What's happening in Craig's world? July 2019
Tyres. They are round, black and keep you safely moving from point A to point B. They generally aren’t the first thing you think of before you get in your car, but they should be. Tyre maintenance is one of the easiest elements of looking after your vehicle. But more so, for your and your family’s safety.
Trust me, I know. Let me take you back to the Phillip Island race in 2017. All was going well, it was Practice Session One and the car felt good. We were making solid progress on the car set up and I was feeling confident going into the race weekend. It’s a great track that I both love driving at but I’ve also had a lot of success there.
I came out of the infamous Hay Shed corner, that’s a section of the track where you’re flat the whole way through the fast right hander. Heading up into Lukey Heights without warning my front right tyre failed.
At 250km/hr I exited the track and at that point I was a passenger. I hit the wall at 180km/hr with 20G of force going through the car. I’ve had better days.
Thankfully Supercars is one of the most stringent on safety regulations in the world. That day certainly proved that, as I walked away with only a couple of bruises and feeling a little stiff.
Translate that to our public roads, I have no doubt I certainly wouldn’t have been so lucky if I had a tyre failure doing 100km/hr on the Freeway. Yes, our races run at far higher speeds but they are in a controlled environment and I have the benefit safety equipment to protect me. It turns out that day we pushed the limits of the tyre too far. So it’s certainly a risk I’m not willing to take on our public roads.
It’s a timely reminder, particularly with family road trips now we are in the school holiday period. I check my tyres regularly, I have three easy checks. It’s a quick trip around the car before you drive off.
Tip 1 -Keep an eye on your pressures, it’s easy to check them at your local service station when you fill up. The recommended pressures are both on the side wall of the tyre and on the specification plate on the inside of the door jam.
Tip 2 – Check your tread depth. Now it is Winter there are varying road conditions which can put your tyres under increased load. As soon as you notice a tread depth indicator appear it’s time to take action.
Tip 3 – Side wall damage. The most common way this occurs is parking or accidently driving over a kerb. Any cut, bubble or irregularity in the side of the tyre needs to be checked right away as it could compromise the integrity and safety of the tyre.
This also applies to trailers, caravans or anything you are towing. These are more likely to sit around for long periods without daily use. So it’s even more important to check these before you head off.
If you’re in doubt, there is always a friendly Tyrepower Store willing to help you out. Pop in any time, no question is too small when it comes to your tyres and safety on the road.