Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving



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Wheels need regular inspection and maintenance, otherwise the vehicle's handling will be adversely affected, which in turn would compromise safety.

This section is divided into three sub-sections:

Maintenance Roadworthy Wheels


  • Regularly clean wheels from brake dust, which can be corrosive to alloy rims.

  • Do not damage the rims balancing weights, otherwise it will throw the wheel balancing out.

  • Whenever you check the air pressure in the tires, inspect the rims to check for any buckling, cracks or chips. Depending on how serious the damage is, the rim may need to be replaced in the worst-case scenario, or wheel balancing may suffice.


  • Remove loose surface contaminants.

  • Scrub the rim using a sponge.

  • Spray on wheel cleaner.

  • Scrub the rim using a soft-tipped wheel cleaning brush.

  • Rinse and dry the wheels.

  • Apply a high-quality wheel sealant.




  • Clean tires before the rest of the car.

  • Do not use the following types of cleaning product which could damage the conditioners, antiozonants and UV absorbers in the rubber:

  •       Caustic degreasers.

  •       Harsh chemicals.

  •       Acid or ammonia-based chemicals.

  •       Alkaline wheel cleaners.

  • Ensure tires are cool and dry.

  • Apply cleaner to one tire at a time and let sit for 1 to 2                  minutes.

  • Rinse clean with water.

  • Repeat for all tires.

  • Wash rest of the car.

  • Dry car and tires.

  • Apply protectant.


  • Tread:

  •       Periodically check tread depth.

  •       1mm = Minimum depth.

  •       Treadwear indicator:

  •             Bumps located in the grooves of the tire.

  •             Indicates how much tread left in the tire. When tire                    tread is level with the bump, then it is time to replace                the tire.

  •             Marker on the sidewall shows where the treadwear                      indicators are located.

  •       If no treadwear indicators, use a tire tread gauge or ruler            to measure the depth.

  • Rotation:

  •       Rotate tires every 5,000 miles (8,000 km).

  •       At the same time do wheel balancing and alignment.

  •       Additional effort and expense, however will prevent                    uneven tire wear and save money in the long run.

  • Pressure:

  •       Check vehicle manufacturer recommendations.

  •       Chart should be located on the pillar of the driver's door.

  •       Check tire pressure whenever filling up with fuel.

  •       Don't forget to also periodically check the spare tire                    pressure.

  •       Always make sure that tire valve dust caps are returned,            otherwise grit can get into the valve mechanism and                  cause leaking. Keep a few dust caps spare in the vehicle.


  • See Tires.

  • Because of the vital importance of tires, make sure you purchase the best quality tires you can afford. Do not buy cheap unknown brands as they are not the same quality. Rather do cost cutting in other areas, but NOT the tires.

  • Always replace ALL the tires at the same time and the same type. Do not mix tread types as this will affect the handling characteristics of the vehicle.



One cannot overemphasize the importance of brakes. Unless you know what you are doing, it is best for the professionals to check and replace any brake parts.


  • Squeaking or squealing coming from bakes.

  • Grinding sound when braking.

  • Vibration when braking.

  • Taking longer to stop.

  • Brake pad indicator light comes on.

  • Your brake pads appear to be thin.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving