Category Archives for "New Tyres"

Tyre Pressure

Tyre Myths: Do Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems Tell You When You Need to Change Your Tyres?

Modern Sensors Make Driving a Breeze

Modern cars make driving a lot easier with all the things they do for us. You no longer need to turn your headlights on when it’s dark, or your windscreen wipers when it rains. You are warned when you drive over the speed limit. They may even tell you what your tyre pressure is. But do modern sensors know how to warn you when your tyres need changing?

What are Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMSs)?

A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System does exactly what it says on the tin. It is an electronic system installed on your car to monitor the air pressure in your tyres.

Modern cars (typically from 2008 onwards) often come with a TPMS installed. The systems use sensors to continuously monitor the pressure of the air in your tyres. A warning light on your dashboard signals when your tyre pressure becomes dangerously low. This warning is a safety feature to prevent you from driving on dangerous tyres. The TPMS can also help you improve the longevity of your tyres by maintaining the correct PSI.

How Do TPMSs work?

Not all TPMSs are the same. The low tyre pressure warning light on your dashboard is the last step for an indirect TPMS or a direct TPMS.

·      Indirect TPMS

An indirect TPMS uses wheel speed to calculate pressure. Rather than measure the pressure in the tyre, the system uses wheel speed sensors from the antilock brakes. Based on the speed of each tyre, an onboard calculator works out the amount of revolutions a tyre is doing. The number is interpreted to figure out the pressure of the tyres, with underinflated tyres spinning faster than they would at correct inflation.

·      Direct TPMS

A direct TPMS uses pressure sensors in the wheel to calculate the PSI. A direct TPMS is more reliable than indirect, as you get a specific tyre pressure reading rather than an interpretation. Measurements from the direct TPMS are analysed by an onboard computer, and, if the pressure is lower than recommended, a warning light will flash on your dashboard.

Data from sensors is sent wirelessly to the onboard computer. To ensure that your tyre pressure is not from another vehicle, each system has its own unique serial number.

When Do You Need to Change Your Tyres?

A TPMS is great for warning you when you need to inflate your tyres. However, there are no sensors to warn you about tread wear or other hazards that mean you need to change your tyres. Instead, you should include a tyre inspection as part of your regular tyre maintenance routine. Here are some examples of signs that you need to change your tyres:

  • Tread depth gets too low: The legal minimum tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm. Tread depth has an impact on stopping distance, and some vehicle manufacturers argue that minimum tread depth should be legally increased to 2mm or 3mm.
  • Uneven tyre wear: Uneven wear is an indication of unusual stress on a tyre. Causes include incorrect wheel alignments or the wrong air pressure in your tyres.
  • Tyre age: You may use your vehicle infrequently and not put a lot of wear on your tyres. However, vehicle and tyre manufacturers still recommend you change your tyres regularly. Tyres over five years old dry out, losing elasticity and becoming increasingly dangerous to use.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

Vehicle and tyre manufacturers have often worked together in creating TPMSs. They will both agree that they are helpful tools and useful for maintaining safe air pressure in your tyres. However, they also agree that while the systems are useful, they cannot warn you when you need fresh tyres.

For example, Bridgestone says:

“Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems are only able to keep track of the amount of pressure within a tyre. They do not indicate whether a tyre has worn out its tread or the right time to replace it.”

If your TPMS continually signals a warning, you should get your tyre checked by a professional. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Pressure

Get a Grip: Is Letting Air Out of Your Tyres to Improve Control a Myth?

What’s the Relationship Between Air Pressure and Traction?

The pressure of your vehicle’s tyres sets the weight distribution across the tread pattern. With the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure (often found on the tyre placard in the driver’s side door jamb), your vehicle is most stable.

When a tyre is not correctly inflated, it loses its stability. In turn, this affects your handling, cornering, and stopping distance. Incorrect tyre pressure also causes tyres to wear unevenly, meaning they need replacing more frequently.

From the type of wear on your tyres, we can tell whether you underinflate or overinflate:

  • More wear in the centre of the tread means your tyres are overinflated
  • More wear on the outer edges means your tyres are underinflated

Tyres lose traction when the shape of the tyre becomes deformed and the tread becomes uneven.

Here’s a table that explains the increases and reductions in factors as a result of tyre pressure:

Under Pressure Recommended Pressure Over Pressure
– Performance + Performance – Traction
– Safety + Safety – Safety
– Response + Even Wear + Tyre Damage

Does Letting Air Out of Your Tyres Improve Grip?

You may have heard that letting some air out of your tyres improves grip. The logic is that the more of the tyre touching the ground, the better the traction. Though friction is what grips your tyre to the road, it does not depend on the surface area.

There’s an equation to measure friction. The pressure on your tyres is equal to the force divided by the area of contact. Therefore, an increase in the surface area of your tyre touching the road due to deflation is counteracted by the reduced pressure. The friction (and therefore traction) doesn’t increase.

Though your underinflated tyre will have no effect on your tyre’s traction, it will have a negative effect on your steering and stopping distances. You don’t want this in normal conditions, never mind on a slippery road.

What Can You Do to Improve the Grip of Your Tyres in Slippery Conditions?

In Australia, there are 5.4 road-related deaths per 100,000 people each year. Most of these are single-vehicle accidents rather than collisions. After long periods of hot and dry weather that are broken by heavy rainfall, the roads become extremely dangerous. When you take your car out in these conditions, you may as well be driving on an ice rink. So, what can you do to stay safe and improve tyre grip on the roads?

Drive Safely

The number one thing you can do to stay safe in slippery conditions is to be a sensible driver. Always maintain your tyres in good condition, ensure they are correctly inflated, and:

  • Increase the distance between yourself and other vehicles
  • Make gentle turns and slow down for a corner
  • Don’t brake if the vehicle aquaplanes; instead, pull off the accelerator and concentrate on steering through

What Causes Tyres to Lose Grip?

Tyres lose grip on the road due to a lack of traction. Here are some reasons your tyres might lose traction:

  • Overbraking: By braking too hard, you can cause your wheels to lock up
  • Oversteering: By steering too hard, you can cause the back end of your vehicle to slide out
  • Over-acceleration: Applying too much power when accelerating leads to wheel spin
  • Speeding: Driving too fast in slippery conditions causes a lack of traction

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

Tyre and vehicle manufacturers will all tell you the same thing when it comes to letting the air out of your tyres to improve grip. Bridgestone’s advice is:

“Underinflated tyres do not provide better contact with the road. Plus, it increases the amount of wear and tear to not only the bottom but also the shoulder of the tyres.

Do your tyres keep deflating? Have you noticed uneven tread wear? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Valve Caps

Tyre Myths: You Won’t Lose Air If You Use Valve Caps

What Job do Valve Caps Really Do?

Cars are designed with precision and thought. Every detail, even down to the small things, are placed there for a reason – that includes your valve caps. However, there is a lot of misinformation around what value caps are for. Do they stop the air coming out of your tyres, or are they for something else?

What Are Valve Caps?

Valve caps are placed on the stem of your vehicle tyres. They are small, made of plastic or metal, and may seem insignificant. However, they play an important role in tyre maintenance.

A valve cap is designed to protect the Schrader valve, which a valve stem core is threaded through. The stem core is what keeps the air or nitrogen in your tyres.

Why Do You Need Valve Caps on Your Tyres?

If a valve cap is not fitted to your tyres, the stem is left unprotected. Dirt and moisture can enter the valve stem, causing blockages or damaging the valve.

Not having a valve cap does make your tyres more susceptible to losing air. However, having your valve cap in place does not mean that your tyres won’t deflate.

What Should Your Tyre Pressure Be?

Tyre pressure is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch) and varies for each vehicle. Typically, on newer cars, the recommended tyre pressure is listed on a sticker inside the driver’s door. For some vehicles that have all the new mod-cons, the current pressure of each tyre can be displayed on the dashboard. It will warn you when you are over or under the recommended tyre pressure.

Low tyre pressure can make your car less fuel-efficient and impact the safety of your vehicle. Maintaining proper inflation is important to keep your tyres wearing evenly and improves their longevity.

If your vehicle is doing coast-to-coast drives over the interstates, or regularly going on unpaved roads, you should check the pressure more frequently.

What Causes Your Tyres to Lose Air?

Every car owner or fleet manager should aim to maintain proper tyre pressure. Knowing what causes tyre deflation can help you put preventative measures in place, to keep your tyres at the correct air pressure.

·      Movement of Air (Osmosis)

Osmosis of air through the tyres can lead to the loss of 1 to 3 PSI every month. The material and manufacture of the tyre impact the osmosis. This is as much as 10% of your tyre’s air pressure.

·      Slow Punctures

One of the most common causes of loss of air pressure is a slow puncture. A nail or other debris stuck in the tyre can cause it to lose 1 to 3 PSI every day. Often you won’t notice the puncture until there is significant deflation of your tyres, so it’s good practice to check your pressure regularly.

·      Impact Breaks

Hitting the curb or driving over large rocks or other objects on the road can cause sudden and excessive air loss. Impacts such as these will be noticeable almost immediately and you will need to call a roadside response like NRMA or RAC to come and fix or replace the tyre.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

Most tyre and vehicle manufacturers give the same advice for having valve caps on your tyres. Bridgestone’s advice is typical of that from tyre manufacturers:

Valve caps are designed to keep water and dust particles out. Air will inevitably escape through the tyre rubber in all directions even with the valve caps in place. It is recommended to regularly inflate your tyres to ensure that they are at the right pressure and perform as they should.

In short, tyres will lose air pressure over time with or without a valve in place. However, the valve does help to retain air and does an important job of protecting the valve stem from dirt and moisture. Checking your tyre pressure regularly and ensuring your valve caps are securely in place are two ways you can ensure good tyre maintenance.

Is your tyre losing air pressure? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

michelin tweel tyres

How Does the Michelin Tweel Work?

Tyre Technology Takes Another Leap

The world of tyres is marked by famous names and innovators. Goodyear was the first to develop the process of vulcanisation – this makes rubber waterproof and winterproof and preserves its elasticity. Dunlop, who invented the first practical pneumatic tyre. Goodrich added carbon to the rubber to make tyres last longer. The Michelin brothers, who developed pneumatic tyres for use on automobiles.

Michelin (the company, not the brothers) has been at it again. It has developed what may one day become a mainstream product: the Tweel. In this article, you’ll learn how the Tweel works, and why it might be the tyre you’ve been waiting for.

Introducing the Michelin Tweel

It takes a long time for small acorns to grow into strong oaks, and similar can be said of advances in tyre technology. The Michelin Tweel has been in development for more than a decade.

Michelin wanted to develop an airless tyre for cars. Imagine no punctures and longer life. Safer driving and lower costs in the long run. A dream? Not with the Michelin Tweel, though the Tweel is more than a tyre. It’s a tyre and wheel (hence ‘Tweel’), and a feat of engineering ingenuity.

Why Do We Need the Michelin Tweel?

The trouble with air-filled tyres is that they can puncture. If they do, the result can be fatal. A blowout at high speed is a terrifying experience, especially if it’s on a busy road.

Even if you don’t suffer a blowout, a flat tyre (or one that is not inflated correctly) affects the tyre’s performance. Underinflated tyres cause poorer handling. Overinflated tyres lose grip. If you don’t inflate your tyres to the correct tyre pressure, you’ll have worse driving experience, and use more fuel. The tyres will wear unevenly, and you’ll need to replace them more often.

Most drivers don’t maintain their tyres well. They don’t check tyre pressures regularly, even though it only takes a few minutes to do so. Airless tyres remove this as an issue. The Michelin Tweel does a lot more.

What Makes the Michelin Tweel so Special?

The Tweel is a combination of a tyre and a wheel. It’s an all-in-one solution that removes the need for separate rims and tyres. You won’t have to inflate it. When you drive over a piece of debris, the Tweel shapes itself to that debris, keeping more contact with the road and maintaining a better grip. This also means you have smoother driving experience.

It accomplishes all this because of how it is made. Spokes run the entire width of the Tweel, and they can bend – forwards, backwards and sideways. Yet they are rigid enough to maintain their solidity. They deform to the terrain and then spring back into shape. A little like a sponge when you grip it tight.

The spokes can be made to different tensions, so Tweels can be manufactured for different uses. Greater flexibility makes for a more comfortable driving experience with the bonus that handling is improved.

Real Benefits of Tweels, but Some Disadvantages Too

As with any technological advance, there are some disadvantages of Tweels. For example, you can adjust pneumatic tyres by altering the tyre pressure, but once a Tweel has been made, it cannot be adjusted.

The Michelin Tweel also suffers from more vibration at high speed, and this results in a louder drive. However, these problems are being ironed out quickly. Already, Tweels are available for a multitude of uses, including for UTV and ATV vehicles. Michelin believes they will be available as a mainstream product for cars by 2024.

To make this happen, tyre manufacturing plants must be upgraded for the new manufacturing processes that are needed to produce the Michelin Tweel. Tyre shops will also need new equipment to mount them onto vehicles. There is a lot of investment that is being made and still is made in removing obstacles to the widespread adoption of Tweels. One thing is certain, though: the Michelin Tweel is the future.

The benefits of driving on Michelin Tweels are huge. They include better performance, safer drives, and greater road safety. The disadvantages are being ironed out. Soon, you’ll be able to equip your passenger car with Michelin Tweels. Right now, it could be the solution you’ve been seeking to take your off-road thrills to the next level.

For more information, contact Darra Tyres today. See the future of driving, today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Michelin Tweel – Revolution in Tyre Technology That Will Flatten Run Flat Tyres

From Lawn Mowers to Off-Road to Passenger Cars

Run-flat tyres are popular because of the benefits they provide. A smoother ride, with greater traction, great looks, and highly cost-effective. A little pricier than ‘ordinary’ tyres, but for most drivers they are worth every cent. However, they could soon lose their appeal. A space-age revolution in tyre technology known as the ‘Michelin Tweel’ has landed. The benefits of this tyre could flatten the sales of run-flats.

What Is the Michelin Tweel?

Currently available for a range of UTVs, ATVs and agricultural vehicles, although the Michelin Tweel is airless, it is not an airless tyre. It is a tyre and wheel combined. It has super-aggressive tread, which means it disperses mud and water at warp speed. The Tweel bolts on to a vehicle easily, using heavy gauge steel, four-bolt hub system.

Using poly-resin spokes across the width of the wheel, the way the Tweel is made gives it incredible flexibility. It literally moulds itself to the shape of the terrain it is being driven on.

The Tweel is also virtually unbreakable. You can drive it over rocks, nails, glass and other debris. It takes all in its stride. It’s like you can hear the Tweel laughing at such minor inconveniences. With Tweels fitted to your vehicle, you can wave goodbye to punctures and expensive wheel changes.

Tweels give you:

  • A smoother ride
  • Less hassle from damaged tyres
  • Less worry about road surface debris

You won’t need to carry a spare, either. Tweels are the most indestructible black circles that I have ever seen. Their tread has been measured as lasting three times longer than the tread on pneumatic tyres, and they can be re-treaded. These Tweels could put us out of business!

Great for Lawns and More

Lawn mowing is just one application for which the Michelin Tweel is perfect. You don’t know what could be hiding in the long grass. So you take it slow, hoping that there are no nails or broken bottles that will pierce through your tyres and cause you a heap of aggravation and a pocketful of costs.

The Michelin Tweel removes this worry. You can drive over dozens of nails. They may embed themselves in the tread, but they won’t burst the Tweel – there’s no air. And those rocks in the undergrowth? Forget about them. The Tweel passes over them like water over pebbles – free-flowing and stress-free. It shapes itself to the ground, meaning you benefit from a smoother ride. No more bouncing about, and no more stiff back.

This means that you can mow that lawn faster. You save time, stress, and spinal injury!

The Tweel isn’t just for those high-powered lawnmowers, though. It is also available for UTVs and ATVs. Those off-road, virgin tracks will become routes that you can now explore. More fun, less grief.

Michelin Tweel – The Future for Car Drivers?

Here’s the downside: car drivers can’t yet benefit from Michelin Tweels. Michelin has spent a fortune on developing the Tweel and has taken it to the UTV and ATV market. But it isn’t quite there in the domestic car market yet. It is coming, though.

Michelin started testing this year. Those tests are progressing well. The Michelin Tweel is currently limited to 37 miles per hour; not quite fast enough for domestic cars. You won’t break any land speed records on them, though you will be able to break land that you have never driven before.

However, if the tests continue to go as well as they have to date, it won’t be too long before we see the first Michelin Tweels rolling off the production lines and bolted onto cars. The run flat tyre could soon be flattened by the revolution that is the Michelin Tweel.

To see the future of car tyres today, come and check out the Michelin Tweel at Darra Tyres. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to view the future.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Michelin Tweel UTV

Michelin Tweel – A Tyre That Just Won’t Deflate

The Future of Tyres and Wheels Is Here for UTV and ATV Drivers

Never heard of Michelin Tweel? Let me enlighten you. Tweel is a word that describes the latest development in tyre technology – a combination of tyre and wheel. It’s been a concept for a decade or more, during which time Michelin has been developing its version. Now, it is here. And it’s pretty darn good, and available for a variety of vehicles.

So, what exactly is the Michelin Tweel, and what vehicles can it be used on today?

The Michelin Tweel – Ten Years in the Making

For 10 years, the boffins at Michelin have been working on a dream concept tyre – the Michelin Tweel. The idea was simple: create a tyre that won’t deflate, build it into a wheel, and make the product flexible so that it provides a softer and more forgiving ride experience. A simple concept, yet hugely complex.

What Michelin was asking its research department to do was to create an all-in-one wheel and tyre that has the potential to revolutionise the driving experience. Imagine never needing to worry about a puncture again. Imagine a wheel that changes shape to the surface it is being driven on, at speed, and then springs back to its original shape when stationary. A shapeshifting wheel and tyre. That’s the Michelin Tweel.

Greater Grip Off-Road

If you drive a utility vehicle (UTV), you can fit it with Michelin Tweels now. You won’t need a system to maintain air pressure, because there is no air inside the Tweel.

Because the wheel deforms and reforms to the terrain you are driving on, you benefit from extra grip. A lot of extra grip. However, this doesn’t mean you can put your foot flat on the accelerator. The 26-inch radial Tweels have a maximum speed rating of 37 miles per hour.

How Does the Tweel Technology Work?

The Tweel is manufactured using poly-resin spokes that run the full width of the Tweel. These provide the give that allows flexibility to deform, while maintaining lateral stiffness. The result is a wheel that corners fantastically well and provides stability on hillsides – as well as the off-road grip I mentioned above. Here’s what you get from a Michelin Tweel, which, quite frankly, looks more like a jet turbine from the side than it does a wheel:

  • Deep, open, aggressive tread that helps to clear mud while proving excellent traction and stability
  • Four-bolt hub that fits many UTVs
  • High-strength poly-resin spokes that dampen the ride and absorb impacts

For those who are tech minded, here’s a little of what Michelin has done:

  • A proprietary Comp10 Cable forms a semi-rigid ‘shear beam’ – this allows the load to hang from the top
  • Zero-degree belts provide the lateral stiffness, also helping to absorb impact
  • The bolt hubs are made of heavy gauge steel

The result is a product that performs like a pneumatic tyre, but which improves mobility on the toughest of terrains. You’ll find that your UTV or ATV provides a more comfortable, responsive ride when it is fitted with Michelin Tweels and driven on a hostile surface.

Michelin Tweel Saves Space

The Michelin Tweel has other benefits, too. For example:

  • You won’t interrupt your journey having to fix a flat
  • No spare tyres are needed, and you can leave a whole bunch of tools behind
  • You’ll be able to explore previously undriveable routes
  • You won’t get so tired while driving, because of the smoother ride

Where Can You Buy a Michelin Tweel?

The future of tyres is Tweel, and, if you are an ATV or UTV driver, the future is now. Michelin Tweels are available for a range of vehicles, including several agricultural applications. Come and see the future of tyre and wheel technology at Darra Tyres. We are sure you’ll be sold on them.

Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to view the future.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

TYre Pressure

Pump up the Pressure – and Explode Your Tyres?

Is it a tyre myth that overinflation can burst tyres?

It’s easy to think of tyres like balloons; we’ve all burst one of those because we overinflated it. But will overinflation cause your tyre to burst? It’s one of the most common tyre myths. It’s time we explored it.

What is the correct tyre pressure?

The right tyre pressure for your tyres depends upon your vehicle. You’ll find the recommended tyre pressure on the tyre placard on the door jamb or in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. It’s not the tyre pressure on the sidewall – that is the maximum tyre pressure at maximum load.

Will overinflation increase the risk of a blowout?

If you overinflate your tyres and drive at speed, and hit a pothole or other debris, there is a risk that you could suffer a blowout. But that risk is very slim. If it does happen, it’s more likely to be because of an existing fault in the tyre.

The pressure at which a tyre burst is around 200 PSI. This is around 165 PSI higher than the average recommended tyre inflation pressure. You really would have to pump some air into a tyre to get its pressure up there.

So, is it safe to overinflate a tyre?

It’s certainly safer than underinflating a tyre, but you still wouldn’t want to overinflate your tyres.

When a tyre is overinflated, the tyre’s walls push out. The tyre becomes stiffer than it should be. This affects performance. Traction is likely to be reduced, as there is less rubber on the road. This also means that tyre wear will be concentrated along the centre of the tyre, with the likelihood of bald patches caused by hard braking.

You may also suffer increased fuel consumption because the engine must work harder to drive the vehicle forward on reduced traction. You are like to have a bouncier, more unstable and less comfortable ride. Tyre sidewalls act as second shock absorbers, softening the blow to your car’s actual shock absorbers. When you overinflate a tyre, the sidewall’s stiffness transfers directly to the shock suspension.

So, is it better to underinflate a tyre?

No! It’s more dangerous to put too little air in a tyre than too much. Underinflation puts stress on a tyre’s shoulders and sidewalls. The stress on the tyre’s steel belts can be enormous. With the temperature reaching as high as 200 degrees in this spot, the chances of tyre failure are massively increased.

When you underinflate tyres, you are likely to increase fuel consumption and increase wear and tear. You will need to renew your tyres sooner. But the big danger is the increased risk of catastrophic failure.

What the experts say

Unless you have a death wish or your tyres are defective, you won’t overinflate your tyres to bursting point. They are more robust than party balloons. However, overinflated tyres may be more at risk of bursting if you hit potholes, kerbs, or other debris at speed. Still, underinflated tyres are more dangerous.

Bridgestone says:

Your tyres will not explode simply by overinflating them. (However) overinflation will cause unnecessarily excessive wear on the tyre and reduce the amount of contact with the road. It will also cause drivers to assume that their vehicles are more responsive due to the reduced contact resistance between tyre and road.

Having said all this, you should ensure that you don’t inflate your tyres to more than the tyre manufacturer’s recommended maximum (as displayed on the tyre sidewall). Further, you should always inflate to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure, found on the door jamb and/or vehicle owner’s manual.

Not sure what tyre pressure is right for your vehicle? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Pressure

Don’t Put Your Tyres Under Pressure – Inflate Them Correctly

Don’t Put Your Tyres Under Pressure – Inflate Them Correctly

The need for proper inflation isn’t simply hot air

We’ve all done it – gone to inflate our tyres and forgotten what the tyre pressure should be. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen a motorist searching for the recommended tyre pressure on the tyre wall. Because they believe, like so many others do, that ‘the correct tyre pressure is numbered on the tyre’.

What is tyre pressure?

Tyre pressure is a measurement of how much air there is in a tyre. It is usually measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), though can also be measured in Bars.

Why must your tyres be inflated to the correct pressure?

If you don’t inflate your tyres properly, your comfort and safety will suffer. So, too, will your tyre wear and tear.

Underinflate your tyres and there will be more rubber against the road. Your tyres will wear faster across the tread. Tyre walls may crack easier. Especially in the summer, your tyre will heat up faster. More tread against the tarmac means more friction. This means you will use more fuel.

Should you overinflate your tyres, less of the tyre will be in contact with the road. This leads to more wear along the centre of the tyre as well as a bouncier driving experience. You may find your tyre suffers bald patches. Also, your braking distance will be longer.

Both overinflated and underinflated tyres are more prone to tyre blowouts. And you know how dangerous that can be – especially at speed.

What pressure should you inflate your tyres to?

The tyre pressure embossed on the sidewall of a tyre is not a recommended pressure. It is the absolute maximum pressure at which the tyre will operate effectively with a maximum load. When buying tyres for your vehicle, you should compare this number with your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure. You will find your vehicle’s tyre pressure guide in one or both of the following places:

  • On the door jamb
  • In the owner’s manual

If the maximum tyre pressure on the sidewall of a tyre is below your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure, you should buy a different tyre.

Checking your tyre pressure

You should check your tyre pressure regularly; at least every month, and if there is a sudden change in temperature. The easiest way to do so is at a nearby tyre station. Remember that tyre pressures should always be checked when the tyre is cold. Follow these five steps to check and inflate your tyres correctly:

  1. If you have driven more than a couple of kilometres, sit with a coffee for 10 minutes before checking your tyre pressure
  2. Set the air compressor to the lowest number on your tyre pressure guide (this is the recommended pressure for cold tyres)
  3. Remove the valve cap from your tyre’s valve stem, then connect the pressure gauge (no hissing)
  4. Inflate to the set pressure and replace the valve cap
  5. Repeat for all tyres

What the experts say

It is essential that you inflate your tyres correctly. You will reduce wear and your tyres will last longer, reducing your tyre costs over the longer term. You’ll find you consume less fuel. Your drive will be more comfortable, and your handling will be surer with better braking. Taking five minutes at least once a month to check that your tyres are inflated correctly will save you money, and could save your life. Bridgestone says:

Tyres must be inflated according to the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations. Consult your vehicle manual or tyre pressure information sticker.

Even here in Brisbane, when the temperature falls your tyre pressure will fall. If we’ve had a belter of summer followed by a sudden drop in temperature, your tyre pressures could be off by 5% to 10% of the recommended PSI.

Whether summer or winter, make sure you check tyre pressures regularly as part of your vehicle inspection routine.

Do your tyres keep losing pressure? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Stopping distance

Rubber on the road and stopping distances

The part that your tyres play in braking

Stopping is the most important ability to have when driving. If you can’t stop in time, the consequences don’t bear thinking about. That’s why you should keep your distance when driving – so that, if the vehicle in front stops suddenly, you don’t slam into its rear end. So that your vehicle doesn’t get mangled. So that you don’t get mangled.

What is your stopping distance?

Stopping distance includes two elements.

First is the thinking/reaction time. The time it takes for you to see the brake lights on the vehicle ahead. For you to recognise this as a sign of potential danger, and for your brain to send a signal to your feet and hit the brake pedal. Mostly affecting your reaction time is your focus. If you’re tired, talking, or thinking about other things, your reaction time is likely to be slower.

Second is the braking distance – how far it takes to come to a stop once you have hit the brake pedal. There are plenty of factors in this second part of the equation. Road conditions, weather conditions, brake pads, shocks… all have an affect on braking distance. But, above all of these is your tyres.

How your tyres affect your stopping distance

If you are driving on tyres at the wrong tyre pressure or on worn tyres, your braking distance is going to be affected. Probably a lot more than you think. This is going to put you at risk, as well as your passengers and other road users. The child who runs into the road ahead of you doesn’t stand a chance.

Tyre wear and tear and poor tyre pressure affect how your tyres grip the road. If the road is wet, your braking distance is doubled. If you run on low tread, the effect is equally dangerous.

At only 50mph a car with tyres with the bare legal minimum of tread will take 14 metres’ further braking distance than a car with tyres that have 8mm of tread depth. That’s more than three car lengths of stopping distance. I wonder what that young child’s future could have been?

Whether underinflated or overinflated, if your tyre pressure is wrong it will make it more difficult to control and stop your vehicle. Overinflated tyres have less rubber in contact with the road. This means less grip. Less grip means it takes longer to stop. When a tyre is underinflated, it is harder for it to grip the tarmac.

Poorly inflated tyres also lead to uneven wear and tear. This makes handling more difficult and leads to shorter periods between replacing tyres. So, poor tyre pressure not only makes driving more dangerous, but it costs you more money, too.

Better tyres equal shorter stopping distances equal safer driving

Whatever road you are driving on, whatever the weather conditions, and whatever your reaction time, the better your tyres are the shorter the braking distance will be. And that means safer driving. Fewer accidents. Fewer deaths on the roads in Queensland.

Whether you are driving around the streets of Brisbane, on rural roads, or on the highways, your tyres are critical to stopping distance. They are crucial to avoid hitting children who step into the road without warning. Essential to avoid slamming into the sudden line of traffic ahead of you.

Do premium tyres help reduce braking distance?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about why savvy drivers buy premium tyres in Brisbane. Among the reasons was that they last longer, give a better driving experience, and reduce your fuel consumption. Premium tyres also reduce braking distances. Not only do they benefit from millions of dollars in research and development spending, they are also manufactured with higher-grade materials.

What tyres should you buy to reduce stopping distance?

I started this post by saying that there are two elements that affect stopping distance. The crucial factors, of course, are your reaction time, your brakes, and your tyres. The more alert you are, the shorter your reaction time. The better the condition of your brakes, the shorter your braking distance. And, of course, the better quality your tyres, the shorter your stopping distance.

For advice on what the best tyres are for your vehicle, driving style, and budget, call into our Darra Tyre shop. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Myths

3 tyre myths that savvy Australian drivers ignore

Get value for money with these tyre tips

Australian drivers suffer from a common human condition, especially when it comes to tyres. We tend to think that we get more value from spending less. We also think that if we don’t use our tyres, they will last longer.

Are you really getting value for money when you buy new tyres?

If you are like most tyre buyers, you already have a budget in mind before you buy new tyres. But, is that set of new tyres in your budget really good value? Of course, being price conscious is necessary – especially when you are making an expensive investment such as buying a new set of tyres.

If you overspend or underspend on tyres, you’ll be making a big mistake either way.

Tyre Myth # 1: Cheaper tyres are better value for money

Cheap tyres are tempting, but are they a good investment? Generally, the mantra that you get what you pay for holds true. Tyres are not cheap to manufacture. It stands to reason that to make tyres more cheaply, a manufacturer probably uses inferior machinery and tooling, and lower-quality raw materials.

The saving you make when buying cheap tyres is usually a false economy. Sub-standard rubber wears faster. This means you will need to replace your new, cheap tyres sooner. You could find yourself buying two sets of cheap tyres for each set of premium tyres. In the long run, cheap tyres like this aren’t value for money.

Of course, this is not the only problem you are likely to suffer with cheap tyres. As the tyre tread wears, you’ll suffer with longer braking distances and poorer handling. Perhaps you don’t value your safety, or that of your passengers and other road users?

Tyre Myth #2: Expensive tyres are the best

Having read the myth about cheap tyres, you might think that the more you spend the better the tyres will be. This also isn’t true. If you have ever been to a restaurant and left thinking that you’d overspent, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Just because a tyre is a brand name, doesn’t mean that the cost of the tyre represents good value for money. Some mid-priced tyres offer very similar quality and performance as their more expensive premium brand counterparts.

You don’t need to buy the most expensive tyres to get a quality product that offers safety and value for money.

Tyre myth #3: If you don’t use tyres they will last a lifetime

There are five considerations to make when you buy new tyres. These include your driving style and the road surfaces on which you usually drive. If you don’t drive many miles, and the miles you do drive are on smooth tarmac, your tyre tread is likely to remain deep and largely unaffected.

However, just because your tread looks robust and chunky, this does not mean that your tyres are safe to drive on. Tyres – even if they are not used – have a limited shelf life. Rubber breaks down naturally. You don’t need to damage your tyres by driving on them to own dangerous tyres.

Most tyre manufacturers recommend that you change your tyres at least every five years, irrespective of whether they have suffered wear and tear. (Learn how to tell the age of your tyres in our article “How do you know how old your tyres are and if they need replacing?”).

It’s not only age that can affect your tyres. Exposure to sunlight, heat, chemicals and fuel also affect a tyre’s useful life.

How do you buy tyres and make sure you get value for money?

The saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ usually applies when you buy tyres. However, if you are on a budget you may need to compromise on factors such as quality, warranty, tread, and so on. At our Darra Tyres shop, you’ll find qualified and highly experienced technicians on hand to help you make the best choice. We’ll ask you about your driving style, use, mileage, and the types of road you usually drive on. We’ll talk you through the different tyres available in your price range, explaining the pros and cons of each.

With Darra Tyres, you can be sure that you receive value for money at prices you can afford.

For all your tyre needs, contact Darra Tyres.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

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