Monday, November 23, 2009

Tires - A Minefield of Rubber

Last weekend I had a puncture, not a big problem in itself. The vehicle was parked when my collegue (Rather Gleefully) pointed it out.

I had a spare and all the required tools and so changed the tire quite easily and was on my way.

The trouble started when I attempted to have the puncture repaired.

My local tire dealership informed me that the tire had a sidewall puncture which could not be repaired. I found that harsh especially since the tire had done less than 10 000km's and was no longer available so I would have to buy 2. So in an attempt to avoid forking out a ton of cash on new tires, I asked for alternatives. "You could always put in a tube" was the reply.

Great idea not expensive and problem solved, except on further research I learnt that "Tubeless" tires running tubes are prone to blow out's at high speed. That's something thats not in the owners manual.

So then I start looking at alternative tires, "No problem we have tires in stock, just not the same size, but if you put them in front you will be ok"

More research and I find that miss matching tyres on a 4 x 4 results in mechanical failure as the unbalanced load puts massive strain on the drive train.

The Tire market is an absolute minefield with a myraid of poducts and quality to choose from. Size,Speed,Load,Traction,Noise,Wear all play a factor in your choice of tire.

So the moral of the story is RTFM (Read The ******* Manual) and if its not in the manual ask as many questions as possible (from as many people as possible) before making any changes to your vehicle that requires a deviation from your current system.

If I hadn't I could have become another statistic or at the very worst been sitting with a very damaged vehicle for the sake of saving a few Rand.

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