Category Archives for "How to Tyres"

Spare Tyres

What spare tyre should you invest in?

Spare tyre tips for all drivers

A spare tyre is a spare tyre, right? Wrong. A spare tyre is a lifesaver. You carry a spare to get you out of trouble, should you suffer a puncture or tyre blowout on the road. With spare tyres, you might decide a space saver tyre is the best choice. But it’s not your only option.

There are several different types of spare tyres. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you decide which is best for you.

·      Full-size matching spare tyre

This is exactly what it says: a tyre that is the same as the tyres on your vehicle. Should you need to switch one of your tyres for the spare, it won’t look out of place. You won’t need to get to a tyre shop straight away to replace the spare. However, a full-size spare takes up more space than other spare tyre options.

If you have a full-size spare, you should include it in your tyre rotation regime. This will mean that when you make a full tyre change you should change five tyres and not four.

·      Full-size non-matching tyre

This is a full-size tyre that might not be on a matching wheel. You may be tempted to maintain a spare tyre that is a different size to your other tyres (within legal guidelines), though we don’t recommend this.

Like the full matching tyre, you won’t have to drive straight to a tyre shop. However, this type of spare also takes up more space in your vehicle and does nothing for aesthetics.

·      Full-size temporary spare tyre

This tyre has a shallow tread depth, and therefore a limited life as a replacement. You shouldn’t use it for anything other than emergency use, but if you do need to use it you won’t need to drive straight to a tyre shop.

A full-size temporary spare tyre should perform little differently to your other tyres, so your handling and grip is unaffected. Because they are lightweight, they are easier to handle. However, they will still take up the same amount of space as other full-size spares.

·      Compact spare tyre

This is also a lightweight tyre with a shallow tread. However, its smaller. Thus, it may be a good option for those with limited space to keep a spare in the vehicle. You’ll need to inflate it to a higher pressure, and you will also need to go to a tyre shop immediately. You should note that driving on this type of tyre could diminish driving features such as ABS braking and traction.

·      Collapsible spare tyre

This is the spare tyre that takes up the least space, so it may be a good choice if you drive a small car or have lots of luggage to carry. However, to use this type of tyre you will need to inflate it – usually with a canister. It is also only good for a limited mileage.

Tips to help you choose a spare tyre

How do you decide which tyre is best for you? Space, location and where you drive are the most important considerations. For example:

  • If you drive mostly around the city, you won’t be far from a tyre shop. So, you may decide on a lightweight, temporary spare.
  • If you plan to take a road trip across Australia or into the Outback, you’ll need a robust spare to ensure you can continue for what may be a hundred miles or more, or across rough terrain.

When buying a spare, you should ask advice from the tyre specialists at your tyre shop.

Tips for driving on a spare

You should check your spare tyre regularly, just as you do your other tyres. Make sure that it:

  • Is correctly inflated
  • Is not damaged in any way
  • Has a legal tread depth

When driving on a spare, you should drive more slowly. Some spares are not made to drive at speeds of more than 80 kilometres per hour. Remember that many spares are only for temporary use. You should get to a tyre shop as soon as possible.

If you are using a full-size spare, while you can drive further on it, you should remember that you now don’t have a fit spare tyre – so you shouldn’t delay repairing or replacing your damaged tyre.

If you need a spare tyre or have used one because of a puncture or blowout in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres and bring your vehicle into out tyre shop for fitting by fully qualified and experienced tyre technicians.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Truck Tyres

Real-time truck tyre pressure monitoring is here with Goodyear (almost)

The Goodyear TPMS could have multiple benefits for fleet operators

One of the bugbears of fleet managers is wear and tear on truck tyres. One of the most common causes of extra wear and tear on a tyre is running at incorrect tyre pressure, which also causes handling and safety issues and harms fuel consumption. All these benefits of maintaining the correct pressure in a truck’s tyres are well known. Yet doing so remains difficult.

It’s hard to check tyre pressure on trucks that are constantly on the move. When they are parked long enough for pressures to be checked, it’s not an easy job. Getting to the valves can cause new leaks that cause new problems.

All these issues may disappear soon. Goodyear & Dunlop Australia are currently trialling their real-time Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and indications are that it will be introduced as a service later this year.

How does the real-time TPMS work?

Goodyear’s system uses sensors on each wheel. These transmit pressure and temperature information every two minutes to a telematics box on the truck.

The telematics box transmits this information via mobile networks to a cloud-based server. This is where the magic really works. The information is crunched, and Goodyear applies a set of algorithms to it. These tell the system if an issue has occurred, so that the fleet manager can decide if action must be taken. This should prevent truck tyre issues becoming bigger problems.

The system doesn’t simply consider the tyre pressure. It also considers the effect that the temperature of the tyre has on tyre pressure.

What difference does the TPMS make to a fleet?

When drivers and technicians make manual tyre pressure checks, it is impossible to accurately allow for the effect of temperature on tyre pressure. While these changes in pressure may be small, they could signal a leak. Having this advanced warning, especially from trucks that are on the road and in motion, could help to prevent more costly repairs, the need for new tyres, or, in extreme cases, life-threatening accidents.

Making a repair to a small leak puncture could prolong a truck tyre’s life by several thousand kilometres, as well as that of the partner tyre in dual applications.

Alerts from the TPMS can also prevent the need for dangerous roadside repairs. When the system tells a fleet manager that there is an issue, time can be allotted to make the repair in the depot or at a tyre specialist’s shop. This early warning and prompt action also helps to prevent further damage to the tyre.

The TPMS alerts also provide information about other issues, such as uneven loading or problems with the brakes.

When will the Goodyear real-time TPMS go live?

The trials being carried out by Goodyear are proving very promising, with issues being discovered within minutes with pinpoint accuracy. While fewer than 1% of tyres being tested have needed urgent attention, the ability to know exactly which tyre and where on the tyre an issue exists is proving to be a big benefit to users.

The success to date has prompted Goodyear to announce that they will exhibit the system at the Brisbane Truck Show from 16th May 2019, and it is expected to be offered as a commercial service later this year. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we know for certain.

For all your tyre needs, contact Darra Tyres – we’ll see you right.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Tyre Tips

Five tyre maintenance tips to keep you safe on Queensland roads

Maintain your tyres with these simple checks

Whether you only drive the school run daily or travel thousands of kilometres every week for work, your vehicle’s tyres are one of the most important parts of it. Possibly the most important – without tyres, you wouldn’t get anywhere. They are integral to your vehicle’s handling, its fuel consumption, and your safety.

These five tyre tips will help you get the most out of your tyres, helping them last longer, maintain handling ability, and keep you safer.

Check your tyres’ tread regularly

A tyre’s tread removes water and helps your car grip the road. The legal minimum tread in Queensland is 1.5mm. At no point on the tyre must the tread be shallower. However, you don’t really want to allow a tyre’s tread to get down to the minimum. Experts recommend that you should replace a tyre before the tread gets down to 3mm.

Using a 20 cent coin, you can check the depth on your tyres easily. Simply slip the coin’s edge into the treads, and if the tread reaches the platypus’s bill, you’re down to 3mm.

How much difference does the tread really make?

Here are the braking distances at three different tread depths:

  • At 8mm tread depth, a car stops in 25.9 metres
  • At 3mm tread depth, a car stops in 31.7 metres
  • At 2mm tread depth, a car stops in 39.5 metres

Rotate your tyres

Whatever your driving style, your tyres will wear differently according to their position on the vehicle. Front tyres wear faster on the leading edge when cornering, while rear tyres will wear more evenly.

Protect your quality tyres with good rotation, rotating between axles and corners every 5,000 to 7,000 kilometres, and your tyres will last longer.

Ensure your wheels are aligned

If your tyre tread is unevenly worn, your steering is pulling, your car is vibrating, or your steering wheel is crooked when you are driving, it is time to get your wheels aligned. Properly aligned tyres are essential to achieve better fuel consumption and maintain good handling.

Ensure your tyres are balanced

Like properly aligned wheels, properly balanced tyres will ensure your drive is straight and true. Poorly balanced tyres wear faster and decrease the handling ability while driving. If your steering wheel vibrates while you are driving, it is likely that your tyres have become misbalanced.

Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated

Driving on incorrectly inflated tyres is asking for trouble. Underinflated tyres will cause wear on both inner and outer shoulders, while overinflated tyres will cause wear along the centre of the tyre (see our article “What does this tyre wear and tear mean?” for more information).

Checking your tyre pressure once each month should be enough to prevent damage from improperly inflated tyres, though a weekly check is best. You’ll find the proper inflation measures to use on the tyre placard on the inside of the door jamb.

When will you need a tyre specialist?

It’s easy to do a weekly tyre check yourself. Check the treads, look for uneven wear (and cuts, grazes and lumps on the tyre sidewall), and check the tyre pressure. If you notice any signs of poorly aligned wheels or improperly balanced tyres, or that the wear is uneven, then you should take your vehicle to a tyre specialist.

To get the best from your tyres and make sure that you are safe on the road, never take a risk with tyres. It is better to be safe than sorry. If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your tyres and you are in the Brisbane area, contact Darra Tyres.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Run Flat Tyres

Should you change your tyres to run flat tyres?

The benefits and disadvantages of run flat tyres

You may have heard of run flat tyres, and possibly be considering replacing your current tyres with run flat tyres at your next tyre change. This article will help you make the best decision.

What is the advantage of run flat tyres?

If you have ever suffered a puncture while driving, you’ll know what a frightening experience it can be, especially if you are driving at high speed. The sudden loss of pressure can lead to sudden and even complete loss of control.

If you manage to safely bring your vehicle to a stop with a flat tyre hampering your handling, the danger isn’t over. Now you need to change your flat tyre for the spare: a dangerous roadside operation on a clear day, but even more so at night, in the rain, and when visibility is limited.

Run flat tyres are designed to keep the sidewall intact should the tyre be punctured. Even at zero pressure, a run flat tyre should maintain its shape. The reinforced sidewall will retain its rigidity for long enough to allow you to reach a tyre shop or get home – generally as far as 80 kilometres, though the actual distance depends on make and model of the run flat tyre.

How do run flat tyres work?

Run flat tyres work in one of two ways: either they are made with a strengthened sidewall, or with an internal support ring. They work well, too, though they have proved to be unpopular with many drivers. Because of this, very few vehicle manufacturers fit them as standard.

What are the disadvantages of run flat tyres?

There are four main reasons for the unpopularity of run flat tyres:

1.     Run flat tyres are not available for all vehicles

Usually, a vehicle manufacturer will build in a run flat system into its models. If your vehicle was supplied with run flats, then you won’t have a problem. However, if it does not have the run flat system built in, you may not be able to fit run flats on your existing wheels.

2.     Fuel economy is affected by run flats

Run flat tyres are heavier than ordinary tyres. This increases the rolling resistance and means your fuel consumption will be higher. While you won’t need to carry a spare (saving you money and space), the higher fuel consumption means higher fuel bills.

3.     Run flat tyres may not get you home

The distance that a run flat tyre can take you after a puncture is limited to a maximum of 80 kilometres. This may not be enough to get you home or to the nearest service station or tyre shop. Plus, you will be limited to travelling at no faster than 80 km/h.

4.     You might not be able to buy your favourite brand

Finally, because of their lack of popularity, some brands don’t manufacture run flat tyres. You may not be able to buy your favoured brand or in the size you need.

To use run flat tyres, you need a TPMS

If you are considering changing to run flat tyres, you will also need a TPMS – a tyre pressure monitoring system. This is a system that alerts the driver to a sudden loss of tyre pressure. Older vehicles are unlikely to have this fitted.

One final complication is that if you do have run flat tyres fitted and the TPMS warning light signals a loss of pressure, it does not necessarily mean that you have suffered a puncture. You may simply be driving in zero-pressure conditions. If you are not aware of the reason for the warning light, you may drive faster than you should on your run flat tyres.

In summary

For many drivers, run flat tyres take away the fear of being stranded at the side of the road trying to change a flat tyre in poor weather conditions while other vehicles are speeding past. This is a big advantage. However, whether they are the right choice for you depends on many other factors – such as the make, model and age of your vehicle, and the type of driving you do normally.

Whatever the reason for your tyre change, here in Brisbane drivers know they can trust Darra Tyres to give the best advice and help them make the best choice. We understand that all drivers are unique, and this means your choice of tyres will be unique, too.

For all your tyre needs, contact Darra Tyres – we’ll see you right.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood


Why you should check your spare tyre if it rains in Brisbane

When was the last time you checked your spare?

The weather here in Brisbane can bring calamitous conditions to roads. The seasonal storms we have in Brisbane are particularly dangerous for drivers, because of their effect on tyres. Slippery roads make handling more difficult and increase braking distances. Not surprisingly, there are more accidents in the rain and on wet roads than there are when the weather is dry.

Rain is also bad news for tyre life. When tyre rubber is wet, it is damaged more easily. This makes it more likely that you’ll suffer a puncture. This is especially true if your tread is near the minimum legal tyre tread depth. In fact, it has been estimated that the likelihood of a puncture is doubled if you only have 10% of useful tread remaining on your tyre.

When did you last check your spare tyre?

Your spare tyre may be the most important you have. If you do suffer a puncture, a well-maintained spare tyre will get you to the nearest tyre shop or back home. If it’s flat, it won’t. A flat tyre is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Most drivers we meet in our Darra Tyres shop have never checked their spare tyre. If your vehicle is more than five years old, it’s likely that your spare tyre won’t be much use to you. All tyres have a limited life, even if they aren’t used. You can read more in our blog, “How do you know how old your tyres are and if they need changing?

Our advice is to check your spare tyre at least once per month. Make sure that it is fully inflated and doesn’t have any debris in the tread. If one of your driving tyres is punctured, you’ll be pleased you took five minutes out of your busy life to make sure the spare is right.

What if you don’t have a spare tyre?

Some vehicles today don’t carry a spare. Instead, the manufacturer supplies a can of magic gunk to make an emergency repair. That’s all well and good until you suffer a real bad puncture. If you’ve been running your tyres flat, there’s a good chance that the sidewall will rip – especially in the wet.

That can of gunk isn’t going to fix a tyre with a bad puncture. You won’t be getting home until you’ve had the tyre replaced roadside – and that’s going to be more expensive than if you had been able to get to a tyre shop.

Prevention is better than cure

This is something my dad used to tell me all the time. It’s as true today as it was all those years ago. If you do what is necessary to prevent a catastrophe, then you won’t need to do what is necessary to recover from that catastrophe. Now, you may not think that a puncture is a catastrophe. Tell that to the driver who gets a puncture in torrential rain, spends 10 minutes getting the damaged tyre off, replaces it with the spare, and then finds the spare is flat when he takes the car jack off.

Here’s our advice to help avoid punctures when it’s wet (and when it isn’t):

  • Check your tyres once per week. Make sure they are free from debris and inflated to correct pressure.
  • If you notice any cuts, grazes, bulges or flat patches, take your tyre to a tyre shop to have it inspected.
  • Once per month, do the same check to your spare tyre.

Simple, isn’t it? A five-minute check once every week could save you from a whole heap of bother on the road. When you’re already late for that important meeting, or to collect your kids. In the middle of a storm that would make Noah nervous. When you forgot your coat.

Prevention is better than cure. If you spot signs of damage on your tyres, or if the tread is starting to wear thin, or you have uneven wear, bring your vehicle into our Darra Tyres shop today.

For all your tyre needs, contact Darra Tyres – we’ll see you right.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Question about tyres

10 questions that Queensland drivers frequently ask about their tyres

All you need to know about your tyres – or is it?

We get asked many questions about tyres. These are the 10 most common, with the answers you need.

1.    My tyre placard mentions particular tyres and rims. Can I fit different to this?

Yes, you can; but the tyre/rim combination and width/diameter must meet certain requirements. The amount that the width and diameter may change by depends upon the type of vehicle. There are different rules for 4WDs, passenger vehicles, etc. You can learn more by reading the Minor Modifications publication (PDF, 414 KB).

2.    Can I increase my vehicle’s ride height?

There are various ways that you could increase the ride height of your vehicle. These include by increasing your vehicle’s tyre dimension, lifting its suspension, or by using body blocks. The amount you can raise it depends on which methods or combination of methods you use to do so. The most that you can raise your ride height by for each single method is:

  • 50mm by increasing the tyre dimension
  • 75mm if raising by lifting the suspension
  • 50mm by using body blocks

However, if you are using a combination of these methods, the most your vehicle can be raised is 150mm.

Just to complicate things a little more, these limits are not applicable to all vehicles. They are a good guideline, but for the exact raise you can make to your vehicle you should examine the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (PDF, 1.93 MB).

3.    Can I use low-profile tyres with a wider diameter on my vehicle?

This is possible to do, but you must make sure that the overall diameter, load rating and speed rating comply with legal requirements. Often, low-profile tyres will be fitted to larger diameter rims; this maintains the overall diameter to requirements. Once more, you should refer to the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (PDF, 1.93 MB).

4.    What is the maximum tyre diameter increases and decreases I can make to my 4WD?

With some 4WD vehicles, you may increase tyre diameter by up to 50mm and decrease it by up to 26mm, from the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended diameter. These are:

  • 4WD passenger vehicles specifically designed for off-road use
  • 4WD goods vehicles and their 2WD equivalents, if the chassis and running gear are essentially the same as the 4WD versions

However, all-wheel drive vehicles (AWDs) are not included in these. The Minor Modifications publication (PDF, 414 KB) provides the information you need.

5.    Can I lower the speed rating of my tyres?

You may want to lower the speed rating of your tyres, and this is possible, providing the tyres meet certain minimums. These are:

  • 140km/h for off-road passenger vehicles
  • 180km/h for other cars or car derivatives carrying up to nine adult passengers in seated positions
  • 120 km/h for other motor vehicles

There is an exception to all these rules: if your vehicle has a lower top speed than the above, then the tyre may not have a speed rating above the vehicle’s top speed.

6.    Can I fit different brand tyres to the same axle?

Yes, though it is preferable to fit the same brand. However, what you cannot do is fit tyres with different construction (e.g. cross-ply, steel radials, textile radials, etc.).

We also recommend that tread patterns should be the same on tyres fitted on the same axle, though there is no legal requirement to do so.

7.    How often should I change my tyres?

Tyres last far longer today than they used to. However, when they need changing depends on many factors, such as:

  • The type of road surface on which they are driven
  • The wear and tear suffered
  • The kilometres covered by the tyre
  • Irrespective of any of the above, the age of the tyre

Most tyres will last between 60,000 and 80,000 kilometres. However, manufacturers recommend that tyres should be changed every five years at a minimum, due to age degradation of the rubber.

8.    How often should I check my tyres?

We recommend that you carry out four tyre safety checks at least once per month, and more often if you drive every day. If you are making a long journey, you should also carry these checks out. These four essential checks are:

  • Tyre pressure
  • Condition of the tyre wall
  • Tread depth
  • All the above on the spare

9.    Should I change all four tyres are the same time?

If you rotate your tyres, the wear and tear on them should be equal. If this is the case, you will probably need to change all four tyres at the same time. However, if not all four tyres need to be changed it is always best to change the tyres on the same axle simultaneously. This will ensure that handling and grip is uniform on the same axle, which will improve your safety on the road.

10. What is the danger of driving on worn tyres?

If you drive on worn tyres, you could be given a hefty fine. However, this should not be your main concern. Worn tyres provide less grip and traction. Your handling will be worse, and your braking distances will be longer. Worn tyres are a big contributor to road accidents and fatalities in Australia.

Do you have a question about your tyres? Are you unsure whether they are legal or if they should be changed? For the answers to all your tyre questions, contact Darra Tyres.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Tractor tyres

Tractor tyres: are you getting the best out of yours?

Tips to make your tractor tyres perform better and last longer

As a farmer, do you pay the same level of attention to your tractor tyre pressures as you do your oil and lubricant levels, or do you trust your luck? Underinflation can damage your tyres and your tractor. A couple of minutes spent checking and correcting your tyre pressures before you go into the field could save you a hatful of dollars.

How does running incorrectly inflated tractor tyres affect your costs?

It’s hard enough making money as a farmer, but habitually forgetting to check your tractor tyre pressures is just like throwing money away. Neglecting to pump up your tyres will lead to pumping up your costs. You’ll use more fuel, and the damage that could be caused to your tyres’ sidewalls will shorten their useful life.

Tractor tyres are designed to keep a certain shape. If you incorrectly inflate your tyres, the tyre will become misshaped (either overinflated or underinflated):

  • Underinflation leads to several issues, including cracking of the sidewall, bead cracking, and torn lugs
  • Overinflation results in a smaller footprint, a less stable ride, increased soil compaction, and more rapid wear

With new tractor tyres costing thousands of dollars, a regular two-minute pressure check is a cheap insurance policy.

Why do farmers neglect their tyre pressures?

Some experts think that a failure to run a tractor with the correct tyre pressure is due to laziness. I think it’s more complicated than this.

There are a lot of factors you need to consider when maintaining the correct air pressure in a working tractor’s tyres. You need to consider:

  • The weight of attachments
  • The tractor’s split weights
  • Loads on the drawbar
  • The task being done
  • Tractor speed

A simple miscalculation can mean the tyres are not inflated correctly, and lead to the damage outlined above. For example, let’s say that your tractor tyre’s recommended capacity is 4,000kg at a specific air pressure. If you run the tyre at, say, 10psi or 20psi under that recommended pressure fully loaded, you will affect the performance of the tyre and the tractor. A flatter tyre has a smaller load capacity.

Do you check your tyre pressures correctly?

A common mistake that can lead to incorrect inflation is checking tractor tyre pressures when the tyre has been warmed up, after it has been working. Warm tyres will show a higher inflation pressure. When you come to work the tractor from cold, the tyres will likely be underinflated. You should always check your tyre pressures before you start your tractor working.

The curse of the front end loader

Front end loaders are common today. They are also responsible for a lot of the tyre wear we see.

Front end loaders put a lot of pressure on the front axle. If the tyre is not correctly inflated and adjusted for the load, it can quickly be damaged and fail.

The mistake of not inflating for the job at hand

Another common mistake is forgetting to alter tyre pressures according to the job the tractor is doing; for example, when you are running a dual configuration when seeding, and then forget to adjust the tyre pressures when running a single configuration during fertilising.

The mistake of adding water as ballast

Some farmers add water to tubed tyres to act as ballast, but doing so to tubeless tyres is likely to cause you some serious issues.

In a tubeless tyre, the water comes into direct contact with the rim. The resulting rust weakens the fabric of the wheel. In addition, using water as ballast on radial tyres reduces their effectiveness because you reduce the flexible nature of the tyre – and traction reduces.

How to get longer life from your tractor tyres

The best tyre tips I can give you to get the best performance from your tractor tyres and your tractor are:

  • Make it routine to check your tyre pressures before you start working with your tractor
  • Inflate the tyres to the correct pressure for the load to be carried and the job to be done
  • Keep the tyres clean
  • Wash off caked mud, oil, diesel and petrol
  • Never ballast tubeless tractor tyres with water

Finally, if you can’t be sure of what pressures you should be running your tractor tyres at for different applications and with different loads, contact Darra Tyres. We’ll be pleased to share our tyre knowledge and expertise with you.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Tyres in Brisbane

How should Brisbane drivers choose their next set of new tyres?

3 things to consider when buying new tyres

Recently a friend of mine described to me how his son had spent three days researching what laptop he should buy. It was important for him to choose the one that would allow him to work online and stream films. Speed and memory were important, as was screen size and resolution, and a keyboard that was a perfect fit for his fingers and his budget.

Yes, we all put a lot of effort into making sure that we select the right laptop, sofa, television or car. Yet when it comes to tyres, most people simply take their car to a tyre shop and get their tyres changed.

Think about this for a moment. People spend days researching and comparing laptops before they make a buying decision, but they make a snap, on-the-spot decision when they buy new tyres – a component that determines comfort and safety every mile they drive. That seems a mad way to go about things, doesn’t it?

This article will help you choose your next set of new tyres with ease.

What to consider when you buy new tyres

Savvy drivers buy premium tyres in Brisbane, but always work within a budget. They know that cheaper brand tyres can end up costing more in the long term: they are made with lower-quality rubber compounds. This is likely to affect performance, increasing breaking distances and reducing safety, and decreasing tyre life.

When you are working within a budget, the secret to buying new tyres is to consider three elements: tread, construction, and rubber compound.

About new tyre treads

Tyre tread does a number of jobs. It provides grip and traction on the road, helps to expel water so you avoid aquaplaning, and aids drive comfort.

The first thing to consider when deciding on tread is the type of driving you do:

  • For driving on roads, a highway design tread is perfect
  • If you drive off-road, perhaps taking trips into the outback at weekends, an all-terrain tyre will cover you for driving on dirt, sand and woodland tracks
  • For those who are regular off-road junkies, a deeper, more open tread will provide a better drive experience over longer off-road trips
  • If you expect your off-road trip to take you through a lot of water and mud, and over rocky outcrops, mud tyres will provide the perfect combination of traction and balance

When considering tread, remember that the deeper the tread, the better the grip. Therefore, if all other elements are equal, it is probably best to go for the tyres with deeper tread to provide the best performance within your budget range.

When you buy new tyres, you should always tell the tyre technician what type of driving you do most, and explain your driving style. This will help them give you the best recommendation.

Tyre construction

New tyre construction has come a long way. The carcass is responsible for most of a tyre’s performance. Tyres are built in layers. The bead and bead filler provide stability and flexibility needed during manoeuvres. Steel belts provide rigidity that stops the tyre from changing shape. Other layers, which may include nylon, help to create a smoother and more comfortable drive.

When buying new tyres, ask about the tyre construction and what features the tyre has that will give you the driving experience you desire.

Rubber compound

Tyres are made from compounds of rubber and other materials, and the mix really can make a big difference to performance and tyre life. Cheaper tyres are made from cheaper and less stable compounds. They can quickly become brittle – especially in the sun here in Brisbane – and they weather poorly. You may find that instead of a useful life of five years, you may need to change a tyre made with an inferior compound after just three years. In a 10-year period, you could need three sets of new tyres rather than two.

Tyre manufacturers spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on research and development. Much of this is spent on improving tyre compounds so that they more readily resist cutting, tearing and chipping. This means that for those drivers who rack up a high mileage, the tyre is less likely to suffer damage that could lead to a tyre blowout.

Still not sure which are the best new tyres in Brisbane?

Research is essential to buy the best, whatever it is that you are buying. Even then, you are likely to seek the advice of an expert. For that expert advice when buying new tyres in Brisbane, drop into our tyre shop in Darra. Or simply get in touch online – we’ll be happy to call you back and help you.

(See more tyre buying tips in our article “What new tyres should you buy in Brisbane?”)

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

Tyres in Brisbane

What are the tyre brands that Brisbane drivers should be driving?

Tips to choose your tyre and match to the best brand

If you look after your tyres well, they should last longer (see our spring and summer tyre maintenance tips for Queensland drivers). More importantly, you’ll be maximising how effective your tyres are. Keep them correctly inflated, watch for signs of damage, and keep an eye on tread depth, and you’ll enhance fuel consumption, comfort and safety.

However, no matter what distances you drive and how you drive, eventually you’ll need a new set of tyres. Manufacturers recommend no longer than around five years between tyre changes. In this article, you’ll learn how to pick the type of tyre you need and what brands are considered the best for Brisbane’s drivers.

What type of tyre do you need?

Before looking at brands, you should consider which type of tyre you need for your vehicle. Broadly, there are a few types of tyre available. These include:

·      SUV tyres

For SUVs, drivers should opt for a tyre that offers improved handling, braking and stability. If travelling off-road, a more rigid tyre will offer better control. Michelin scores highest with Australian motorists surveyed by Canstar Blue, for performance in wet and dry weather conditions, stopping ability, and value for money, among many other qualities.

·      Small car tyres

Drivers of small cars are most interested in tyres that last longer and provide good value for money. This doesn’t mean cheap tyres, but rather tyres that are reasonably priced with good performance – top brands such as Goodyear and Michelin, are most favoured.

·      Ultra-high performance tyres

High-performance cars need high-performance tyres, to give the best handling, steering and braking performance in a variety of weather and road conditions.

·      Sports tyres

Sports tyres are more expensive than most other tyres. For many years, the lead brand in this area has been Pirelli. However, according to Canstar Blue, Pirelli has lost its top spot this year, though this may be because sports tyres are not best suited to family vehicles.

·      Low-noise tyres

Many of the top brands have developed tyres that are designed to reduce road noise in the cabin. Top of the group are Pirelli, Michelin and Goodyear.

What are the best tyre brands?

In its 2018 tyre survey, Canstar Blue assessed several factors with each allotted a star rating from one to five. These factors are:

  • Overall satisfaction
  • Value for money
  • Tyre life
  • Stopping ability
  • Dry weather handling
  • Wet weather handling
  • Noise

Here is how the major brands rate:

Brand Value for money Tyre life Stopping ability Wet weather handling Dry weather handling Noise Total Overall satisfaction
Michelin 5 5 5 5 5 4 29 5
Hankook 5 4 5 4 5 4 27 4
Bridgestone 4 4 4 4 4 4 24 4
Goodyear 4 4 4 4 4 4 24 4
Kumho 4 4 4 4 4 4 24 4
Pirelli 3 3 4 4 4 5 23 4
Dunlop 3 3 4 3 4 4 21 4
Yokohama 3 3 3 3 3 4 19 3

Australia’s drivers appear to prefer Michelin – and these opinions should mean a lot: they come from people who use these tyres and who have bought them in the last two years. However, when choosing the best tyre for you, you should consider not only your vehicle, but also your driving style, where you drive, and your budget.

For the best brands, a fantastic personal service, and the help you deserve when you need new tyres in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood

buying fake tyres

How to avoid the life-threatening mistake of buying fake tyres

Tips on how to spot a fake tyre and only buy genuine

If you make the mistake of buying fake tyres, you will be putting lives at risk: yours, your passengers, and other road users. Counterfeit wheels buckle and break more easily – recent tests have shown that they can disintegrate at just 50kmh when a pothole is driven over.

Fake tyres are equally as dangerous. Think about it: when you buy a fake tyre, you are buying an unauthorised version of an original. It may have been made with stolen or copied moulds or substandard rubber compounds, and will not have undergone the rigorous safety testing that genuine manufacturers make.

A fake tyre is a little like a fake Versace handbag – it looks great for all of five minutes, then will fall apart at the seams when put under any stress. Fake tyres cost more in the long run, will increase your fuel consumption, and will give you a less than satisfactory and more dangerous driving experience.

Here are 7 ways to spot a fake tyre.

1.     Misspellings on the tyre and/or packaging

This is a big giveaway that the tyre is a fake. If it is Firelli instead of Pirelli, or Bidgestone instead of Bridgestone, it’s a fake. You might get away with a pair of ‘Rayburns’ as sunglasses, but fitting ‘Mishelin’ tyres on your truck is a whole different ball game. Watch for misspelled names and fake logos.

2.     No marking on the tyre sidewall

The markings on the tyre’s sidewall details all the information you need to know about a tyre – its size, pressures, date of manufacture, etc. Even if you don’t look at these marks, if they aren’t there you shouldn’t buy the tyre.

3.     The tyre is sold without paperwork or packaging

If you buy tyres from a reputable dealer, you’ll get paperwork with them – a warranty, for example. If there is no paperwork available, this is another warning sign that the tyres you are buying could be fakes.

4.     The colour is ‘off’

Tyres are black (mostly). If the tyre you are buying is any colour other than black, then you need to tread with caution.

5.     The tyres don’t stand up to the ‘kick test’

Ever heard the saying, ‘kick the tyres’ when buying a used car? There’s a reason for this. They shouldn’t damage from a few light taps with the toe of your boot. If they do, just imagine what damage accidently kerbing your vehicle will do to the tyre on the road. Flimsy tyres are made with substandard rubber compounds. Don’t go there.

6.     They are available in a strange location

Shady deals are done in the shadows. The same is true of fake tyres. A bona fide dealer, selling good products, won’t need to meet you in a car park to exchange a set of tyres for a pocketful of cash.

7.     The seller won’t tell you they are genuine

Finally, if the seller avoids giving a straight answer when you ask if the tyres they are selling are the genuine item, it’s a big red flag that you are about to be conned into buying counterfeit tyres.

How to avoid buying fake tyres

So, now you know how to spot fake tyres, let’s run through a few rules to make sure you never get caught out:

  • Always examine the tyre – for misspellings, missing information, colour, and with the kick test
  • Check the tread depth, and compare to the brand’s details on its website
  • Compare tread pattern with the tyre’s tread pattern on the brand’s website

Finally, only ever buy tyres from a recognised and reputable dealer. This rule holds true for online purchases, too (read our article “Avoid these mistakes when buying tyres online” for more tips).

Here at Darra Tyres, we’ve been in the tyre business for more than 40 years. We supply tyres from the best brands, at all budget levels, and guarantee our service and tyre quality. For all your tyre needs in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Kevin Wood