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How often should you replace your tyres in South Africa?


Tips for how to maintain your tyres and how to recognise when it's time to get new ones.

Driving through South Africa, you'll find yourself navigating a real mix of roads – from smooth highways to those more adventurous, pothole-peppered tracks. This variety makes looking after your car a bit more of a task, especially when it comes to your tyres. They're literally where the rubber meets the road. So, giving them a bit of extra attention can go a long way in keeping you safe, ensuring your car runs smoothly, and keeping you on the right side of the law.

Knowing when it’s time to replace your tyres

The diverse South African landscape can be tough on tyres, leading to them wearing out quicker than you might expect. One of the key things to keep an eye on is the number of kilometres you have done on your current tyres. You usually need to replace your car tyres every 40,000 to 80,000 kilometres, but it depends on how you drive, the tyre type, and the car's make. Always check your tyres regularly and follow your car's guide for specific advice. Also, look out for these few tell-tale signs that it's time for some new tyres.

  • Your tyres are looking smooth (lacking tread): If the tread depth dips below 1.6mm, it's time for a change, as worn treads can't grip the road properly.
  • Some visible damage: Any cuts, bulges, or holes could mean your tyre's safety is compromised, likely thanks to our unpredictable roads.
  • Odd noises or vibrations when you drive: If your ride feels bumpier than usual or your tyres are noisier, it might mean there's internal damage, often caused by unexpected encounters with potholes.

Also, don't forget to check your car's manual for any specific advice for your car.

Picking the right tyres for our roads

Choosing the right tyres is important, given the different road conditions we have in South Africa. Here's what to think about to make sure your tyres can handle our roads, keeping you safe and your car in top condition:

  • Durability and quality: Go for tyres known to last and resist wear. It might mean paying a bit more upfront, but you'll likely save money and hassle in the long run.
  • Tread pattern and type: Look for a tread that offers good grip and can handle water well, especially if driving a lot in the rain or on rough roads. Pick a tyre that fits what you use your car for most.
  • Size and specifications: Stick to the tyre size and type that's suggested for your car to make sure it stays safe and runs smoothly and efficiently.
  • Warranty and value: Some tyres come with a handy warranty. While you're watching your budget, remember that quality and long-term value are more important than just going for the cheapest option.

Getting the best deal on tyres

Scoring a great deal on tyres isn't just about finding the cheapest price. Here's how to make sure you're getting good value:

  • Shop around: Look at what different shops and online stores are charging.
  • Hunt for sales: Keep an eye out for discounts, especially during the off-peak times of the year.
  • Buy in bulk: Sometimes, buying more than one tyre can snag you a discount.
  • Negotiate: If you're a regular customer somewhere, see if there's room to negotiate on price.

How to extend the life of your tyres

To get the most life out of your tyres, even with the challenging roads, try these tips:

  • Regular checks: Keep an eye on your tyres for signs of wear or damage.
  • Keep them pumped: Staying on top of tyre pressure can reduce damage risks.
  • Alignment and rotation: Regularly getting your tyres aligned and rotated helps wear them evenly, which is crucial on uneven roads.

Insurance and your tyres

It's good to know where you stand with your insurance when it comes to tyres. Many policies might not cover tyre damage unless it's part of a larger claim, like after an accident. So, if you find yourself in that situation, it's worth checking your policy to see if you can claim.

Navigating South Africa's varied and sometimes challenging roads safely requires diligent tyre maintenance. With regular checks, choosing the right tyres, and knowing how to look after them, you can keep yourself safe.


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