Category Archives for "Car tyres"

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Is a space saver tyre the best choice for drivers in Brisbane?

Helping you make the best decision when buying a new tyre in Queensland

Some drivers we meet here in Brisbane love them. Some hate them. They’ve become very popular with vehicle manufacturers. I’m talking about space saver tyres – the temporary use tyres provided as the spare in many new vehicles. They are cheaper, more convenient, and, as their name suggests, take up less space in the trunk. But are they really good enough as a spare, or should you switch to a conventional spare tyre?

The advantages of space saver tyres

Tyre manufacturers first produced space saver tyres to use as spares for the smaller cars being made. And there are several advantages over normal-sized tyres. These include that they:

  • Take up less space and are lighter. Great for compact hatchbacks.
  • Are easier to change the tyre after a blowout, because they are lighter.
  • Leave more space for luggage.
  • Are better on fuel consumption, because they are lighter.

They are usually cheaper than a proper tyre, meaning you have fewer dollars tied up in an unused spare tyre. That’s a big benefit to those who drive luxury cars with expensive tyres.

However, there are some disadvantages, too.

The disadvantages of space saver tyres

If space saver tyres were only beneficial, everyone would like them. So, what are the disadvantages of space saver tyres?

  • First, they have a very limited life. You can only drive on them for around 400 to 500 kilometres.
  • You will also have to limit your speed. 80km/h is the maximum, meaning your journey will take longer than expected.
  • Steering and braking won’t be as good as on proper tyres. Emergency manoeuvres will be more difficult to make.
  • Finally, and one that many people don’t think about, the full-size tyre you remove may not fit into the space for the space saver tyre. That means juggling with your luggage, perhaps even needing passengers to travel with a suitcase on their laps until you get to the next tyre specialist.

Should you choose a space saver tyre as your spare?

If you’re buying a new car, you might be given the option of a space saver or a proper tyre as your spare. If you are switching out a space saver after a flat or tyre damage, you might be thinking about a full-size tyre as your spare. Before making your decision, here’s what you should think about:

Do you need extra room in your trunk?

If room is at a premium and luggage space is important, a space saver could give you the extra space you need.

What type of road do you drive on?

If you mostly drive on quiet roads that are well maintained, the potential handling issues of a space saver tyre are likely to be less of an issue than if most of your driving is done on busy roads full of potholes.

What distances do you drive?

If you plan to drive hundreds of kilometres, perhaps on a road trip or for work, you could find yourself a long way from a tyre specialist. If you are pressed for travel time, the need to drive more slowly on a space saver tyre could make you miss an important appointment.

Affordability

Though we never recommend choosing your tyre based only on the cost of the tyre, affordability may be an issue – especially if you need to buy two tyres (one to replace the proper tyre, and one to replace the space saver).

Whichever tyres you buy, make sure you maintain your spare

Whichever type of tyre you own as a spare, don’t neglect it. Make sure it is inflated correctly before you go on a long journey. Take it out of its hiding place regularly to check that it is fit for purpose. When you bring your car in for a tyre change, I’ll know if you don’t check your tyres regularly.

If you need a new spare or want your tyres checked in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres today. We’ll be pleased to help you make the best decision for all your tyre needs, considering your vehicle, where you drive most, the type of driving you do, and your budget.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood

With driverless cars and voice technology, you could be the new Knight Rider

The future we watched on TV in the 1980s has arrived

In the 1980s, perhaps the coolest concept for petrol heads was K.I.T.T. – Knight Industries Two Thousand, the incredible (and intelligent) car driven by Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) in the series Knight Rider.

  • Who didn’t marvel at the ability of driver and car to interact by voice?
  • And how about the artificial intelligence of K.I.T.T.?
  • A car, able to talk, make decisions, and help its ‘master’ upon a voice command?

Of course, back then, the internet wasn’t even a thing. Who’d have thought we would soon be able to speak to our loved ones via video phone – never mind one that fits in your pocket, holds all your data, and on which you could read a whole library, watch films, and listen to hundreds of music albums?

Today, that futuristic vision of driverless cars is here. Soon, we’ll all be driving K.I.T.T. Manufacturers are rushing to get the software into your vehicles. But it’s not all thanks to smartphones that you could be the new Knight Rider.

Google, Siri, and Alexa ­– your in-vehicle friend

Smartphones are great devices. But they have failed to prepare us for a hands-free world. Think about it. Until very recently, everything you did on your smartphone was touch and swipe. Your whole interaction with technology depended on being able to touch it. Touch, tap, swipe. Well, no that is changing.

Over the last couple of years, smart devices have started to be smart. Thanks to Google, Siri, and Alexa, we’re getting used to talking to technology. We’re also getting used to technology being smarter than us. Alexa and Siri know how the weather is anywhere in the world. We only need to ask them. They can find our favourite music, locate an audiobook we always wanted to ‘read’, and help us with our work. All seamlessly and fast.

In-car entertainment is being transformed, too. You thought those switches and levers on your steering wheel were freeing and safer. Now there’s no need to get physical at all. You have fewer distractions. You can concentrate on the road ahead while asking your car to play your favourite tunes.

Navigation by voice is here

Now that we’re getting used to having technology do our bidding when we ask it to, in-car navigation systems are tuning in. Forget the instructions to never play with your Sat Nav while driving. If you decide that you want to take a different route or stop off to eat on the way to your destination, you simply tell your Sat Nav to do so.

Garmin already has voice control, but now it has linked with Alexa. Now, with Garmin Speak, you get hands-free access to Amazon Alexa. Simply ask Alexa to redirect you. “Alexa, ask Garmin to take me to…”. But with Alexa, of course, you get to do a whole bunch of other things while you’re driving. If you suddenly remember you need milk, add it to your shopping list. You can check your diary, find out what the weather is up ahead, or even order a takeaway to arrive when you get home.

So, in-car technology is getting smarter and safer. Yet ordering a takeaway is hardly the stuff that wowed us in the 80s with Michael Knight. K.I.T.T. was like this whole intelligent metallic being. Able to make its own decisions and work hand in hand with the driver. Well, your own personal K.I.T.T. may be closer than you think.

Google Assistant – transforming your car into K.I.T.T.

Google Assistant gives you the ability to interact with your car by voice. It does this by linking up via a small device called AutoPi. This plugs into your car, providing 4G connectivity. You can speak to your car from anywhere. You can log in via any device, and remotely set up your system.

Track your car from wherever you are

With built-in GPS, you can continuously track your car. If it moves, you’ll know about it. Of course, the next step is for your car to alert you to it being hit, or an attempt to steal it. Imagine your phone ringing, and you pick up to hear “Hi, this is your car speaking. I’m currently thwarting an attack on the driver’s door.”

Cool, huh? But now, take it one step further.

Remote control of your car’s functionality

So, you get an alert from your car. You now have a choice. Do you call the cops, or do you take immediate action? How about telling your car to start up, or lockdown? What about a recorded message signalling to the thief that the police have been called? Or how about your car taking off, and coming to you?

Remote control your car and make your life easier

You could have your car start up, and simply drive away from the thieves. A great theft avoidance system, now that driverless trucks and cars are getting close. But there are other uses of remote control, too. Let’s say it’s torrential rain outside. You’re about to finish work, and it’s a ten-minute walk to the open-air car park. Forget that!

Simply tell your car that you’re about to leave work, and you want to be picked up undercover at the front of your office. It will drive to you.

As the 1980s TV series always began…

“Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless in a world of criminals who operate above the law.”

Without his K.I.T.T., Michael Knight simply wouldn’t have been the same person. You may not be championing the cause of the innocent, or fighting big-time criminals, but you’ll feel like a lone crusader taking on (and beating) a dangerous world with your own personal K.I.T.T.

To stay up to date with what’s happening with vehicle technology, and to get the best tyre service in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres.

Keeping you and your family safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Six tyre myths burst forever

Are your tyre beliefs compromising your safety on Brisbane’s roads?

Most people hold a lot of common misconceptions about their tyres. Perhaps our fathers have taught us what they’ve been mistakenly taught by their fathers. Maybe what seems to be common sense, isn’t. Whatever the reason, if you follow these incorrect ‘tyre rules’ you could be putting yourself, your passengers, and other road users at risk.  Here are the six most common tyre myths I hear from customers.

1.    “There is no need to rotate tyres”

Most people have heard about the need to rotate tyres. Some drivers I’ve spoken to in Brisbane even think that rotating tyres is dangerous. Few believe that tyre rotation could save your life and protect your quality tyres.

Tyres wear differently depending upon where they are positioned on the vehicle. Rotating them evens out this wear and tear, and makes for a smoother and safer driving experience. It also helps to prolong the life of your tyres.

2.    “Used tyres are either great or rubbish”

Everyone has an opinion on used tyres and retreads. The majority either believe they are a bargain and perfectly usable, or that they should be avoided like the plague. The truth is that some used tyres are a bargain, especially if they are nearly new.

If you are considering buying new tyres, make sure you inspect them closely for wear, cuts, grazes and scars. A spare set of used tyres could be an investment worth making. If you do suffer a flat, you’ll have a replacement immediately handy.

3.    “There’s no need to check tyres”

If you think there is no need to check your tyres, you are not alone. You might also be one of the most dangerous drivers on Brisbane’s roads. The more experienced drivers are usually the ones that carry out regular tyre checks because they know how important it is. A bulging sidewall could be the warning of a blowout soon to happen.

If there is one habit you should adopt, it’s the four-minute tyre check that everyone should make.

4.    “If you inflate the tyre above its maximum pressure, it will burst”

The maximum pressure denoted on the sidewall indicates the maximum pressure at which the maximum load can be carried safely. A quality tyre won’t burst if inflated above the maximum pressure. However, you will want to avoid hitting a pothole at speed if your tyre is inflated to a very high pressure.

5.    “Unused tyres will last forever”

No, they won’t. Tyre rubber degrades even if the tyres aren’t driven on. Sun primarily degrades tyres. Even if you don’t drive many kilometres, you should consider changing your tyres a minimum of every five years – and certainly, have them checked by a specialist to make sure they are still robust and safe to use.

6.    “When you replace tyres, always put the new ones on the front axle”

It certainly sounds like the correct thing to do, but when you replace tyres, it’s the rear ones you should replace. Move the existing good tyres to the front, and put the new tyres on the rear. The reason you do this is that it is your rear tyres that give most stability to the car. They help maintain balance when you brake in wet conditions. It helps prevent skidding and spinning.

If your rear tyres have less tread than your front tyres, contact us today. Any delay in doing so could put you at risk, especially in poor driving conditions.

You should enjoy your driving, and know you’re safe while doing so. Your tyres are key to your safety on the road. Check them regularly, inflate correctly, and rotate regularly. Buy the best-quality tyres you can afford. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any doubts about the condition of your tyres here in West Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

How do Australia’s drivers know they need new tyres?

The easy way to check your tyre tread and stay safe on Brisbane’s roads

All Australian drivers understand that driving on illegal tyres puts them and other road users in danger. According to some studies, almost nine in ten Australians don’t know what the minimum tread depth is. In this article, we examine how to tell if your tread depth is too shallow, and that you need new tyres to stay safe and legal on Australia’s roads.

Legal minimums and tyre safety

The legal minimum tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm. It means that none of the treads across the entire tyre must be shallower than this. If it is, you are driving illegally. More importantly, you’re putting your life and the lives of your passengers and other road users in danger.

I’d argue that this minimum tread depth should be increased for safety reasons. Some manufacturers suggest that tyres should be changed when the depth reaches 3mm. I’d certainly argue for the minimum to be raised to 2mm. Why?

Tests have shown that below a depth of 2mm, the risk of having an accident increases dramatically. It is because traction and handling worsen. Braking distances are evidence of just how much more dangerous it is to drive on worn tyres. In the wet, and travelling at 80kph, on tyres with:

  • 8mm tread depth, a car stops in 25.9 metres
  • 3mm tread depth, a car stops in 31.7 metres
  • 6mm tread depth, a car stops in 39.5 metres

On worn tyres, it’s going to take you a lot longer to stop. If you’re a driver, who loves to tailgate, think about this for a second. How old are your tyres? How new are the tyres on the car ahead? That extra stopping distance is the equivalent of three saloon cars. If you’re closer than this and the driver in front decides to stamp on his brakes, at 80kph you are likely to hit him. And that is your fault.

So, how long do tyres last on Australia’s roads?

Australia’s roads play a big part in determining how long a tyre will last. As does your driving style. If you’re a fast driver and brake hard, your tyres will wear out faster. If you drive on dirt tracks or poorly maintained roads, the rubber is more likely to be scraped and grazed. Vehicle design also impacts tyre wear, as does weather and climate. UV rays from the sun degenerate tyre rubber. And here in Brisbane, we have a lot of sun.

It’s impossible to say how long a tyre will last in Brisbane, or anywhere for that matter. There are so many factors involved. It is why you should conduct a regular tyre check. A few minutes each week could save your life.

How do you know your tyres must be changed?

When you are checking your tyres for tread wear, remember that the minimum legal requirement is 1.5mm. If there is less tread than this anywhere on the tyre, you must change it immediately.

It includes if you notice a bald patch, uneven wear, or wear on the inner or outer edges of the tyre. Any of these symptoms indicate that you may have a dangerous issue with the set-up of your vehicle. Most commonly this will be wheel balancing or wheel alignment. If this is the case, bring your vehicle to Darra Tyres, and we’ll run the necessary checks to make sure you are driving a safe vehicle and not a death trap.

Other signs of excessive wear or dangerous damage include:

  • Wear down to the tread bar indicators. You should change tyres before this point.
  • Sidewall damage, such as bubbling, chips and grazes. If you notice this type of damage, change your tyre immediately. Your risks of a blowout when travelling at speed are greatly increased when sidewall damage is present.

Good parallel parking technique will help to avoid tyre damage.

When did you last check your tread depth?

If you’re like most Australian drivers, it has probably been months since you last checked your tyres’ tread depth. Go and check them now:

  • Check the tread bar indicators on the tyre.
  • Use a tread depth indicator.
  • Use a 10 cent coin. Place it in the tyre grooves. If the outer band of the coin is obscured, tread depth is above the legal minimum.

When should you change your tyres?

There are several reasons you may need to change your tyres. These include sidewall damage. Many manufacturers recommend changing tyres when they are five years old, irrespective of use and wear.

Although the legal minimum tread is 1.5mm, you should consider changing them if the depth is worn to 3mm. If you are not sure whether your tyres are safe, or need any tyre advice, contact us today. Our mission is simple:

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

How to avoid tyre damage when you parallel park in Brisbane

The five rules of parallel parking

I see a variety of damage to cars and tyres in Brisbane. The odd scratch here and there, perhaps a tiny dent or ding in a wing. Front and rear bumpers are prone to damage but look at most car doors, and you’ll notice tiny dints and marks – parking spaces never give enough door clearance, and even the smallest brush by an opening car door can leave a lifelong scar. Even when your car is parked on your drive, it runs the risk of a collision with the handlebars of your kid’s bike.

Some of the worst damage I notice is caused by gutter rash, the scraping of your wheel against the kerb when you’re parallel parking. If you hit the concrete kerb when parallel parking, your rims are going to suffer. Scratches, scrapes and scores will transform great-looking wheels into eyesores. But this is just aesthetic.

What’s most important is the damage you do to your tyres when you kerb them during a parking manoeuvre. You could find they get pinched, gouged, or split. Your sidewall strength is compromised, and this could have fatal consequences if you suffer a tyre blowout.

So, how do you avoid damaging your tyres and wheels when parallel parking? Here are five rules that will help you keep your tyres and wheels in tip-top condition when parallel parking in Brisbane.

1.    Learn how to parallel park

First and foremost, learn how to park. Pick a spot that is big enough, overshoot a little, and reverse slowly into the parking place. Turn your hazard lights on, and move the steering wheel first one way and then the other to reverse in. Move slowly, and steer quickly. We all hit the kerb now and again, but if you are reversing slowly, there’ll be very little (if any) damage to your tyre.

This YouTube video tutoring parallel parking is one of the best parking lessons I’ve watched.

2.    Know the size of your vehicle

Most gutter rash occurs because the driver isn’t sure of the size of the vehicle. It is why gutter rash is more common when you’ve changed cars, or you’re using a different car temporarily. There are a lot of vehicles that get driven out of the showroom and within a few hours have nasty wheel scrapes.

Learn how big your car is, and where the front and rear wheels are located. It will help you to park and avoid needing a taxi to get you from the car to the kerb.

3.    Use your mirrors!

You have mirrors for a reason, and they move for a reason. One of the best innovations in vehicle technology has been the electric wing mirror. Move the mirror, point it at the kerb, and watch for your rear tyre nearing the concrete. It’s the very best indicator of when you need to turn the steering wheel. So, you must spend a few seconds readjusting your mirrors for normal driving – isn’t this better than expensive (and dangerous) damage to your wheels and tyres?

4.    Fit the right-sized tyres

The rubber of your tyres helps to protect the wheel if you do kerb it. A correctly fitted tyre will create a shield which prevents your wheel from being gouged by a concrete kerb. If the tyre is too narrow, not only is it dangerous to drive on, but it exposes the tyre to kerb damage. So always make sure you have the right-sized tyre fitted to the right-sized wheel.

5.    What if you hit the kerb?

The harder you hit the kerb, the more damage you will cause your tyres and wheels. If you puncture the tyre, it will deflate quickly. If you don’t puncture the tyre, the sidewall could be compromised to such an extent that it becomes dangerous to drive on. You may not realise the danger until you are on the motorway, travelling at speed.

In our next blog, we’ll explain a simple and effective tyre checking process. In the meantime, if you have kerbed your wheels when parallel parking, don’t take any chances with your safety. Take your car to the nearest tyre shop, and get the tyres checked by a professional. This check could be the few minutes that saves your life.

If you’re in West Brisbane, contact us and let us know you’re on your way. We’ll be ready and waiting to make sure your tyres do what they are designed to do – keep you and your passengers safe.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

How to stop your commercial vehicle tyres being stolen

Tips to deter wheel and tyre theft in Brisbane

Commercial vehicle tyres can be an expensive investment. If you own a light commercial vehicle or ute and have ever bought a set of new tyres, you’ll know how expensive they can be. So, you’ll want to protect them.

For example, you’ll take precautions which help commercial vehicle tyres last longer. You’ll make sure they’re inflated to the correct pressure, that you don’t overload your vehicle, and that you rotate your tyres at regular intervals. You’ll also make sure you use a simple tyre cleaning routine to improve safety and increase tyre life.

According to a Carsafe.com.au study, 148 cars are stolen every day in Australia, and one of the country’s hotspots for car crime is Brisbane. What many don’t realise is that your tyres and wheels are at risk of being stolen, while the rest of the vehicle is left behind. So how do you protect your tyres from being stolen?

Here are five things you can do today to stop your tyres disappearing tonight:

1.    Keep your car in the garage

Okay, so this is an obvious tip. But you might be surprised at just how many people have a garage and never use it to house their ute. My advice is to get your vehicle off the street and under lock and key.

2.    No garage? Use a camera

If you don’t have a garage, consider putting a camera in a prominent position. Often, the sight of a camera is enough to deter thieves from attempting to steal your wheels. Today, these cameras don’t have to be expensive and can be linked wirelessly to your home PC.

3.    Alarm your vehicle

It’s not easy to remove wheels from a vehicle, and probable that the thieves will bump it. With an alarm fitted, they’ll be chased off by the shrill sound that wakes up the whole street. To stop the thieves before they start, put a sticker in the window warning them that there is an alarm fitted. Prevention is better than cure.

4.    Plug your lugs

There are a couple of things you can do with your wheel lugs to put off thieves. The first is to cover them. What can’t be seen can’t be coveted. Use a wheel cap to hide the lugs. That little extra effort that the thieves will need to exert could be enough to encourage them to move on. Thieves are lazy. That’s why they steal. If they didn’t mind a bit of hard graft, they’d work for their money.

Even better than a cover is to purchase specialised wheel lugs. To remove these, a thief will need a special tool. The chances of them having this are slim to none.

5.    Take care about parking

With those new set of tyres fitted, you’ll take care not to kerb your wheels. Take as much care about where you park as you do about how you park:

  • Instead of saving a couple of dollars by parking on the street, pay for a ticket to put your car in a covered car park that has security cameras.
  • If you’re out at night, park under a street light on a busy road which benefits from lots of pedestrians.

Having your wheels stolen is a massive inconvenience and a pretty expensive one. Not as bad as having your whole vehicle taken, but in the frustration stakes, not far off. Wheel theft, like car theft, is an opportunity theft. If you take the right precautions, you’ll make life difficult for thieves. You’ll remove the opportunity.

We’ve got more than 100 years’ experience in the tyre business. You’ll find our approach is personal but professional. We care about your safety, your property, and our reputation. Contact us (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form), and we’ll help you make the best choice of commercial tyres for your vehicle, driving needs and pocket. And we’ll give you a few tips on how to keep the thieves at bay in Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

What new tyres should you buy in Brisbane?

Tips for buying new tyres in Brisbane

If you’ve never bought new tyres in Brisbane, it can be difficult knowing which are best for your vehicle. The answer isn’t always as simple as matching new tyre size and loading with that recommended on the tyre placard (which you’ll find on the driver’s side door jamb or glove box). Nor is it as easy as buying ‘brand X’ because your friend told you they are the best.

In this post, you’ll learn what factors you should take into consideration when buying new tyres in Brisbane.

Where you live and how you drive

The main factors that affect tyre choice include the type of road you drive on most, and how you drive. For example, do you:

  • Drive on motorways at high speeds?
  • Live in an area that is surrounded by potholed side roads?
  • Brake heavily when cornering?

Did you buy your car new or second-hand?

It might seem like a strange question to ask, but the age of your car when you bought it does have a bearing on which new tyres you would be best to buy. For example, if you bought your car new and you’ve been happy with the tyres supplied, then you’ll probably do best to replace like for like.

On the other hand, older cars are likely to have had their tyres changed at least once. The tyres on the car may even be mismatched. Don’t assume that the tyres on your vehicle are the best ones for it. You might need to talk to a tyre expert – feel free to contact us. We’ll be pleased to help you decide which tyres you should buy, taking everything into consideration.

What’s your budget?

Of course, you’ll also need to consider your budget. Though the price of tyres should never be the ultimate decision-maker, you should buy the best tyres in your price range. A few dollars extra for better grip and balance on the road is worth it every day of the week.

The good news here is that the most expensive tyre is not always the best. We have a variety of quality tyres in all price ranges, and several of the mid-priced tyres are of equal (or near equal) quality to the most expensive brand names.

Review the range

 

Take a few minutes to scan our tyre pages on this website. You’ll find information about the tyre brands that we supply. It will help you make your decision.

We’ve got more than 100 years’ experience in passenger car tyres. You’ll find our approach is personal but professional. We care about your safety, and we care about our reputation. Contact us (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form), and we’ll help you make the best choice of tyres for your vehicle, driving needs, and pocket.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

How to clean tyres in Brisbane and make them last longer

This simple tyre cleaning routine could save dollars and lives

If I could throw my tyres in Brisbane in the wash with my jocks, I would. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible. But, having been in the tyres game in Brisbane for a good few years – more than I care to remember – I’ve noticed how tyres are neglected when it comes to car cleaning. There are many benefits from buying good tyres and then following this investment with good maintenance.

Part of your maintenance routine should be to keep them clean. When you do so, you’ll remove debris, oil, and other contaminants that will reduce tyre life.

After all the bad weather we’ve had in Queensland recently now is the perfect time to start your tyre cleaning routine. Clean your tyres once every couple of months, using the following five-step method. Not only will your tyres look better on Brisbane’s roads, but they’ll also last longer and give you better tyre performance. And this will save you money on your driving.

Get equipped to clean your tyres in Brisbane to get them ready Queensland roads

You’ll need a few basic items to clean your tyres in Brisbane effectively:

  • A large (clean) bucket
  • A high-pressure water hose
  • Tyre cleaning solution
  • Tyre cleaning brushes (soft bristles for the wheels, contoured for the rubber)
  • Micro fibre towels
  • Clean, dry cloth
  • Wax Protector
  • Tyre dressing solution and cloth

If you’re not sure where to get any of these items, contact me or one of my team, and we’ll help you out.

Okay, now that you’ve got everything together, here’s what to do:

1.    Clean your tyres before cleaning your car

It might sound counterintuitive, but the last thing you want is to splash a clean car and need to clean it again. The tyres are likely to be the dirtiest part of your car, so clean them first.

Get all your tyre cleaning equipment together, and set up in a well-ventilated area. Make sure you’ve read the instructions on the tyre cleaning solutions before you begin.

2.    Pressure wash your tyres

Using the high-powered hose, jet wash your tyres to remove dirt and brake dust. Rinse around the rim, through the tread, and across the sidewall of each wheel and tyre. Apply the cleaning solution, and leave it a few minutes to loosen hard-to-remove debris.

3.    Brush down, rinse, repeat

Clean the tyre with the contoured brush, and the rim with the soft-bristled brush. Scrub and rinse is the method to use, and repeat as often as necessary. Once you’ve removed as much of the dirt as possible, dry the tyre and rim with the micro fibre cloth.

The micro fibre cloth will remove most of the water, but it’s important to let the tyre dry completely before moving on to the next step.

4.    Wax your tyres

Apply the wax to your tyres, and polish in the same way that you would polish your car’s bodywork. This wax helps to protect your tyre and prevent debris and mud from sticking. Don’t leave any excess wax on the tyres.

5.    Dress your tyres

The last step is to dress your tyres with tyre dressing. If you’ve ever had your car valeted and wonder how they get the tyres looking like brand new, this is the trick they use.

Tyre Dressing is a water-based solution which usually comes in a spray bottle. Apply a coat, and then let it dry. Repeat once or twice more.

That’s all there is to it! Don’t forget, if you spot any bald patches, uneven wear, or splits or scrapes on your tyres, you should have them checked. The smallest scrape could be masking a more dangerous problem.

We’re here to help. We’ve got extensive experience in the supply, fitting and maintenance of tyres for all types of vehicles in Brisbane and Queensland. Contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and book your professional tyre check today.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Car recalls and smarter tyres in Brisbane

Important news for drivers in Queensland

It’s been a while since I wrote a news blog, but recent industry news is both important and exciting. Important for your safety, and exciting for both safety and the driving experience. Let’s start with the safety news first, which affects both vehicle and tyres in Brisbane.

Car recalls you mustn’t ignore

I don’t know how car manufacturers can release mass-produced cars that are unsafe. They spend so much on research, development and testing. Here I am, warning about not one manufacturer recalling vehicles, but two.

BMW recalls i3 extended electric models in Australia

If you own a BMW i3 with a fuel tank, you could be driving Brisbane’s streets in a potential fire box. The i3s that were sold between July 2014 and November last year are the ones that are at risk.

The problem is a weak fuel ventilation line. It could rub against the car and rupture. If this happens, fuel could leak. And leaking fuel equals a high possibility of fire. If you own one of these models or know someone who does, call the BMW dealer now. Not tomorrow morning, and not next week.

Volkswagen recalls Golf small cars because of wrong tyre specs

As if Volkswagen haven’t had enough bad publicity in recent years, they just recalled all the Golf small cars sold in Australia between 2016 and 2017. The reason is that they’ve been fitted with the wrong tyre placard.

The tyre placard tells you about the tyre ratings for your car. It details speed, inflation, and load maximums. This tyre guide tells you about the best tyre pressures for your car, too. Get these wrong, and you’ll be using more fuel than you should. Your drive will be less comfortable. But, most importantly, you could be risking tyre damage and a blowout. (Brush up on how to bring your car to a safe standstill and how to change a tyre after a blowout.)

Again, if you own a Golf small car which was sold from the beginning of 2016, get hold of the Volkswagen dealer now. One phone call could save your life.

Okay, let’s move on to something a little more uplifting.

The future for tyres in Brisbane is smart

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how tyre development is set to rival Star Wars science fiction. It’s getting closer.

Goodyear has presented the world with its vision of tyres of the future. Its concept tyre, the Eagle-360, was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show. And what a tyre it is!

It looks more like the Death Star from Star Wars than a tyre. And get this load of features:

  • Magnetic levitation
  • A sponge-like groove design that softens on wet road to resist aquaplaning
  • Centrifugal force ejects surface water
  • A layer of foam increases contact area with the road
  • Active technology allows the tyre to move as needed and automatically avoid hazards
  • Your car will face front, while steering left and right!
  • Automatic speed adjustment

This tyre is completely connected to your car and can sense, decide, transform and interact. It will connect with other vehicles, too, alerting them off road and weather conditions, and other hazards. With this information, the tyre will adapt ahead of time as it proactively prepares for the road ahead.

And what about tyre wear? Well, the tyre takes care of that, too. Sensors detect how much wear is being cased and alters tyre position to extend mileage and minimise fuel consumption.

This thing could put me out of business! Mind you, it’s a few years away yet…

Commercial vehicle tyres are already smart

Michelin truck tyres are adding radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to its retreads. With this technology, fleets can manage their tyres better, increasing life, reducing fuel consumption, and improving safety. It’s been rolled out to 260 fleets and 36,000 commercial vehicles across the United States.

Maybe those futuristic spheres aren’t so far away, after all.

We’re here to help. We’ve got extensive experience in the supply, fitting and maintenance of tyres for all types of vehicles Brisbane and Queensland. Contact us today (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) and discover the Darra advantage that benefits so many other fleet managers.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

Tyres in Brisbane: what’s the best tyre choice for safety and value?

Should you spend more for premium brand tyres in Brisbane?

Drivers in Brisbane have a huge range of tyres to choose from. For most, the final deciding factor will be price. But is there a big difference between premium, mid-range, and budget tyres? Why do premium brands cost so much more than budget tyres? And how should you decide which are the right tyres for driving your vehicle in Brisbane?

Premium brand tyres in Brisbane

Premium brand tyres are the names you’ve heard of: Goodyear, Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental and so on. They may look the same as other tyres – round and black – but they can be expensive. So why do premium brand tyres cost so much more than their budget tyre equivalents?

When you buy premium tyres, you’re also paying for the vast amount of research these companies undertake. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on engineering tyres and developing new rubber compounds. They conduct safety and endurance testing, and evolve their tyres to perform in all types of road and weather conditions – that’s a huge plus on Brisbane’s roads.

When tested, premium brands consistently perform better than their cheaper rivals. You benefit from the better grip, increased driveability, and shorter braking distances. Premium brand tyres tend to outlive budget and mid-range competitors. They give better fuel consumption with lower fuel bills. The tyres are longer-lasting, so you don’t need to replace them as often.

If you drive a lot of miles, and at faster speeds on motorways, then when you replace your tyres an investment in premium brand tyres is likely to pay you back in the long run. The old saying tends to be true… “Buy cheap, pay twice…”

Mid-range tyres

Between the cheapest and most expensive tyres, you’ll find mid-range tyres, which are often manufactured by premium brand names. Often, these tyres are produced under a different name. They’re not manufactured to quite the same standard as premium brand tyres – the rubber used may not be the latest compound, for example.

These tyres usually offer good value to drivers who use their car daily and drive conservatively. You’ll get better fuel consumption and less wear than from a budget tyre, and benefit from a lot of the latest technological advances made by premium brands.

Budget tyres in Brisbane

Budget tyres could be a great purchase. And they might not be. The rule of thumb when you’re buying tyres is the same as when purchasing anything else – you tend to get what you pay for. However, this doesn’t mean that budget tyres are a ‘no-no’.  Some budget tyres offer great value, and it depends on the driving you’ll be doing and what your vehicle is used for.

For example, if you drive at slower speeds in town, travel shorter distances, or want tyres for a second car that is only used from time to time, budget tyres could be the ideal solution. And, if cost is an issue, buying a new budget tyre is a better choice than a brand name that is worn or damaged.

How do you choose the best tyres for driving in Brisbane?

When you need new tyres, there are several factors to take into consideration. These include:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Driving style
  • Road conditions and the type of road you’ll be driving on most
  • Budget

Bring your vehicle into our Brisbane tyre shop. Before recommending which tyres will be the best value for you (in the short and long term), we’ll ensure that the tyres are best for your driving style, use, and pocket. Our clients return time after time because we make sure they get the best value tyre that keeps them and their passengers safe on the roads in Queensland.

If you want to talk tyres, contact us on +61 07 3333 5510 (by Skype, telephone, or on our contact form) to get expert advice at our Brisbane tyre shop.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

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