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Alex, who is founder and executive director of Axle Motorsports, says you should be driving at normal speeds in the rain and truly slow down only when there’s inches of water layering the road. (Pix by Nicholas King)
Goodyear tyre’s tread wear indicators
Goodyear tyre’s tread wear indicators
Goodyear tyre’s tread wear indicators

KUALA LUMPUR: Do you change your tyres often enough when it’s necessary?

According to professional racing driver Alex Yoong we Malaysians don’t, and this doesn’t bode well for us in wet road conditions.

“I’ve always been puzzled over how we (Malaysians) drivers are so good on the wet track when I’m in places like Europe, but so slow and terrible when we’re on our own (Malaysia) roads when it is raining.

“Then one day a manufacturer told me that Southeast Asians, and by extension Malaysians, don’t like changing their tyres or often enough when necessary.

“It then occurred to me why most drive so slow when it’s raining because this leads to terrible road grip and traction.”

Alex, who is founder and executive director of Axle Motorsports, says you should be driving at normal speeds in the rain and truly slow down only when there’s inches of water layering the road.

“It’s always a conundrum seeing everyone run botak (bald) tyres.

“Malaysians don’t like to change tyres usually to save money or see no reason to. But there’s no grip. It’s dangerous.

“You will crash with just a slight mishandling. All it takes is one day for you to forget your tyres are not up to grip and it’s you and the barrier.”

Alex made the statement during the unveiling of Goodyear’s Eagle F1 family of tyres: the SuperSport RS, SuperSport R, SuperSport, Asymmetric 5 and the Asymmetric 3 SUV.

On general tyre maintenance, Goodyear Malaysia product manager Benjamin Chong says always pay attention to the letters “TWI” showing the location of the tyre’s tread wear indicators, making sure the tread is sufficiently deep.

“The minimum tread depth is in most cases 1.6mm. If you’re uncertain just bring it to a dealer.

“A good dealer will advise on when you should change your tyres or be careful with driving conditions.

“I’d say on general estimation with average city drive, you’ll probably want to get your tyres checked after 50,000km of use or after driving for a year-and-a-half,” he adds.

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