Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone satisfied with Randfontein Tyre Check

Mar 14, 2016

Almost 89% percent of tyres examined in Bridgestone's first Tyre Check event of 2016 were correctly inflated. That's the encouraging feedback from Bridgestone's team of tyre specialists who checked 960 tyres on 240 vehicles in Randfontein in late February.

 "Although this percentage is lower than the results recorded in most of last year's Tyre Check events, we're satisfied overall", said Bridgestone's General Manager of Marketing, Tony Burns. "The percentage of tyres which were badly worn or damaged was also within acceptable limits", he added.

Tyres surveyed by the Bridgestone team are recorded as 'fine' if they are within an inflation pressure band of 180kPa to 290 kPa. Tyres with higher inflation pressure are recorded as 'over-inflated' except where they are in accordance with the vehicle's manufacturer specification. 3.5% percent of tyres in the Randfontein survey were over-inflated. Tyres which are below 180kPa are classified as under-inflated, and divided into three categories depending on how low their pressures are. The Randfontein survey revealed that just over 2% of tyres were found to be 'low', another two percent 'very low' and three percent 'dangerously low'.

"We are slightly concerned about the percentage of tyres in the 'dangerously low' category," Burns commented. "This figure usually averages around 1%, so we appeal to Randfonteiners to be aware of the risks involved with severely under-inflated tyres, like reduced vehicle control, tyre damage and even sudden tyre failure."

4% of tyres were either worn to the legal limit or showed cuts, bruises or bulges which made them illegal or unsafe for continued use.

Among the wealth of detail recorded on the day was the most common tyre sizes fitted to the sample of vehicles. 195/65R15 tyres made up 9% of the sample, with their lower-profile 195/50R15 sisters in joint second place at 8%. The other runner up, also at 8%, was the 175/60R14 size, indicating that the tyres checked on the day were representative of those likely to be fitted to vehicles owned by everyday drivers. In fact, almost half of the tyres surveyed were between 155mm and 195mm in width, as found on typical entry-level to mid-range vehicles.

The day, held in the car park of the Village Square, was attended by Sasha Taylor and Simone du Toit, respectively Miss Junior South Africa and Miss Road Safety South Africa. The pair was on hand to assist the Bridgestone team and interact with members of the public whose tyres were being inspected.

Every vehicle checked by the Bridgestone team at the Tyre Check events is fully documented, both on Bridgestone's record of the day's proceedings and on a convenient Tyre Check leaflet left under the windscreen wiper for the driver. The tyre pressures and any defects noted are detailed, and where problems are found, the solution is usually as simple as emphasising the importance of regular tyre pressure checks and visual inspections of each tyre.

Burns reminded motorists that the safety of a vehicle depends on optimal performance from four tyre contact patches, each little larger than the palm of one's hand. "Tyre engineers conduct thousands of hours of testing to ensure that the recommended tyre pressures give a balance between ride comfort, roadholding and tyre wear", he explained, adding that over-inflated tyres wear faster in the middle of the tread, shortening the tyre's life and reducing roadholding. Under-inflated tyres wear faster on the shoulders and build up additional heat which can damage the structure of the tyre, increasing the risk of sudden tyre failure.

"Consult your vehicle's owner's manual or the tyre pressure sticker which is usually affixed near to the driver's door latch to ensure your tyres are correctly inflated", Burns said. "Use a reliable gauge to check tyre pressures every two weeks. This helps you notice a slow puncture or leaking tyre valve early, before it starts to affect your safety or damages the tyre, causing costly premature replacement", he concluded.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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