Speed and pressure may be killing your tyre tread

The inside edge of your tyres cops the most wear from taking roundabouts and other fast turns.

MOTORISTS’ tyres may be suffering from a common affliction, brought on primarily by the geography of our roads themselves.

‘Roundabout Syndrome’, a term coined by Karuah’s own Tony King, refers to the process by which taking the same turns, at speed, over and over again, causes car and truck tyres to wear unevenly.

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“The outside edge of left-side tyres, and the inside edge of right-side tyres, generally wear away more than the rest of the tread on either tyre,” Tony, who has been in the mechanic business for more than 40 years, told NOTA.

“How many roundabouts do you go through regularly?

“Think about how fast people usually take them.”

When a vehicle enters a roundabout, the initial left turn is immediately followed by a wide right turn into the circular roadway.

Physics dictates that when a right turn is made, the left side’s tyres take the weight and the right-side tyre lifts slightly, with only its inner edge touching the ground.

Uneven wear on tyres often means that the visible outer edge tread may appear fine, hiding the inner edge’s extensive balding.

“It has as much to do with people not checking their pressure – if it gets too low, the tyres flex a tremendous amount under load on roundabouts,” Tony explained.

“Roundabouts also have a slope for drainage, meaning they’re not flat, and that’s not helping tyres, either.

“Around 70 percent of braking action is exerted upon the front wheels, and most vehicles are front-wheel-drive now.

“Heavier vehicles, like 4WDs with big tool boxes at the back, actually take weight off the front wheels, which lose grip, straining tyres even more, so load balance and positioning are also very important, especially for 4WDs and utes.”
‘Roundabout Syndrome’ is even more dangerous considering that few people really pay attention to their tyres, other than their annual vehicle service.

Motorists are best advised to regularly check their tyre pressure, and slow down at all roundabouts.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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