Bridgestone South Africa

Mixed results in West Rand Tyre Check - Bridgestone

Jun 10, 2014

Bridgestone's 2014 Tyre Check season has kicked off with an in-depth look at tyre condition on Johannesburg West Rand, and the results were mixed. This was the feedback from Bridgestone PR Manager, Desirée van Niekerk, who said the percentage of correctly-inflated tyres was lower than had been seen for some time. "The last time we saw these kinds of figures was almost two-and-a-half year ago in the survey we conducted in Ottery in Cape Town," she commented.

In the Ottery survey of 2012, just 82% of tyres were correctly inflated. However, in the most recent survey, conducted in the car park of Pick n Pay's Princess Crossing centre on the West Rand, 85% of tyres were correctly inflated, considerably behind the average of 90% for the surveys conducted during 2013. The Bridgestone Tyre check rates tyres as 'fine' (correctly inflated) if they have a pressure of between 180 and 290kPa, 'Dangerous' if the tyre is between 150 and 180kPa and 'Extremely Dangerous' if the pressure is below 150kPa or above 290kPa.

The Princess Crossing survey showed that 8% of tyres were in the 'Extremely Dangerous' bracket, a lot higher than the average of 5.2% for the 2013 Tyre Check season. Meanwhile, 7% of tyres were in the 'Dangerous' category versus the 2013 average of 4.7%. "It is quite alarming to see these results coming from locations within Gauteng, which is one of the country's most affluent areas," van Niekerk commented. "It tells us that the message of tyre safety and inflation pressure is not reaching motorists effectively. It takes less than five minutes to check that a car's tyres are correctly inflated, and it need only be done every
two weeks," she added.

Incorrect inflation results in excessive treadwear and can also endanger safety. Tyres which are under-inflated can overheat more easily. Severe under-inflation can even cause the construction of the tyre to weaken and lead to a blowout. Over-inflation reduces roadholding and increases the risk of road hazards such as stones or metal debris penetrating the tyre and causing damage.

Bridgestone Tyre Check specialists also checked the tyres on each vehicle for general condition and for mis-matching on the vehicle. 1560 tyres on 390 vehicles were checked at Princess Crossing and after the disappointing inflation results, the team was pleased to find that the percentage of tyres which were so badly worn or damaged that they were unsafe was just 1.15%, compared to the 2013 average of 4.8%. The motorists of Princess Crossing also did well on the tyre mis-matching front – only 3% of tyres were found to be mismatched on vehicles, compared to an average of 12% in 2013. Mis-matching is where a
vehicle has one or more wheel positions fitted with a tyre with a different or tread pattern to that on other wheel positions. Mis-matched tyres can result in unpredictable or substandard roadholding, especially when different tyres are fitted to the same axle.

Bridgestone's van Niekerk said the results from the Princess Crossing survey were unusual. "The percentage of mis-matched tyres was very low, and so was the percentage of unsafe tyres," she said. "This tells us that motorists on the West Rand are aware of the dangers of excessive treadwear and tyre damage, but the poor results in the inflation survey suggest that they are not making time to ensure their tyres are correctly maintained," she added.

"Incorrectly-inflated tyres wear faster and give poorer roadholding and braking. We appeal to motorists to check their pressures at least every two weeks to ensure they are getting the best economy and safety from their tyres," she concluded.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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