With your accommodation, bucket list and route planned, the next step before embarking on your festive road trip this year, is to assess if you have the correct tyres fitted to your vehicle for the application, activity and terrain you’re about to tackle. This is a necessary step to help protect you and your family while you are out on the roads exploring our beautiful country.
Choosing the right tyre profile
As tyres are critical components of a vehicle, choosing the correct tyre profile (or aspect ratio) impacts steering stability and the right choice will ensure safety, performance, and longevity on the road, and plays a key role in how your vehicle will react and respond while driving. This will also ensure that you always get the maximum traction from your tyres.
Here are the factors to consider when selecting the appropriate tyre profile for your vehicle:
Vehicle Type: The first step in choosing the right tyre profile is to consider your vehicle type, and try and stay within the OE manufacturer’s specification, often outlined in the owner’s manual. Different types of vehicles, such as sedans, SUVs, trucks, and sports cars, have unique tyre profile requirements. For example, sports cars generally benefit from lower aspect ratios which provides better handling and cornering, while SUVs and trucks may require higher aspect ratios for improved load-carrying capacity and comfort.
Climate and Terrain: Weather conditions, together with typical driving conditions, are important factors to consider. For those who live in hot and dry climates, a lower aspect ratio may provide improved stability and performance.
Tyre Width: The width of your tyre is closely related to its profile. Wider tyres tend to have lower aspect ratios, and narrower tyres typically have higher aspect ratios. A wider tyre offers better grip and handling, while a narrower tyre may be more fuel-efficient and provide a smoother ride.
Ride Quality: On an especially long road trip, or rough terrain, you may want to have a pleasurable drive. For a smooth and comfortable ride, choose a tyre with a higher aspect ratio as their longer sidewall length helps absorb shocks and impacts from uneven road surfaces. On the other hand, if you want sporty handling and responsiveness, opt for a lower aspect ratio for improved steering precision to navigate your route.
Load-Bearing Capacity: Will you be towing a trailer or caravan, or have bicycles or boats hitched to your vehicle? For vehicles with a load, select a tyre with a higher load carrying capacity to provide better support and stability, ensuring that the tyre can handle the added weight and handle the speed without excessive sidewall flex.
Speed Rating: Sports cars and high-performance vehicles generally require tyres with a higher speed rating, while standard passenger vehicles can use tyres with lower speed ratings. Every tyre comes with a speed rating, indicating the maximum speed at which it can safely operate, and you need to ensure that your tyre profile matches the speed capabilities of your vehicle.
Inflation Pressures: It is not the tyre that carries the vehicle load, it’s the air inside the tyre. Before you head out ensure your tyres are inflated to the correct cold recommended inflation pressures. Failing to do so can result in tyres not being able to withstand the load and the speed, resulting in premature tyre failure. The hotter a tyre runs on the road surface, the quicker the tyres’ wear rate.
Seek Expert Advice: If you are unsure about the right tyre profile for your vehicle, consult a professional at a tyre shop or dealership, such as your nearest Dunlop dealership. They can provide expert guidance based on your specific needs and preferences.
Once you have the right tyre profile fitted, ensure you conduct proper tyre maintenance. Regular inspections, and tyre rotations are essential for maximising the life and performance of your chosen tyres. As part of routine maintenance, rotate your tyres every eight to ten thousand km/s, have the balancing and wheel alignment checked as this will ensure you get the maximum tread life out of your tyres.
WIN WIN WIN
With a wide geographical canvas, South African drivers are spoilt for choice choosing the city landscapes or opting to escape the city to the great outdoors – either way, the right tyre profile will make your journey a great one.
As part of Dunlop’s “Pick Your Profile” campaign, two fresh-on-the-market 5-door Suzuki Jimmy’s are up for grabs, plus R100 000 to kit it out, and additionally, the chance to win a share of R500 000 in cash.
To enter the challenge, customers who purchase two or more 16” and above tyres (excluding truck and bus tyres) from a Dunlop branded store, will scan the code on display in store to register, and play.
Customers will need to enter their details and upload a picture of their invoice.
The promotion is valid from 15 November 2023 to 15 January 2024, and terms and conditions apply.
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