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How to save money on petrol and extend the life of your tyres

Tyre maintenance is an often overlooked part of vehicle upkeep, which can help to save you money and improve car safety.

This is according to Tiger Wheel and Tyre, which share tips to improve the lifespan of your tyres.

Good tyre maintenance should save you money, both in the short term in the form of fuel-savings and in the long term by not needing to replace your tyres prematurely.

It also improves safety by increasing vehicle traction and handling.

Below are several ways you can improve the longevity of your car’s tyres.

Proper inflation

It is recommended that you check your tyre pressure at least once a month, and to always check your tyre pressure before going on a long journey.

Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance, which worsens fuel consumption, increases tyre wear, and can negatively affect the car’s handling.

It’s estimated that properly inflated tyres can extend the average lifespan of a tyre by as much as 20,000km, and that it can save motorists up to R1.65 a litre.

The correct pressure for your tyres should be displayed on a label in the car – usually located in the lining of the driver’s door.

Use this number when pumping up your tyres, rather than the maximum stated pressure on the tyre itself, as the vehicle manufacturer will have taken additional variables, such as the car’s handling, into account.

Tyre tread

While the legal minimum tread depth is 1mm, tyres with worn (but legal) treads can still be dangerous as they can lead to an increase in braking distance, a loss of traction, and aquaplaning – which is when a layer of water builds up between the tyre and the road in wet conditions, leading to a loss of control.

In order to increase the lifespan of your tread, it is suggested that you clean your tyres periodically and remove any foreign objects that may have become wedged in the rubber.

Additionally, higher speeds generate more heat and therefore accelerate tyre wear, so motorists are encouraged to reduce their top speeds to improve their tyres’ lifespan.

It is also recommended that motorists rotate their wheels every 10,000km. This is because the “driving” tyres receive more wear than their counterparts.

As an example: if you have a front-wheel-drive car, the front tyres will wear out faster than the rear ones, so rotating the front and rear tyres periodically helps to even out the wear across all four wheels.

Finally, when the time comes to replace your tyres, try to buy them from a recognizable brand – as they should come with a warranty and will have undergone testing, giving you peace of mind.

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