Silverstone, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Kruizer, Yokohama, and Dunlop. What are these famous brand names involved with? They are in fact famous tyres which are available in Malaysia today.

As an experienced motorist, you may think that there is nothing much that you can learn about tyres. Don’t be surprised. You may think that tyres are but an insignificant part of a vehicle. Nevertheless, read on you will be surprised with what are about to learn.

First of all, before proceeding any further, permit me to enlighten you with little bit of the history of about tyres that I know. My history teacher, Mr. S.P. Subramaniam, who was an Indian graduate from Madras, India, told my Form 1 class way back in 1962, that tyres were first invented in Europe during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

To be more exact, Charles Goodyear first invented vulcanized rubber in 1844. And in 1888, it was said that John Dunlop invented what was known as the pneumatic tyre for bikes. Although Dunlop is very famous and well known brand of tyres both in Malaysia and the world today, John Dunlop is unfortunately not associated with the use of pneumatic tyres for automobiles.

Who then is the person responsible for the above? It is in fact, Andre Michelin, in 1895. So now you know why Michelin tyres are so famous and well known especially in Formula I grand Prix events!

However, Goodyear another famous brand of tyres in Malaysia and the world today was the first to invent the world’s synthetic tyre in 1937. So much so, for the brief history of motorcar tyres.

What is it that motorists, irregardless of whether you are a “P” (provisional driver) or a driver who has held the C.D.L. (Competent Driver’s License) for umpteen years should ideally know about tyres?

First and foremost, a car should ideally have a spare tyre in it. Trying to go anywhere without a spare tyre is indeed considered a very unwise act.

In fact, it tantamount to being doing a stupid act on your part! Therefore, ensure that you have a spare tyre. And most important of all, make sure that you check your spare tyre in the booth from time to time and do remember to inflate it.

The second important thing which I would like to advise you about tyres is getting a tyre pressure measuring instrument which costs only but a few dollars. Depending solely on air pressure providing machines available at petrol stations all throughout the country like in Malaysia such as Shell, Mobil, Petronas and Caltex, constitutes a very unwise move.

You see, machines at these above stations are usually faulty. And they do not provide reliable readings anyway.

What else should a good motorist know about tyres? There are 3 important aspects about tyres one should know. A good driver is expected to know about:

  • Tyre pressures
  • Alignment
  • Balancing

Briefly, car tyres are normally inserted with higher p.s.i. at the front and lower p.s.i. at the rear. The recommended tyre pressures are 26 – 28 p.s.i. for the front tyres, while the rear tyres are approximately 24 – 26 p.s.i.

Why are the front tyres inserted with higher pressures as compared with the rear, you might be tended to inquire? Well, the answer is, the front of a car is heavier as the engine of most cars is located in front, except maybe the Volkswagen Beetle.

If you are unaware or ignorant about how much air pressure to follow for your car tyres, you are advised to:
a) Seek your nearest neighbourhood tyre shop about it.

b) Refer to your vehicle manual which is provided to you upon sale of your vehicle by your agent.

c) Look for a tyre pressure schedule which is normally pasted inside the panels of your front door.

d) Some vehicles are said to have the above schedules pasted inside the glove panel box of your vehicle.

Another important advice which I would like to provide to all drivers is, do not insert too much pressure into your tyres. This is dangerous!

True, higher pressures tend to make one vehicle’s handling lighter. You’ll also get better mileage for it. But a too high pressure or p.s.i. is said to make steering handling more difficult.

Anyway, tyre pressures for motorcars should never exceed 50 p.s.i. The above amount of p.s.i. is incidentally intended for lorries only. For cars, a 50 p.s.i. measurement will most probably cause the tyres to explode!

This is about all that I would like to pen about regarding tyres in this short but valuable article. And finally, one final advice to you before this writer signs off. My late father whom I have again and again reiterated elsewhere in this blog, was a lorry driver prior to his passing away.

I feel one important advice which he passed on to me about tyres should ideally be passed on to my dear readers. And what was the valuable advice that my father handed on to me before his passing away?

He advised me to rotate my 4 tyres after a few thousand miles. In doing so, a motorist would be able to get the best from his tyres. Think about it carefully and practice it if you possibly can.

I’m sure you’ll be able to gain a lot of good from this invaluable advice my late father gave me. I’m in fact sharing it with you.