Savvy tyre survey skyrockets
Tyres undoubtedly play a major part in road safety and vehicle fuel efficiency. However, despite its importance, some road users neglect tyre maintenance … To combat this, and to educate drivers, Bridgestone is conducting Tyre Check surveys – with this year’s second-last instalment (held in the carpark of Pick n Pay’s Durban Hypermarket) delivering some interesting results.
“With another Tyre Check survey still set to take place in Cape Town this year, we’ve set a new annual record of 5 812 tyres surveyed,” says Bridgestone public relations manager, Mandy Lovell. “This beats the previous record of 5 788, which has stood since 2008,” she explains. “We’re expecting to push this up by at least another 1 000 tyres in Cape Town, making 2013 the benchmark year for the Tyre Check programme.”
In Durban 1 164 tyres were checked, on 291 vehicles. They were all checked for inflation pressure, condition and treadwear by a team of Bridgestone tyre specialists. Luckily only three percent of tyres surveyed were damaged or worn so badly that they were in need of replacement.
The tyre manufacturer’s team also kept a watchful eye out for mismatched tyres, finding that 19 percent of vehicles ran with more than one tyre make on them … This can lead to unpredictable roadholding, especially if the tyres are mixed on the same axle. “If you absolutely must fit different tyres to those already on your vehicle, try to fit a matched pair to a single axle to minimise negative effects on roadholding,” Lovell points out.
As for the inflation pressure, Bridgestone created three different benchmarks for tyres: fine – between 1,8 bar and 2,9 bar; dangerous – 1,5 to 1,7 bar and extremely dangerous – below 1,5 or above 2,9 bar. The tyre manufacturer cites that 91 percent of the surveyed tyres were rated fine, putting Durban’s drivers in second place, for 2013, behind the 98 percent achieved earlier this year by drivers in Centurion. Five percent of the tyres surveyed in Durban were rated as dangerous and the remaining four percent as extremely dangerous.
However, Durban delivered some good results overall. “We’re pleased with the good results we saw in the Durban Tyre Check, but we’re still worried about that high mismatch rate of 19 percent,” Lovell points out. “Again, we appeal to motorists to ensure that the roadholding and braking of their cars is not compromised by mixing tyres of different makes or tread patterns.”