Today, I wish to draw the curtain on my focus on tyre blowout which has run for two weeks. Before I do, please remember that in the first half of 2021, a total number of 5,320 road traffic crashes occurred accounting for 2,431 deaths while 15,882 people sustained various degrees of injuries. The record shows that within the same period, 15,398 were rescued without injuries with a total of 33,751 people involved. Some of these crashes and deaths were caused by tyre blowout. Some of these fatal crashes according to the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, occurred at night. This, he noted explains why the Corps is fine-tuning arrangements to commence night patrol once the Federal Government gives the nod for the operations.
So, if you missed the first and last week’s edition, I will passionately appeal that you grab a copy and read as I am convinced that you will find the two editions interesting and educative especially if you are a car owner or even a regular traveler. To refresh your memory, I concluded last week with a focus on preventing tyre blowout by listing the appropriate actions to take to avert a possible blowout. The gamut of prevention is contained in the first and second part of my focus. Meanwhile I did state that there are two very effective options to prevention or drastic reduction of blowouts and other form of tyre failures. They include owning a quality tyre pressure guage. This, as stated last week is because incorrect tyre pressure is the major cause of blowouts and sudden tyre failure. So, correct tyre pressure is a must for any safety conscious motorist. But the big question is, how do you ensure that what the vulcaniser pumped into your tyre is the correct pressure? Only a quality tyre pressure gauge will tell you. The second which I equally stated last week is for you to installing a high profile automatic tyre monitors. For reminders, I told you that a high profile automatic tyre monitor is a state of the art device that use sensors and a wireless monitor to monitor your tyres on a 24 hours basis. It alerts the driver well in advance about an impending tyre blowout or failure. It pinpoints the exact tyre so that the driver will take appropriate measures to deal with the situation. It also effectively takes care of premature tyre wear.
I need to equally remind you of an earlier piece I did as a precursor titled, Buying Tyres. It is crucial you know that you cannot isolate tackling tyre blowout without you fixing standard tyres in your vehicle. This is why you need reminders on the things to again look out for while buying a new and standard tyre for your vehicle. You must first give serious consideration on the size of the tyre, the age of the tyre and the physical conditions of the tyre. Let us treat this in bits: the first is the tyre size: On the side wall of your tyres, you will see figures like 215/75/15r, 195/65/14r and so on. These are designations for your tyre sizes. Check your own tyre to know what is written on it. The first figure from the left is the width (from side wall to side wall) of the tyre in millimeters; the middle number is what is known as the aspect ratio used to calculate the height of the side wall of the tyre. The last number is the ream diameter.
There are various sizes of tyres in the market that can fit your type of vehicle but that does not mean that those sizes are good/safe for your vehicle. Every vehicle has tyre sizes specified by the vehicle manufacturer. If you check the tyre placard by the end of your driver’s door, hood or the vehicle’s manual, you will see the specification for your vehicles tyre sizes, please stick to these specification while buying replacement tyre. The manufacturer of your vehicle have taken a lot of factors into consideration before specifying your vehicle tyre sizes. If you change that, you may be risking a blowout. The next is determining the age of the tyre: Even more important that the size of the tyre is its age.
Why the emphasis on the emphasis on age of a tyre?. Do not be deceived by a tyre’s looks. Every tyre has an effective life span beyond which you will be entering the danger zone. As a general rule, any tyre more than 6 years old should be discarded although 4years is the ideal. So how do you determine the age of a tyre? Every tyre provides information about its age but in a coded form. Look at the side walls of your tyre and check for the letters dot. Look around the dot (to the left or to the right) until you get to either a three digit or four digit number boldly imprinted on the tyre without any alphabet attached to it. Some tyres though, may not have the letters dot printed on them. Just look around the side wall you definitely will see a 3 or 4 digit number clearly imprinted on the tyre. The 3 or 4 digit number is the code designating the date of manufacture of the tyre
Let us now deal with your vehicle’s correct tyre pressure? By the end of the driver’s door of your vehicle, or in the vehicles’ manual, you will see specification that shows size of tyre for your vehicle and the inflation pressure for the tyre in psi (pounds per square inch) religiously stick to that specification. Do not allow anyone (especially the vulcaniser) tell you otherwise unless you want to gamble with your life. It is instructive to note here that it is not the tyre manufacturer that determines the pressure for your tyre, but the vehicle manufacturer. It is the vehicle manufacturer that specifies the size of tyres and the pressure to be given the tyre. He has taken into consideration the weight, speed, number of passengers, artificial inflation by the heat and other factors to determine what the proper inflation pressure should be. The specification you see on the tyres are to enable you match the specification of the vehicles’ manufacturer. In this light, it is equally dangerous to use tyre sizes different from what the vehicles manufacturer specified for the vehicle.
Gauge and pump tyres at the right time
The right time to gauge /pump is when the tyres are cold. Mornings are most ideal. Before you drive out, gauge the tyres and if there is need to pump, slowly drive to the nearest vulcaniser. If you are the type that leaves home very early, weekends maybe the most convenient time for you. When hot, the tyre pressure increases. Any action (gauge, pump) you take when the tyres are hot will be misleading and could be fatal. Unfortunately, most people gauge and pump tyres when the tyres are hot. Never do so. If tyres are hot, leave them for about three hours to cool down.