How to maintain vehicle tyres during summer in UAE
Dubai - Around 5 per cent of all accidents in the country are due to faulty tyres.
Motorists, please take note: With the temperature in the UAE starting to rise, a proper check of your tyres should be a priority to protect them from the heat and ensure your safety before hitting the road this summer.
Here are some stark details from road safety experts: "Abu Dhabi police statistics have highlighted that rapid loss of pressure on tyres caused 28 accidents, 14 deaths and 7 critical injuries in 2016. Although there are no available data last year, around 5 per cent of all accidents in the country are due to faulty tyres. And with the onset of summer, the risk of road accidents due to broken tyres is further increasing."
"High temperatures can become a serious problem for tyres, especially if they are not properly maintained. Incorrect inflation pressures, poor wheel balance and alignment also contribute to a reduction in tyre life and safety," Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, told Khaleej Times.
Daoud Helmi, Michelin GCC commercial director, said motorists should look for "any visible signs such as deep cracks, exposed cables, cuts or uneven wear of the tyres."
"It is important to regularly check the tread depth at several points on the tyre and consult a specialist, in case of any doubt. The minimum legal tread depth required is 1.6 mm for passenger car tyres,"Helmi noted.
"Checking of tyre pressure should be done at least once a month. Check the pressure when the tyres are "cold" when the car hasn't been driven for at least two hours or for not more than 3km, in order to obtain the most precise measurement. If the pressure is checked when the tyres are "warm", then 0.3 bar should be added to the recommended level. These checks must be carried out on all four tyres, as well as the spare wheel," he emphasised.
According to tyre safety experts, high temperatures can become a serious problem, especially if tyres are not properly maintained. Incorrect inflation pressures, poor wheel balance and alignment also contribute to a reduction in tire life and safet.
Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority recommends replacing tyres no later than five years, or earlier if the remaining tread depth is below 1.6 mm at any part of the tire tread band. Tyres must also be replaced if there are other signs of wear or damage, for example, cracks or cuts in the sidewall and parts of the tread band are damaged.
Matthew Davidson, head of motors services at dubizzle, sahred: "You can tell the age of a tire easily by checking the four-digit code stamped on the outside wall which is the date of manufacture. For example, 1712 is the 17th week of 2012. This means this tire is over five years old and needs to be changed."
"On a typical car the tires will last around 30,000 - 40,000 kilometers. If you have driven this many kilometers since changing the tires, then it's time to get them checked. If the tread depth is under 4mm you are advised to change them," he added.
In case you are unfortunate and you have a blown tyre whist driving, Davidson advised not to hit the brakes hard. "Ease off the accelerator and lightly apply the brakes until the car comes to a stop. If possible and it's safe to do, drive the car to the side of the road and apply the hazard warning lights. Mostly all car insurance policies include a recovery service, so call and get the recovery driver to get you to the nearest garage to change the tire. Changing it on the highway is incredibly dangerous, so leave the car and move to a safe spot whilst you await the recovery driver," he concluded.
Free car checksWant to get a free car check? dubizzle Motors and RoadSafetyUAE are offering pre-summer safety car checks at Al Barsha Pond Park from 12-9pm every Saturday until April 7.
According to Enoc Tasjeel, the main reason for cars failing the mandatory vehicle registration test last year was tyre condition, followed by faulty brakes, body condition, emissions, and steering assembly.
The initiative, called 'Inspect It for Me', will assess the condition of the tyres, battery, air-conditioning, coolant, water, and oil level of cars.
How to maintain your tyres?Daoud Helmi, commercial director for Michelin in the Gulf countries, reminds UAE motorists on how to maintain tyres during the hot summer months:
> Wear and Tear: Regularly check the state of all four tyres at the same time for signs of obvious or abnormal wear and tear. Look for any visible signs such as deep cracks, exposed cables, cuts or uneven wear of the tyres. It is important to regularly check the tread depth at several points on the tyre and consult a specialist, in case of any doubt. The minimum legal tread depth required is 1.6mm for passenger car tyres.
> Pressure: Check the pressure of tyres at least once a month. Apart from the fact that they wear more quickly, poorly inflated tyres affect the overall performance of the vehicle, including braking distance, handling, safety and fuel consumption. Always check the pressure when the tyres are "cold", meaning the car hasn't been driven for at least 2 hours or for not more than 3 km, in order to obtain the most precise measurement. If the pressure is checked when the tyres are "warm", then 0.3 bar should be added to the recommended level. The recommended inflation pressure can be found near the door latch on the driver's side of the car or in the car's manual. These checks must be carried out on all four tyres, as well as the spare wheel.
> Balance: Ensure that tyres are properly balanced. In case of vibration through the steering wheel or through the vehicle body, the tyres could be incorrectly balanced. Have them professionally balanced at a reputable dealer. It will help to avoid uneven and premature wear of the tyres as well as reduce excessive stress on the suspension components.
> Alignment: Have the alignment of tyres checked by a professional. Whenever the vehicles drives over a large object on the road or hits a pothole or pavement, the wheels could become misaligned. This can affect the handling of the vehicle and will cause the tyres to wear unevenly and prematurely.
> Flat tyre: Take the car to a reputable tyre dealer for examination in case of a flat tyre. The car dealer will be able to advise in case there is any damage to the tyre's structure and if it is repairable or not.
> Tyre rotation: Rotate the tyres in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. By switching tyres front to rear (usually around 5,000 km), wear is optimized over the four tyres.
> Suspension: Keep an eye on the suspension. Old or worn shock absorbers can cause faster tyre wear and impact vehicle handling. Hence, it is important to keep a watchful eye on the suspension.
> Load: Never overload the vehicle. Overloading increases tyre wear and fuel consumption, adversely affecting vehicle handling and stability, and increasing the braking distance.