A key factor in one’s road safety is not just obeying the rules of the road and awareness of one’s surroundings. A key part is ensuring your vehicles road-worthiness and mechanical wellbeing so that it operated correctly.

Included in this is your vehicle’s tyres which should be cared for and regularly replaced to avoid bursts, tears or sliding with smooth tyres. The question is how often does one need to do this?

Wear and tear on one’s tyres will be affected by several external factors from driving style to road conditions to the type of vehicle you drive, lets get into some of these below.

Your driving habits

If you generally drive your vehicle with a more aggressive driving style one will find this can increase wear compared to a more relaxed driving style. Whilst it is fun to enjoy a spirited drive in your vehicle, do so sparingly. Smoother driving with gentle braking and acceleration will save you petrol and keep your tyres around for longer.

Road conditions

As one might expect the condition of the road you drive on ultimately affect the rate at which your tyres wear and if bad enough can even puncture your tyre necessitating it to be replaced. Whilst one might not always have much of a choice of the quality of road we drive on try our best to avoid poorly maintained roads and potholes.

Air pressure

Ensuring your tyres are filled to the correct air pressure is also critical for their intended performance. Whether over or under-inflated both affect your tyres negatively so have your tyre pressures checked at least once a month. When checking tyre pressure ensure your tyre is hot by having been recently driven, this ensures a more accurate reading.

Loading

Tyres can only do so much when it comes to being on an overloaded vehicle. Every vehicle from bakkies to city cars have load capacities and even require you to increase or decrease your tyre pressure depending on how loaded the vehicle is. If in doubt check your vehicle’s manual for exact values.

At the end of the day, general advice is to ensure your tyres are replaced at least every 40 000km. The easiest thing to do is to ensure you regularly check their condition, especially before a long trip.