Inaccurate tyre gauges could be costing you money and risking your safety. This is the message from Romano Daniels, Bridgestone South Africa’s General Manager of Group Communications and Marketing.
“Inflating your tyres to the correct pressures ensures you get the best lifespan and safety out of your tyres,” said Daniels. “If your tyres are over-inflated, they wear faster in the middle, shortening tyre life and also reducing traction. Underinflated tyres wear excessively on the shoulders, and also build up excess heat which could cause a blowout,” he added.
He said that many tyre gauges at filling stations were old or not properly calibrated, leading motorists to set their tyre pressures incorrectly. He recommended that motorists buy their own tyre gauges to ensure their safety and maximise tyre life. “A good portable tyre pressure gauge can be purchased for under R200, a small investment compared to the cost of a set of tyres,” explained Daniels. “A really top-class gauge such as those used by motor-racing teams will cost more, possibly over R500, but will last for many years. There is no doubt that the increased tyre life and safety you will enjoy will more than repay the purchase price,” he said.
He recommended that motorists keep the tyre gauge in the car and check their tyre pressures weekly. He said that tyre pressures should always be checked when cold. “The best way is to slightly over-inflate your tyres at your closest garage on the way home in the evening,” he said. “Then check the pressures the next morning when the tyres are cold, and deflate them to the correct pressures using an accurate tyre gauge.”
Daniels said that this would give spot-on tyre pressures, especially important with the upcoming rainy season. “The tread on tyres disperses water in wet weather. Correct tyre pressures play a major part in ensuring the tread pattern makes correct contact with the road surface as the tyre manufacturer intended, improving your safety,” he concluded.