

Why is tyre safety important?

Your tyres are the only part of your vehicle that directly meets the road surface. In an emergency, the tyres need to have sufficient friction to come to a stop.

If your tyres are worn or damaged, this could reduce their grip, resulting in the vehicle failing to stop timeously, or in the case of wet weather, the car could aquaplane.

Quick fact: Tread is the rubber on the tyre that touches the road surface. The legal limit for a tyre tread grove shouldn’t be below 1mm across the tread surface at any point. In most cases, the manufactured with tread wear indicators are built into the grooves at 1.6 mm. When the tread wear indicators are flush with the level of the tread, then they must be replaced.

Take this 5-minute tyre check before you get on the road

Before jumping into the car for your mid-year holiday, take 5 minutes to walk around the vehicle. Do this a few days before you leave so that you have enough time to spare to make any changes.

Check for:

Shoulder wear – When the outer edges start to wear excessively. This is caused either by underinflation, improper wheel alignment, or hard driving.

You will need to either inflate to the manufacturer’s recommendations or check and adjust wheel alignment and rotate or replace tyres.

Crown wear – When the centre starts to wear excessively, you will need to deflate the tyres to the car manufacturer’s recommendations, and rotate or replace tyres.

Irregular wear – When your tyres wear in an uneven pattern across and around the tread region, this is normally caused by improper alignment, overinflation, underinflation, or a worn-out suspension. You will need to check and adjust wheel alignment, inspect for mechanical damage, and possibly repair, or replace the tyres.

Sidewall damage – When there is unusual damage to the sidewalls of the tyres often caused by the impact due to driving over potholes or hitting a curb, or possibly a flat tyre. Inspect the damage, seek a professional expert’s assistance to inspect the insides of the tyre’s sidewall for damage, and replace if necessary.

Spare  – Make sure to check for all the above on the spare in your boot. Ensure that you have a triangle for roadside emergencies as well.

Handy tips:
  • Make tyre safety checks a monthly habit so you can get on top of issues before they worsen.
  • Check your pressure regularly – find your vehicle’s optimal pressure in your car manual or the information label on the side of the driver’s door.
  • Check the air pressure when your tyres are cold, preferably in the mornings.
  • Have your tyres rotated at least every 8 000km or at least once a year.
  • Do not overload your tyres – check the carrying capacity on the sidewall of each tyre.
  • Do not speed, so that you have enough reaction time to steer clear of people, potholes, or other hazards.
  • To help ease the cost of replacing irreparably damaged tyres, take out tyre cover, which includes a complimentary package of services providing peace of mind when purchasing tyres.
  • Check brakes, windscreen wipers, lights, and indicator functionality regularly.

Need a new set of tyres before you head out on that mid-year holiday break? Be sure to check out Dunlop’s Winter Promo running until 31 July 2022, where the first 1500 consumers to purchase two or more selected Dunlop tyres will qualify for a R1000 universal e-commerce voucher that can be used online at any retailer in South Africa.