Bridgestone South Africa

Under-inflation is a hazard for tyres – Bridgestone

Jul 30, 2015

Tyre maker Bridgestone has warned motorists that under-inflated tyres place them at a higher risk of having a sudden air loss.

Bridgestone's General Manager for Field Engineering and Technical Services, Hiroshi Nakanishi, said that tyre under-inflation can affect the structure of the tyre. "An under-inflated tyre runs at higher temperatures than it is designed for," he explained. "The excess heat and friction can cause the tyre to disintegrate, leading to a sudden air loss."

Under-inflated tyres also cause fuel consumption to increase because of the extra rolling resistance created, and also shortens tyre life. The centre portion of the contact patch lifts away from the road when a tyre is under-inflated, causing excessive wear on the shoulders. "Another factor is that an under-inflated tyre does not hold its designed shape as well under cornering or braking," Nakanishi commented. "This can cause poor roadholding and extended braking distances."

Under-inflated tyres can often be recognised by checking the wear condition. If the tyre is wearing down on both shoulders faster than in the centre, the tyre pressure should be checked and maintained at the correct level if it is low. If, however, the tyre pressures are found to be normal, the vehicle may have an alignment problem which should be seen to before the tyres become too worn.

Nakanishi advised motorists to check their tyre pressures at least every two weeks using an accurate tyre gauge. He said that if motorists were concerned about the accuracy of the tyre pressure gauges at their local garages, they should consider investing in a proper portable tyre pressure gauge. He said the savings made through longer tyre life would soon cover the cost of the gauge.

"Bridgestone has done many studies of tyre pressures in car parks around South Africa as a part of our Tyre Check campaign," said Nakanishi. "Despite improvements over the years, we still see many cars whose tyres are under-inflated, sometimes dangerously so," he added. "We call on all South African motorists to ensure their tyres are correctly inflated to reduce road risk and motoring costs," he concluded.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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