Bubble Tyres

Why You Must Take Tyre Bubbles Seriously

Drive on Bubbled Tyres and You Risk Your Life

A road traffic cop in the UK stopped a car on a school run a few weeks ago. The reason was tyre bubbles. These huge bulges are a sign of major tyre failure. They are not normal, and are dangerous. Very dangerous. What causes tyre bubbles, and what should you do if your tyres are bubbled?

The Good News about Tyre Bubbles

First, the good news. If you have tyre bubbles, you’ll see them. You’ll also feel them when you drive.

Tyre bubbles are big bulges. They look a little like Marty Feldman’s eyes – popping out all over the place. If your drive has become shuddery instead of smooth, you may also have tyre bubbles.

The Bad News about Tyre Bubbles

Now for the bad news. You can’t fix tyre bubbles. They are a sign that the tyre is irreparably damaged. But it gets worse. A tyre bubble means that:

  • A slight impact could lead to a tyre blowout. You’ll need to avoid every single pothole, no matter how small.
  • A cut or hole can develop in the tyre at any moment.
  • Air is leaking – your tyre is going flat.
  • Cornering risks a blowout, too.

These risks are present because of how the tyre has been damaged.

How Do Tyre Bubbles Develop?

A tyre bubble forms because of internal damage to the tyre. When the internal components are weakened, the air pressure inside causes the sidewalls to bubble. Air escapes through the inner lining and becomes trapped between the inner lining and outer casing. Often, these bubbles form when the tyre is shocked – such as if you hit a pothole or kerb at speed.

They are also more likely on older tyres. This is because a tyre’s rubber compound breaks down over time (which is why most tyre manufacturers recommend changing for new tyres when your existing tyres are five of six years old, irrespective of mileage travelled on them).

We often find that tyre bubbles occur to tyres most commonly on vehicles that are frequently driven over rough roads, and also to tyres that are poorly maintained and inflated to the incorrect tyre pressure.

How Do You Avoid Tyre Bubbles?

To avoid tyre bubbles, you should always drive safely, within speed limits, and try to avoid driving at speed over potholes. You should also maintain your tyres well, and ensure you replace with new when they must be changed – whether it’s because of inadequate tread depth, degradation or age.

Checking Your Tyres for Tyre Bubbles

Tyre bubbles are not always as visible as the ones on the tyres of the car stopped in the UK. Those bubbles were up to three inches across and spread completely around the outer sidewall of the tyre. There were around a dozen of them. The tyre looked like it had a bunch of tennis balls buried inside it. This simple two-step routine will help you inspect your tyres for tyre bubbles:

  1. In the morning light, or with a bright torch, inspect your tyres for any changes.
  2. Use your hands to run around the inner and outer sidewalls, checking for small bubbles – they don’t become tennis ball-sized immediately. Your fingers are sensitive – you’ll feel bulges and bubbles quite easily.

While checking your tyres, take note of uneven tread, cuts and grazes, too. Uneven tread could be a sign that your wheel alignment needs adjusting or your wheels need balancing. Cuts and grazes and damage caused by sharp objects should all be inspected by a professional immediately.

What Should You Do If You Find a Tyre Bubble?

A tyre bubble is an accident waiting to happen. Don’t take the risk. As soon as you notice a tyre bubble, change the tyre for the spare tyre. Then, take the bubbled tyre to your nearest tyre shop as soon as you can. They will confirm if the tyre is bubbled and if it needs replacing.

Here in Brisbane, if you suspect you have tyre bubbles get in touch with Darra Tyres. Please don’t risk driving on substandard tyres. We’d prefer to see you in our tyre shop than in a hospital.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Investing in Solid Forklift tyres

Should You Invest in Solid Forklift Tyres?

Solid Tyres Could Provide a Solid Performance

Forklifts are the modern workhorse of most manufacturing and warehouse facilities. Forklift tyres provide full support for the loads they carry. Therefore, choosing the right tyres for your forklift ensures that it runs at optimum performance and remains safe in a busy workplace.

Should You Use Solid Forklift Tyres?

Unlike pneumatic tyres, which are filled with air, there is no inner tube or air layer that needs to be inflated in a solid forklift tyre. At present, solid tyres are only used for slow vehicles that carry heavy loads. For example, your car does not use solid tyres because they would place additional strain on the engine, brakes, suspension and axles. The technical reason for this is that rotating mass stores energy and therefore the heavier solid tyre would require more energy to start and stop.

However, in forklift applications, solid tyres may prove advantageous.

4 Advantages of Solid Forklift Tyres

  1. Resilience

Durability and resilience often make solid tyres the best choice for your forklift tyres. As they are not inflated with air, you do not have to worry about punctures or blowouts that would negatively impact your warehouse or factory’s productivity.

  1. Advanced Design

Solid tyres use advanced design and technology to ensure optimum performance for your forklift. Solid forklift tyres are manufactured from advanced materials, with tried-and-tested rubber formulations to improve handling and increase resilience in a range of environments.

Forklifts carry heavy loads, and as such, solid tyres have been designed to be durable, giving them a long life and making them difficult to wear down. Rigorous physical and chemical testing is often carried out to combat any problems that may be encountered in various work environments – so you have added peace of mind that all your machinery will be running when needed.

  1. Safety

Pneumatic and solid wheel rings can be used interchangeably. However, using an inflated tyre there is a greater chance that, on impact with obstacles, there will be serious deformation on the tyre. The compressed air could cause a bulge in the tyre if the carcass cord is fractured, creating a safety hazard.

With pneumatic tyres, there is also the danger of a ‘tyre crash’. If the wheel of the forklift is under high stress, there is the chance that it may come off, which can lead to dropped loads or the risk of an overturn.

  1. Performance

Picking the right tyres for your forklift is vital for the vehicle to maintain optimal performance. According to a Forklift Briefing Test, good-quality tyres can move up to 14% more pallets during a single shift. To maximise productivity on your forklifts you should start from the ground up and make tyres your first consideration. If you are working in an environment that has a high potential for tyre damage, solid tyres are your best option.

2 Disadvantages of Solid Forklift Tyres

  1. Discomfort

In general, there are no serious disadvantages to using solid tyres on your forklift. The only notable disadvantage is that there may be some slight discomfort for the driver compared to pneumatic tyres.

  1. Less Suitable for Outdoor Use

Solid forklift tyres can be used for light outdoor use. However, they are not recommended to be used outdoors for the long term or on rough terrain. Thus, if your forklift mainly operates outdoors or on rough terrain, solid tyres may not be the most practical and safe option for you.


Solid tyres are a great option for many work environments. However, you should pick your tyres for the task that they are needed for. Solid tyres have excellent resistance and are great for workplaces where your forklift may encounter sharp objects or nails. However, if your forklift will be running over rough terrain outdoors, pneumatic tyres would be a better option.

When was the last time you had your forklift tyres checked? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

New Tyres

Must New Tyres Be ‘Broken In’?

Staying Safe on New Tyres

New tyres will need a running-in period. You should be aware that your vehicle will feel different with a new set of tyres fitted. You may pick the same brand and style of tyres as those you are replacing, but older tyres perform differently to new tyres.

In this article, you’ll learn what the differences are, how long tyres take to break in, and how you can drive safely until your tyres are ready to be driven on ‘normally’.

What You Need to Know About New Tyres

You may have brought a new car or got a fresh set of tyres to replace old tyres on your current vehicle. Before you hit the road and enjoy your upgraded tyres, there are some things you should know. Like a new pair of shoes, a new set of tyres requires some breaking in.

New tyres go through a period of breaking in before they start performing at their best. To ensure you are driving safely, learn what makes new tyres lose traction and change the handling of your vehicle.

What Makes New Tyres Different from Older Tyres?

Several factors that impact a tyre’s performance are different in new tyres than older tyres. These include:

  • Lubricants

During production, tyres are released from their mould using a release lubricant. This lubricant will stay in the grooves of the tyres until it wears off through driving. Until this lubricant is completely gone, your tyres will have less traction – increasing braking distances and reducing handling efficiency.

  • Antioxidants

Your tyres may feel slick at first due to the antioxidants that are applied to the tyre during manufacturing. These help the rubber maintain its structure when exposed to different environments such as fluctuating temperatures and oxygen levels.

  • Tread depth

In Australia, new tyres come with a tyre tread depth of 8mm. If you allow your previous tyres to become worn down to the legal minimum (1.5mm), you will certainly feel the difference in your new tyres. Fresh tyres have stiff and deep tread that makes your car feel like there is a large cushion between you and the road. This sometimes results in something called ‘squirm’. Tyre squirm is when you feel excessive movement in your tyres when turning from the increased flexibility caused by fresh rubber and deep tread depth.

How to Drive with New Tyres

New tyres require a small adjustment in driving style until they are worn in. It is prudent to consider the first 250-300km as the ‘breaking-in’ period. During this time, you should take extra care while driving.

Drive gently, braking and accelerating smoothly. After this breaking-in distance, any substances in the tyres should have worn off. The tread depth will also have worn down a fraction. This ‘roughing up’ of new tyres helps them perform at their optimum level, improving traction and the handling of your vehicle.

Tips for Driving with New Tyres

Here are our four top tips to drive safely on new tyres:

  1. Stick to dry roads
  2. Drive at a reasonable speed
  3. Keep a suitable distance from the vehicle in front of you as your braking distances will be further than normal because of the lower initial traction
  4. Avoid accelerating quickly or braking sharply


Improve the long-term performance of your new tyres by driving smoothly until they are worn in. For the first 250-300km, avoid harsh braking or accelerating and allow the lubricants used in the manufacturing process to wear off.

Once they have been worn in, the new tyre’s tread will be optimised for safe braking and accelerating, and you can return to your normal driving style.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Summer Tyres

Summer Safety Checklist for Your Tyres

Tyre Safety in the Australian Summer

Australia is heading into summer and temperatures are soaring across Brisbane. With the hot weather comes extra responsibilities in maintaining your tyre safety. Here is our complete checklist for keeping your tyres safe over the summer.

Check Your Tyre Pressure

Proper inflation and tyre pressure are crucial for keeping safe in the summer and come with the added bonus of improving fuel efficiency, handling, and saving you money on fuel costs.

In the summer your tyre pressure should be checked regularly, preferably before use while the tyre is cold. A host of risks arise from poorly inflated tyres, such as:

  • Overinflated tyres causing uneven tyre wear, meaning your car will lose traction on the roads. In summer, the heat causes tyre pressure to increase. It is estimated that for every 5.5֯C (10֯F) the temperature increases, you gain around 1PSI of pressure in your tyres.
  • Underinflated tyres beginning to warp and, in turn, make your vehicle harder to handle.

The above risks increase the likelihood of having an accident on the road. Check your tyre pressure regularly and ensure that it is at the manufacturer’s recommended level.

Top Tip: The manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure level is generally located on a sticker on the door jamb of the driver’s door or front passenger’s door.

Inspect Your Tread Levels

It is essential that you have enough tread on your tyres. Having the correct tyre pressure will ensure that your tyre tread wears evenly. However, over time your tyre tread will wear. The legal minimum tread depth on tyres is 1.5mm. If your tread depth is any less than this your tyres are not considered safe – and you will be driving illegally. For the best tyre safety, we recommend that you change your tyres if the tread falls below 3mm.

Top Tip: You can use a 20 cent coin to quickly check the tread of your tyre. Place it into the grooves of your tyre and if the tread does not reach the bill of the platypus, there is less than 3mm of tread remaining on your tyre.

Protect Your Tyres’ Sidewalls

Hitting potholes and ‘kerbing’ your tyres can cause damage to your tyre’s sidewall. Your sidewalls absorb shocks and stresses that your tyres endure. When they become damaged, your tyres can become unsafe and your chance of having an accident increases. You should regularly inspect the sidewalls of your tyres for any visual damage. If you spot any damage, you should take your car to a tyre shop and have the tyres professionally inspected.

Top Tip: Avoid sharp debris and deep potholes when driving, and take extra care when parking next to kerbs.

Prevent Blowouts

Tyre failure presents a danger to you, your passengers, other vehicles on the road and pedestrians. Blowouts occur in tyres that have sustained damage from impacts and tyres that are worn down. In the summer weather, heat can make blowouts more common. Heat generation and retention in your tyres add additional stress and can increase your chances of a blowout, so it is important to regularly check and maintain your tyres for safety.


With summer approaching and extreme heat forecast for the next few months, it’s essential to make sure your car is ready for the change in weather. Ensuring tyre safety helps to keep you and others safe on the roads. Simple checks protect you from harm.

Regularly checking air pressure, tread depth, and the condition of your tyres’ sidewalls ensures that your car is running optimally. As well as keeping you safer, such checks save you money by improving your vehicle’s fuel economy.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Tread

The Easy Way to Check Your Tyre Tread Depth

Staying Safe on Brisbane’s Roads

All Australian drivers should know that driving on tyres with shallow tyre tread depth is dangerous. Driving with a tyre tread depth that is below the legal minimum is criminal. However, according to the Australian Road Safety Foundation, 40% of drivers do not know what the legal tyre safety standards are.

This article covers what the legal minimum tyre tread depth is in Australia, and a provides a quick hack so you can check your tyres easily and stay safe on Brisbane’s roads.

Australia’s Legal Minimum Tread Depth

The legal minimum tyre tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm. This means that the tread across the entire width and circumference of the tyre must be at least 1.5 mm. If it is less than this on any section of the tyre, the tyre is illegal to drive on. With illegal tyres, your vehicle is illegal.

In Queensland, the penalty for not having legal tyres can put a big strain on your wallet. For one worn tyre, you can receive an on-the-spot fine of $110 and one demerit. With illegal bald tyres, you can be fined up to $220 and receive three demerits.

Not only can illegal tyres cost you money, but they can also cost you your life. Driving on bald tyres is dangerous and affects the traction and handling of your vehicle. Your tread depth affects the rubber on the road and stopping distances.

If you are travelling at 80km per hour on a wet road and brake on a new tyre (which will have a tread depth of 8mm), your vehicle will comfortably stop and have little risk of aquaplaning. If your vehicle has tyres worn down to 3mm of tread depth, it will still be moving at 30km per hour when the vehicle with new tyres would have come to a stop. It will then continue travelling for another 9.5 meters before coming to a complete halt.

How Long Do Tyres Last on Australia’s Roads?

The roads you drive on and your driving style will impact how quickly your tyre tread wears down. For example, if you are driving on asphalt, your tyres will last longer than if you do most of your driving on dirt or gravel roads.

In Brisbane, where we benefit from many sunny days, UV rays emitted from the sun wear down tyres faster than elsewhere. While there is no way to say for sure how quickly your tyre tread will wear, you should check them regularly to make sure they are above the legal minimum.

Checking Tyre Tread with the 20c ‘Coin Test’

Though the legal limit for a tyre’s tread depth is 1.5mm, we recommend that you bring you tyres in for a check when the tread depth is no shallower than 3mm. There is an easy way to check your tread depth, using a 20c coin.

Simply slot the coin in the tread vertically, and if the tread doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus, you have less than 3mm tread depth remaining. It’s time to get your tyres checked and changed if needed.


Tyre tread is crucial to your safety on the road. The more depth you have, the better the handling and the shorter the braking distance. If you allow your tyre treads to wear away to less than 1.5mm, you are breaking the law. You are also risking your safety, and the safety of other road users.

Use the 20c coin test today. If you can see that platypus bill, get yourself and your tyres to a tyre shop. Bring your vehicle to us here in Brisbane at Darra Tyres. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked. We’ll see you right.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Distance travel

7 Ways to Lower Your Fuel Cost and Increase Your Travel Distance

Tips to Help You Keep More Money in Your Pocket

All motorists are concerned by the cost of fuel. For fleets, fuel costs are one of their largest expenses. For commuters, fuel is a major cost in their daily lives. For families, every dollar spent on fuel is a dollar less to spend on food and vacations.

These seven fuel-saving tips will help you increase your travel distance and lower your fuel costs.

1. Slow Down

According to the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, the best speed to improve your fuel economy and lower fuel costs is 85kmph to 95kmph. Should you drive faster than this, your fuel cost starts to increase rapidly. At 120kmph, you’ll spend 40% more on fuel.

2. Check Your Tyres

Tyres have a huge impact on your vehicle’s fuel economy. If you drive on tyres with the incorrect tyre pressure, or on tyres that have suffered excess wear and tear, your fuel costs will rise.

Check your tyre pressure at least once a month and make sure they are at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. You’ll find this on the tyre placard on the inside of the door jamb or in the owner’s manual.

Also, check your tyre tread regularly. The legal minimum is 1.5mm and you should never let it fall below this level. Most tyre manufacturers recommend that you change tyres every five to six years irrespective of tread depth. The shallower the depth, the more dangerous it is to drive – and poor tread depth also increases fuel costs.

3. Use Your Momentum

Momentum can become your best friend in the strive to lower your fuel costs. When approaching inclines, speed up to help build the momentum that will help you travel to the top with less revving of the engine. Use momentum to drive downhill, and instead of braking hard into corners, at junctions, and at traffic lights, ease off the accelerator earlier and brake more gently. Not only will you save fuel, you will also save wear on your tyres.

4. Read the Road

Paying attention and reading the road ahead is a simple way to reduce your fuel costs. By seeing obstacles ahead of time, and anticipating corners and changes in the road, you reduce your need for harsh braking and accelerating – and as I discussed in the paragraph above, this is good news for your tyres, too.

5. Reduce Your Weight and Don’t Fill Up!

Weight must be hauled. Lighter vehicles use less fuel to travel the same distance as a heavier vehicle. Remove all the junk you have collected in your vehicle. Make sure things that should be in the home don’t become permanent (and unnecessary) passengers. If you have a roof rack, remove it when not in use. It causes drag, and drag means you use more fuel.

One of the heaviest loads you carry in a vehicle is the fuel. It has been estimated that only half-filling the tank will save you around 1% to 2% of your fuel costs. The downside is more regular stops to add fuel.

6. Use a High Gear

The higher the gear, the lower your engine revs. Try to move your vehicle into high gear quickly (providing the speed limit allows it) to lower your fuel costs. Revving your engine too hard before shifting gear, and waiting for the high-pitched ‘cue’ from your engine is terrible for your fuel economy.

7. Don’t Use the AC or Open Your Windows!

With the weather in Brisbane getting above 30֯C in the summer, it’s only natural that you need to turn on the AC when driving. However, when the aircon is running you consume more fuel. Opening the windows also increases drag, and affects fuel consumption negatively. It’s a tough call to make. You don’t want to sweat and be uncomfortable in your vehicle, but you want to reduce your fuel costs – the answer is to be conservative with the air con.


Fuel costs are one of the major expenses for many people. Every dollar you save by driving more conscientiously and on well-maintained tyres at the right tyre pressure is a dollar you can spend on more important things than fuel.

The tips above are some simple ways to cut down your fuel costs. Most of them only require you to pay a little more attention to the maintenance of your car and the roads you are driving on.

Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Slow Puncture Tyres

How to Spot a Slow Puncture and Avoid an Accident

Don’t Put Your Life at Risk

Slow punctures can be difficult to spot and are dangerous if they continue to go unnoticed. Learning the signs to look out for and how to correctly maintain your tyres can help you avoid an accident and keep your car safe on the road.

Signs You Have a Slow Puncture

It can be hard to tell if you have a slow puncture, but there are some definitive signs to look out for to warn you that your tyre may have a puncture. For example:

  • Your wheel is shuddering or feels wobbly while you are driving
  • Difficulty steering your car
  • Your car feels as though it is pulling to the left or the right
  • Sudden swerves when you are driving

How to Check If Your Tyre Has a Slow Puncture

Through visual inspection of your car tyres, you can usually find out if you have a puncture. When inspecting your car and tyres, you should ask yourself the following:

  • When inspected from various angles, does the size of the tyre look different?
  • Are any of the tyres obviously deflated?
  • Are any of your tyres bulging?
  • Are any of your tyres sagging?

Inspecting Your Tyre’s Air Pressure

Air pressure plays a major role in avoiding punctures, improving the longevity of your tyres and the safety of your car.

A study by the Australian government found that that accident involvement increased when the tyre pressures in cars differ substantially from that recommended by the manufacturer. Imbalance of more than 5 psi was found in 14% of road traffic accidents, showing the importance of checking tyre pressure.

Most service stations in Australia have a pump that you can use to both check and inflate your tyres. You should check your tyre pressures at least once a month and ensure they are at the recommended pressure. If you are unsure what the pressure for your tyres should be, in most Australian cars, a label with this information can be found inside one of the front door jambs or in the owner’s manual.

What to Do If You Have a Puncture

You should be prepared for any situation when driving your car, especially when taking it on long journeys. You should carry a spare tyre in your car at all times, and know-how to change it so that in the event of a puncture, you can quickly and safely get back on the road.

However, spare tyres are usually space savers these days and are not meant for long-term use. As soon as you are able, you should take your car to a garage and get a new tyre, or get the punctured tyre fixed. Most space saver tyres are not suitable to be driven more than 80 kilometres.

Not all cars come with a spare tyre. If you do suffer a puncture and you don’t have a spare, a tow truck from a garage can usually collect your car and fix or replace the tyre as soon as they can reach you. However, if you go on a long journey or to a remote location, you could end up stranded for hours.

If the damage is minimal and it is a slow puncture, you may be able to fix it by the side of the road and continue driving until you get to a garage, using a tyre puncture repair kit. These kits are often provided with cars that do not hold a spare tyre and offer a speedy and hassle-free way to get your car on the road again. However, like spare tyres, this repair is only a temporary fix. If you use a repair kit you should not drive for longer than necessary. Make a garage or tyre shop your next destination to get the tyre properly repaired or replaced.


To avoid a serious accident, you should always have a spare tyre or puncture repair kit in your vehicle – and know what to do with them. It is essential that once you notice a slow puncture, you make getting to a tyre shop your top priority to get the puncture fixed or the tyre replaced. When neglected, a slow puncture could be the most dangerous thing on the road.

Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Cracked Tyres

Are Cracked Tyres Dangerous?

Tyre Advice That Could Save Your Life

Tyres are one of the most important aspects of your car and as such are engineered to be durable. However, they don’t last forever, and after a while, you may notice that your car has cracked tyres. This kind of wear and tear can be a sign that you need new tyres. Here are some tips for getting the longest life out of your tyres and the dangers of driving on cracked tyres.

Dangers of Cracked Tyres

Cracked tyres are a sign of wear and damage to your tyres. They can be dangerous to drive on. If you notice your tyre has cracks, you should take your car to a tyre shop for the tyres to be examined. There are two major risks you face if your tyres are cracked:

  1. Loss of grip

The biggest danger caused by cracked tyres is the loss of grip. This can cause loss of control when driving around bends, and on wet roads, you will be more likely to aquaplane.

  1. Blowout

As the integrity of the tyre worsens and more cracks appear, your chances of experiencing a blowout increase dramatically. See our article, ‘The How, Why and What of Tyre Blowouts’ for tips on how to come to a safe standstill should you suffer a blowout.

Causes of Cracked Tyres

Your tyres are made up of three main components:

  1. Plies, which are inside the tyre and give it flexibility while maintaining its structure
  2. Beads, which are coated into the rubber of the tyre to create a seal between your wheel rim and the tyre
  3. Polymers, the rubber on the outside of the tyre

Cracked tyres are a result of the bonds in these components breaking down and can have multiple causes: ageing, water damage, UV damage, incorrect tyre pressure, and degradation.

  • Ageing Tyres

Polymers naturally break down over time. As your tyres age, they become more susceptible to cracking because of the tyres stiffen and lose their elasticity. Even if your tyres are not used, the bond will naturally break down. You may have a car that’s been sat in the garage for years without being driven, and when inspected, is found to have cracked tyres.

  • Water Damage

I know what you’re thinking: rubber is waterproof, right? Yes – however, if you drive on wet roads for a prolonged period, water can still enter your tyres and cause damage. Queensland can experience monsoon troughs and storms through the rainy season that leave the roads wet all day. If possible, avoid driving in these conditions to prevent damage to your tyres. Use your brakes sensibly, and dry your tyres when you return home.

  • UV Damage

With the rainy season also comes the heat. From December to February in Brisbane, your car tyres will be taking the most damage. The extreme heat and UV rays cause tyres to expand and are one of the biggest causes of cracked tyres.

  • Incorrect Tyre Pressure

Maintaining correct tyre pressures is essential to getting the longest lifespan out of your tyres. Cracked tyres can be caused by both overinflation and underinflation. If your tyres are underinflated, there is more surface of the tyre touching the road. If it is overinflated, there will be bulging. Both scenarios put extra stress on your tyres and can lead to cracking.

  • Degradation

Rubber is an organic material, which means it’s biodegradable. While there are chemicals that you can use to slow down the degradation, there is no way to stop it completely. Eventually, you will find your tyres start cracking naturally. Tyre manufacturers recommend changing tyres every five to six years, irrespective of the miles driven on them.

How to Prevent Cracked Tyres

We do not recommend that you fix cracked tyres. However, there are some steps you can take to extend the longevity of your tyres. For example:

  • Tyre pressure – Ensure that your tyres are inflated to the recommended PSI
  • Tyre protector – Regularly apply tyre protector to your tyres
  • Garage – Where possible, keep your car parked in a dry garage


Cracked tyres are a sign of wear and tear. If you start noticing cracks, it’s time to take your car to a tyre shop and get your tyres switched. Damaged tyres provide less grip and increase the risk of a blowout.

Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Part worn tyres

Should You Buy Part-Worn Tyres?

Part-Worn Tyres: More Dangerous and More Expensive in the Long Run

Occasionally, motorists come into our tyre shop in West Brisbane and, after a tyre check, discover they need to change their tyres and ask if we sell part-worn tyres. Now, it is pretty easy to buy part-worn tyres, but we don’t recommend you fit them to your vehicle. Just like we don’t recommend that motorists buy blemished tyres.

Part-Worn Tyres Are a False Economy

They may save you a few dollars on the purchase price, but part-worn tyres will wear faster. Having been previously used, they don’t have the tread that new tyres have. So you’ll get to below the legal limit faster. This means you’ll need to replace them sooner, and that means a second outlay on tyres. Perhaps a third and fourth.

Suddenly, you’ve spent moreover two or three years than you would over five years if you’d have purchased new tyres.

Looks Aren’t Everything

Even if part-worn tyres look in good condition, it doesn’t mean they are. They could have been on a vehicle for four or five years. Even if the previous driver only covered a few hundred miles each year, the age of part-worn tyres compromises their condition.

Most manufacturers recommend that you change new tyres after five or six years, irrespective of how many miles they have covered. Even in storage, tyres become aged and the stability of their rubber degrades.

Ageing of tyres is worse in sunny climates because it is UV rays from the sun that do most of the damage. Small cracks that appear in a tyre over time become oxidised by the sun, and this accelerates the breakdown of the tyre.

Part-Worn Tyres Compromise Your Safety

As a tyre’s rubber is compromised by age, so too is your safety. Those cracks make a tyre weaker. You’re more likely to suffer a tyre blowout, especially if you’re travelling at speed. The shallower tread also leads to less grip on the road, making cornering more dangerous. Get it wrong and you’ll be heading into oncoming traffic in the blink of an eye.

You don’t need to take my word that part-worn tyres are more dangerous. Many international studies have found the same. For example:

  • In Ireland, the Road Safety Authority found that, over a four-year period, 66% of fatal accidents were caused by worn tyres
  • In the UK, Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that defective tyres were the most common reason for road traffic accidents

Most Part-Worn Tyres Are Sold in a Dangerous Condition

Okay, so now I hear you say, “Yeah, but that’s defective tyres. Tell me about part-worn tyres.” Well, here’s an astounding statistic for you:

The DfT found that a staggering 58% of part-worn tyres purchased have defects.

In other words, when you buy a part-worn tyre, you have an almost 6-in-10 chance that it is unsafe. Plus, by driving on part-worn tyres you massively increase your chances of having a fatal accident.

The defects that are commonly found in part-worn tyres include cracks, bulges and tears. These are visible and should always be avoided, however inconsequential they appear. Perhaps even more dangerous are the defects that you cannot see – embedded shards of glass, and structural issues such as damaged belts, tyre casings, and body ply. All these defects make a tyre more dangerous and put you in greater danger of suffering an accident.

Why You Should Buy New Tyres

New tyres are rigorously tested. You know they don’t have defects, and they have 8mm of tread depth. Any new tyres that don’t pass the testing process are cast away and labelled as blemished – which is why we never sell blemished tyres. Like part-worn tyres, you just cannot be certain that what you are buying is safe.

We don’t think it is wise to play with people safety. When we supply tyres to customers, they can be certain that they are buying the best quality within their budget. Not blemished tyres. Not part-worn tyres. New tyres that keep you safer, deliver trustworthy performance, and, in the long run, will probably save you money.

Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Blemished Tyres

Blemished Tyres? Why We Will Never Sell Them.

That Bargain Tyre May Not Be All It Appears

We were asked recently if we sell blemished tyres. The answer is no. Here’s an explanation of why.

What Are Blemished Tyres?

If you have ever bought an item of clothing from a factory outlet store, you may well have bought an item that is ‘blemished’. You may not even realise that it is. It may be considered blemished because of a small mark, or an inch of poor stitching, or even a button that has been sewn on at the wrong angle.

Many blemished tyres that are sold suffer analogous imperfections. Cosmetic issues. But not all. They are factory seconds, but for a variety of reasons.

How Do Blemished Tyres Occur?

With all the money that is poured into research, development and production, you would think that tyre companies would have no problems in their manufacturing processes. But, like all manufacturers, mishaps and mistakes do occur – which is why quality control exists.

Issues during the manufacturing process range from cosmetic – for instance, there may be a mark on the sidewall – to more serious problems, such as a missing steel radial belt. Rubber poured may not fill the mould correctly, and the tread may be short in places, or not uniformly.

There are many reasons a tyre may be termed as blemished. Whatever the reason, it is sold as a second – just like so many fashion items – and hence is far cheaper than a tyre in perfect condition.

How Do You Know a Tyre Is Blemished?

When quality control throws out a blemished tyre, the serial number of the tyre (the number that specifies where the tyre was made, when, and what production run) is removed. The sidewall is embossed with ‘BLEM’ for ‘blemished’.

What Happens in Quality Control?

Quality control is taken super seriously by tyre manufacturers. After all, this isn’t a shirt. A poorly sewn button might pop and show a little flesh. Tyre manufacturers are taking people’s lives in their hands. Even a small, seemingly inconsequential problem could affect the performance and safety of a tyre.

Specialist machinery is used by highly trained quality inspectors. These machines often include X-ray-type machines that check for internal issues, such as air bubbles in the rubber that affect tyre stability.

If a tyre has any issues, whether cosmetic or more serious, they are discarded from the high-quality run and put into the ‘blemished’ pile. They don’t meet the high standards set for the industry, and so are not sold as quality tyres.

Can You Buy Blemished Tyres?

The short answer is yes, and some tyre sellers only sell blemished tyres. The long answer is, “Why would you want to?”

Are Blemished Tyres Safe?

Supposedly, blemished tyres are safe, because only cosmetically blemished tyres are meant to be sold. But here’s the thing: tyre manufacturers don’t mark a tyre with ‘BLEM’ and the reason for the blemish. You only know that they are blemished.

Tyre manufacturers remove the serial number for a good reason, too. Tyre warranties have some specific exemptions that are not covered. For example:

That’s right, a blemished tyre won’t be guaranteed in the same way by the manufacturer. Let’s face it, if they were happy to fully guarantee the tyre, they wouldn’t be removing it from the production line, would they? Removing the serial number ensures that there can be no comebacks on the manufacturer. If you buy a blemished tyre, you take the risk that it is faulty.

No, We Don’t Sell Blemished Tyres

While some tyre shops and tyre sellers heavily market blemished tyres, they are not an item we will ever stock. We value the safety of our customers above everything else.

Some tyre buyers enjoy buying blemished tyres because they feel they are buying brand names at deeply discounted prices. Which they are. But there is a real reason for that deep discount. If tyre manufacturers are confident enough to include blemished tyres on their warranties, what confidence can you have driving on them?

Tyres are the only contact between you and the road. We want that contact to be as strong as possible. When we sell a tyre at Darra Tyres, we know it is the best quality tyre for your vehicle, driving style and budget. We’ll never let our reputation be tarnished by selling tyres that manufacturers wouldn’t be happy to include in their warranties. Your safety is way more important than a few dollars of extra profit.

Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood