Show your wheels some love all year long

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We might have bid farewell to a month focused on showing love and appreciation for the people and things we hold dear, but all is not lost if you haven’t yet showered your vehicle – one of your most prized possessions – with care and attention. Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), manufacturer of the iconic Dunlop tyre brand, shares ways to treat your wheels with tenderness throughout the year, for serving you faithfully every day, bringing smiles for miles and keeping you safe on the road.

Each Valentine’s Day, Sumitomo Rubber SA celebrates Brand Love Day, when employees don either their yellow and black Dunlop Tyres T-shirts or their blue SRSA branded shirts to show off their passion for the company and its most well-loved tyre brand.

Love for the Dunlop tyre brand extends amongst consumers as well, as is evident in its eight-year domination in the Tyre Brands Category of the Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey, along with numerous other accolades over the years. With a 130+ year history in the country, Dunlop is proud to be South Africa’s oldest tyre brand and the longest serving tyre manufacturer on South African soil.

Dunlop loves and values its role in delivering safe and comfortable road travel for South Africans.

Through sunshine or rain, lonely lockdown rides for essentials or adventurous road trips with loved ones, Dunlop customers depend on their vehicles and tyres to get them from point A to point B safely and securely. Reciprocating this care should be a priority throughout the year, because if you look after your vehicle and its tyres, they will look after you.

This can be done with a full service, or vehicle safety and tyre checks at the very least.

1. Give your vehicle a royal pamper session

Whether you enjoy putting a lot of effort and love into washing your vehicle yourself, or you prefer to take it to a good car wash, pampering your vehicle delivers many benefits.

  • It keeps one of your biggest assets in good condition.
  • Regular and thorough washing helps to prevent rust and will also stop any acidic dirt or damp from corroding your wheel arches and engine.
  • Going to a proper car wash also uses less water compared to at-home washes, scoring you eco-friendly brownie points.

2. Service = love for your old faithful      

Putting off a vehicle service is never a good idea, whether you have a relatively new vehicle or your trusty old wheels that have stood the test of time.

  • Your car may need some simple work done such as an oil change, a new filter and just an all-around safety check to make sure it is still performing at its peak.
  • Having a reputable mechanic inspect and attend to your vehicle regularly could save your serious issues down the road.

3. Practice tyre care at its best

As the only part of your vehicle that touches the road, tyres deserve super special attention, so that they can continue to help you maintain a good grip on the road or come to a rapid and safe stop if ever required.

  • Always spend time to ensure you have the correct tyres on your vehicle and visit a reputable dealer if you are unsure.
  • Try regularly to inspect your tyres for the correct tyre pressure and tread depth, as well as any signs of damage or wear and tear.
  • Tyre tread depth should be at least 1.6mm deep – smooth tyres will hamper quick, safe braking.
  • Maintaining optimum tyre pressure guarantees you’ll get more life and love out of your tyres, as tyre pressure impacts both vehicle performance and overall safety. Pencil in a tyre pressure check every two weeks or try to do one each time you refuel your car, as under- or over-inflation of tyres can cause damage to the tyre, reduce its lifespan or could result in an accident.
  • Around once a month, turn the steering to the far right to get a full view of the front tyres and inspect the tread. Look out for uneven tread wear and inspect the tyre tread depth. Then check the rear tyres as well. Tyre manufacturers include a tread wear indicator (TWI) within the tyre tread. This indicator looks like a small square in the groove of the tyre. As an international standard the TWI is set at 1.6mm and when the rest of the tyre tread is level with this indicator, or below, your tyres are no longer legal and need to be replaced. Once you go below 3mm tread depth, the braking performance of your tyres will be reduced. Once the tread gets to the absolute minimum – the 1.6mm – your wet braking could increase by more than double, and you will have a problem stopping your vehicle in an emergency. The tyre is also illegal according to the National Road Traffic Act.
  • Prevention is better than cure, so make the time to develop good car-care habits like checking tyres regularly for punctures, penetrations, cuts and bulges. Cuts in the tyre may seem minor when the pressure isn’t visibly low, however they could allow dampness to get to the inner casing which affects safety and the life of the tyre. 
  • Regular wheel alignment is also imperative for careful commutes, as misaligned wheels can lead to excessive tyre wear. 

Tyre wear reveals a great deal about the way your tyre has been cared for, and also indicates a multitude of possible mechanical problems with the car. Learning to recognise these problems early will save you a great deal of trouble and money, so make sure you have yours checked by a reputable dealer.

Visit for more tyre safety tips.