It was just as well because two needed changing and I know it’s important to get not only the correct size but also their loading weight, as set out in the manufacturers handbook.
They might all look the same, but there’s more to those black and round tyres on your car than meets the eye. If you get the chance to look at the sidewalls, you’ll soon realise that there’s way, way more, in fact.
And while it might not mean a great deal to the untrained eye, the small print should tell you one thing: That when purchasing replacement tyres for your vehicle, it’s important to replace them with the correct specification – often like-for-like.
There is a lot of small print on car tyres. The most important features of a tyre is its size, load rating and speed rating.
This is what the unique letters and numbers mean
7G : Manufacturer & factory where tyre was produced.
8K : Tyre size code.
P5Y : Denotes pattern / version (optional code).
4514 : Refers to week & year the tyre was produced (date of manufacture).
Additional markings on the tyre will be the max load rating, in the case of this tyre it will look like this:
MAX LOAD 615kg (1355Ibs).
And a maximum inflation pressure displayed as:
MAX INFLA.PRESS. 300KPa (44 PSI).
What if you’re driving on a run-flat tyre?
If the tyre is a run flat or self-supporting tyre, the tyre will have one of the following markings on the sidewall:
RFT – Run Flat Technology
RSC – Run Flat System Component
BSR – Bridgestone Support Ring.
Bridgestone’s Technical Manager Gary Powell is already looking ahead to the prospect of regular driving journeys in the future and has devised a simple tyre checklist for drivers to adhere to in readiness. Many of the checks take just minutes to carry out and should ensure that each tyre is in good working order for when they finally come in contact with highways again.
Gary reiterated that good tyre maintenance is an essential activity – especially when vehicles are parked up for long periods.
He said, “With the Coronavirus pandemic and extended lockdown being announced, it’s extremely important that tyres are continuously maintained during these challenging times.
“For vehicles that are parked up for long periods of time, it’s essential to follow the simple guidelines below, so that your tyres are maintained in good condition during this time. Your tyres should be checked on a regular basis, ideally every seven to 14 days.”
Gary’s lockdown automotive advice is as follows:
Tyres should be visually checked for abnormal wear and damage (e.g. cuts, bulges, screws, etc.). If you identify any concerns, get the tyre inspected in more detail by a qualified tyre technician, when safely permitted to do so.
Ensure that the tyres are inflated to their optimum operating pressure. Tyre pressure recommendations can be found in the vehicle handbook or door pillar of the vehicle. Tyre pressures should be checked in cold condition with a calibrated pressure gauge.
Check that valve caps are of good quality and fitted correctly. The valve cap prevents dirt and moisture from getting in and causing damage to the valve core/stem.
Check where you’re parked:
Ensure that your car’s tyres are not standing in pools of water or contaminates. Oils, petrol and diesel, can severely damage tyres. If you spot these contaminates on your tyres, then you should remove using plenty of water and a mild detergent. Ensure that the tyres on your vehicle are parked in an area where water pooling and contaminates are eliminated. Also, ensure that the tyre footprint for all tyres on the vehicle are sitting on a flat road surface where practically feasible and ensure tyre sidewalls for all tyres on the vehicle are not depressed up against kerbs or raised iron works, as this could result in premature removal due to stress or deformation damage.
Do you have a garage?
If feasible, store your car in it, as this will protect your tyres from direct sunlight. If you cannot garage your vehicle, then try and park your vehicle in the shade, as this will protect the tyres from accelerated ageing caused by extended sunlight and UV exposure.
When safely permitted to travel, check the visual condition of your tyres (e.g. cuts, bulges, screws, etc.) and tyre pressures before your journey. If you identify any concerns, please get your tyres inspected in more detail by a qualified tyre technician immediately.
Gary concluded: “If you follow these simple guidelines, then this will ensure that your tyres are maintained in good condition during this lockdown period and that your tyres are safe for when you resume your car journeys.”