So far, I have not not yet touched upon the topic of “tyres” at all. Famous tyre brands which are available in Malaysia include Bridgestone, Dunlop, Silverstone, Hankook, Firestone and many others.
Talking about tyres, motorists should be informed one important thing about tyres. Experts say, only the tyre surface the size of a closed palm, is constantly in touch with the road surface as a car moves along the highway.
Rims of popular cars in Malaysia normally come in various sizes, such as 13 inches or 14 inches. Most popular tyres come in width measurements of 155, 165, 175 and 185. The bigger the number, it denotes the tyre is wider in size and therefore more costly. It is believed to be also more stable.
Available in the market, are “cross ply” and “radial ply” tyres. The types of tyres you choose for your vehicle is entirely up to you.
Initially, a motorist should know one about tyres. A motorist should ideally know 3 things about tyres- tyre pressure, alignment and tyre balancing.
A motorist should ideally check the above three important things from time to time. In doing so, a motorist will discover that he or she will face no problem at all with his driving.
The “Kancil” is reputed to be fixed with rather small tyres. Kancil tyres are said to be equipped with tyres that costs approximately RM110 – RM140 in the market today. Tyres of other cars are said to be more costly and they can range from RM150 – RM180.
Camry 2.4 cars are said to cost some RM500 per tyre. That’s a total of RM2,000 for all four tyres. As such, to own and drive an expensive vehicle can be quite a costly affair.
“Tyres” may appear to be a rather insignificant part of a vehicle. Many young and inexperienced drivers do not seem to know anything much about tyres. With this in mind, I will therefore envisage to write a short article especially on “tyres” and how one looks after them.
Some of the common problems that are confronted by vehicle owners, be it car owners or motorcycles, face many problems and they may be:-
1. Tyre wear:
As tyres nowadays are today mostly made of rubber, tyres thus undergo wear and tear. The “treads” or “patterns” found on a tyre will wear out or “deplete” as the vehicle moves along the road.
Normally, the “front” tyres of a vehicle, is said to wear out faster than the “rear” tyres. One reason fro this is the front portion of a vehicle is considered to be much heavier as compared to the “rear”. It should be kept in mind, that the engine, which represents the heaviest part of the car, is infact in front. Except maybe, the “Volkswagen” car where the engine happens to be at the back.
New tyres, if proper care is taken, with regards to correct pressures, balancing and alignment, should be able to last a driver, a travelling distance of at least 50,000 to 70,000 kilometers. In terms of time, a new tyre should be able to last a driver, a time period of at least 18 months to two years. Or may be even more.
What motorists are advised to do is to faithfully check the tyre pressures from time to time. Likewise, have balancing done periodically. Unbalanced tyres will cause a vehicle’s steering to vibrate or wobble. It may even cause a steering wheel to run to one side.
Poor alignment will also cause tyres to be worn out unevenly. If this should happen, tyres which are normally meant to last 2 years or so, will only last a few months. In the end, a driver will have to fork out large sums of money to purchase new tyres.
2. Tyres going out of shape:
Tyres should ideally be “round” or circular in shape. However, a possibility exists whereby, due to wear and tear and constant usage, tyres can sometimes go out of shape.
Certain sections of the tyre may begin to “bulge”. Such tyres are no longer completely circular or round as they should be. When this happens, tyres rotate unevenly. They infact “wobble”. When this happens to any of your 4 tyres, have a good tyre man check out the conditions of your tyre that is providing you with problems. Have the mis-shaped tyre replaced quickly to prevent further problems affecting you.
3. Tyres bulging at the walls:
At times, tyres do sometimes “bulge” or “swell” at the side of the tyre walls. This happens due to poor production techniques whilst at the factory. Sometimes, tyre walls undergo “bulging” due to incidences whereby the sides of the tyre undergo driving conditions such as the tyres hitting hard road curbs or dividers, thus causing the tyre walls to sustain damage.
Poor driving by drivers who are not careful as they negotiate sharp corners are normally cited as reasons why tyre walls erupt in bulges. As such, motorists should ensure that they adopt good driving techniques so as to make sure they do not harm their tyres, which in reality, can be rather costly.
4. The problem of air or pressure escaping from a tyre:
The problem of air or pressure escaping from a tyre can be one of the most irritating problems that can be experienced by a motorist. As I said, to discover that you have to keep on inflating your tyres once every 2 or 3 days is most annoying.
Normally, the air or pressure leaks out through the “air valve”. Faulty air valves, which costs less than RM5 a piece, are usually the culprit of the problem. As such, motorists are advised to have “air valves” either checked or replaced by your neighbourhood tyre man from time to time.
Air or pressure can also escape from holes caused by nails or foreign objects such as sharp metal objects or steel screws that sometimes get embedded either in the walls or the tyres itself, if this happens then air or pressure will come out through the holes in which the nails or foreign objects have embedded themselves.
To solve the above problem, visit your nearest tyre shop, have them check your tyres over to determine what is the cause of your problem. Holes will then have to patched up to prevent further leakages.
5. Pump your tyres, including your spare tyre regularly:
Your vehicle’s tyres should be inflated correctly at regular intervals. Do not forget about your spare tyre, which is normally stored in your booth too. A spare tyre that is void of air or pressure, will be of little use when you sustain a punctured tyre.
Most vehicles usually adopt the 26 – 24 air pressure ratio, that is 26p.s.i or peund per square inch at the front and 24p.s.i, at the rear of the vehicle.
If you happen to own a vehicle whose air pressures is unknown to you, you are advised to look at the panel next to the drivers seat for the tyre air pressure specifications to assist you. Failing which, seek the assistance of a tyre shop to help you.
6. Balance your tyres periodically:
A balanced set of front tyres ensure good handling of the steering. It prevents the steering from wobbling unsteadily. On the whole, the steering becomes more stable. Besides that, it also prevents the steering “wavering” or running to one side, as we say in colloquial terms.
For information, it only costs less than RM10 to balance a set of tyres. A well balanced set of tyres provides one with effortless and superb handling of the steering.
Correct tyre pressures and tread depth (condition od tyres) represents an important criteria in the prevention of accidents. Some motorists are rather fond of exchanging their original tyres for bigger sized or better handling tyres after driving their new vehicles for a short while. Sometimes their original tyres are exchanged for newer brands of tyres which they fancy.
Tyres which are still good in condition, with at least 85%- 90% of tyre treads still infact, are available at some tyre shops for as low as 50%- 60% of their original price. It is as they say, a “purchase”, that is worth buying. Ask around renowned tyre shops in your area, who knows, you might be lucky enough to end up getting a good set of tyres at a reasonable fair price.
To end this article on tyres, I would like to inform all readers that should they be stopped by either the police or the JPJ authorities for using worn out tyres with poor treads, the Road Transport Act 1987, recommends that you be slapped with a RM 150 fine. The above offence is contained in Circular K.105MV(c/u).
And in the courts of law, under Section 119(2), you can thus be fined.