Category Archives for "New 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

Tyres

What damage can potholes cause to tyres and vehicles?

Tips to avoid potholes and what to do if you can’t

Poor road surfaces, such as those caused by unrepaired potholes, are one of the major concerns for drivers in and around Brisbane. In last year’s RACQ Unroadworthy Roads Survey, an incredible 600 sub-standard roads across Queensland were nominated – 60% of these nominations cited poor road surface as the reason for the nomination.

In this article, you’ll learn what damage hitting a pothole could do to your tyres and vehicle, how to spot that damage, and how to avoid damage caused by potholes.

What damage could a pothole do to your tyres and vehicle?

Pothole damage is often visible, but can also be invisible.

Invisible damage that hitting a pothole can cause includes damage to the control arm. This connects the steering and wheels. If this is bent or damaged, then your ability to steer correctly could be impeded, though you may not notice this until you need to take emergency action.

Your suspension may also be damaged by hitting a pothole at speed, and this could cause the vehicle to veer from side to side, or the vehicle to shake.

Depending on how hard the pothole is hit, the engine could move off its mounts. Engine misalignment means the engine must work harder, and this will cause damage over a longer time.

Other damage that is visible includes bent wheel rims, body damage, and, of course, damage and punctures to tyres.

How do you spot tyre and vehicle damage after hitting a pothole?

Fortunately, unless you are driving at speed, the chances of a pothole puncturing a tyre are slim. However, bent wheel rims, body damage, and damage to shocks and struts are more common. Your tyres may also be damaged, and you might suffer issues with your wheel alignment or wheel balancing.

If you notice any of the following signs of tyre or vehicle damage, you should take your vehicle in for inspection immediately:

  • A tyre looks low – this could be caused by a slow puncture, often caused by a bent wheel rim
  • The tyre sidewall is bulging, which indicates there is internal damage to the tyre and the steel belts and nylon in the tyre have separated
  • Your vehicle pulls left or right while you are driving, which indicates the wheels have become misaligned
  • The steering wheel vibrates while you are driving, a clear indication that your wheels have become imbalanced
  • You hear a strange and consistent noise from under the car while driving, which could mean that part of the car or wheel is rubbing against the suspension

How can you avoid damage from potholes?

Potholes will always exist on roads. They are caused by water seeping beneath the tarmac through cracks, forcing the road to rise. The weight of traffic causes the tarmac to break and a pothole to form. As more traffic rolls over the pothole, it becomes worse. Potholes are a fact of life – like death and taxes. Therefore, it’s important to know how to avoid the damage they might cause:

  • First, always make sure that your tyres are correctly inflated. This will help your tyres and vehicle absorb any impact should you hit a pothole.
  • Drive slower, especially on roads that you don’t know or that you know to be rough.
  • Ensure that you remain focused on the road ahead. Don’t get distracted.
  • Keep your distance from the vehicle in front, so you have time to react and can see what is approaching.
  • Take care if you swerve to avoid a pothole, especially on highways when driving at speed. Hitting a pothole can cause damage to your vehicle. Hitting another vehicle could be far worse.
  • A road with one pothole is usually a road with more. The first pothole that you hit or avoid should be the warning to be more focused and defensive in your driving style.
  • If it is impossible to avoid a pothole, take the following action to retain control of your vehicle: slow down, steer straight, and don’t slam on your brakes.

Getting your vehicle checked after hitting potholes

If you hit a pothole and notice any of the signs of impact damage, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic or tyre shop. Tell them what happened and the signs of damage that you have noticed, and make sure that they check:

  • Wheel alignment and balance
  • Damage to the internal tyre
  • Wheel rims for cracks and bending
  • Damage to the engine mount
  • Shocks, struts and suspension

If repairs are needed, get an estimate and check out your insurance cover – it may help to pay for damage caused by potholes.

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

Spare-Tyre

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

Tyre Warning Light

My tyre warning light is on – should I go to a tyre shop?

What to do if you notice debris stuck in your tyre

A couple of weeks ago, we had a motorist come to our tyre shop in Darra because his tyre warning light was lit on the dashboard of his vehicle. He was sure nothing was wrong, but thought it best to get it checked out. He’d been driving for 30 minutes with the tyre light glowing. He was lucky he came to us and didn’t continue driving.

What he thought was a faulty warning light turned out to be a potential blowout. He had a piece of plastic wedged between the tread blocks, and it had worked its way into the tyre. Completely flat with the tread, it made no sound on the road. The driver couldn’t feel it as his wheels spun. That little piece of plastic – which looked like a fragment from a front or rear bumper – could have been the cause of the driver’s death.

Debris on the road is a big problem for tyres

A short while ago, I read that road debris is responsible for more than half of the UK’s tyre punctures. The finding came from a survey conducted by Highways England and Bridgestone. Specifically, the survey asked about blowouts at speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour.

We’ve discussed blowouts before, with five ways to avoid blowouts:

But a piece of plastic or glass or a nail in the road? How do you allow for this? It’s a terrifying thought. And it is not only England’s roads that are affected. We’re seeing more debris embedded in tyres in Brisbane today than we used to. A lot more.

What happens when you get debris in your tyre?

You may spot a pothole of brick in the road and take measures to avoid it. But a small piece of plastic or glass or a nail can easily go unnoticed. You will rarely feel it as you drive over it. Which means you could be driving with a potentially fatal flaw in your tyre. Fortunately, most debris damage leads to a slow puncture at worst. Some punctures are more rapid. Some lead to a blowout, especially if you are travelling at speed.

A weekly check of your tyres is usually enough to alert you to any debris and to deal with it. If you have debris embedded between the tread blocks, it is best to take your vehicle to a tyre shop and let them deal with it. The tyre may already be punctured. Removing a nail will simply let the air out faster.

Can all punctures be repaired?

Whether a puncture can be repaired depends on how big the puncture is and where it is on the tyre. Most punctures – like those caused by a nail – are repairable. If a puncture is bigger than around ½ centimetre, then it is likely that the tyre will need to be replaced.

If the damage caused by the debris is to the sidewall of the tyre, it is least likely to be repairable: the rubber there is thinner and less rigid. Damage to the sidewall that is near the tread is most likely to lead to a new tyre being required.

Can you repair a puncture on the road?

If you suffer a puncture while driving, a plug kit is usually able to make a temporary repair. This will seal the hole from the outside, and help it hold air long enough to allow you to get to a tyre shop or garage for a permanent repair.

Beware! The chemicals that plug kits use can damage a tyre over time, and so it is very important that you take the tyre to a tyre shop and explain what has happened and what plug kit you used. The technician will then be able to clean the tyre properly and make the repair effectively (if it is possible to do so).

How are tyres punctures repaired by professionals?

A permanent repair can only be made by patching from the inside. The tyre is removed from the rim, inspected, and cleaned to remove imperfections. It is then ground down so that there is a suitable area to stick the patch.

The patch inserts a rubber plug into the hole. The patch on the inside helps to keep the plug in its place and the air in the tyre. The patch is attached to the tyre using a special rubber cement, and then sealed with a special coating. The technician then cleans the repair on the outside of the tyre. When the repair is dry, the tyre is replaced, re-inflated and checked.

A word of warning about repaired tyres: the speed rating will be affected. The tyre will last a long time, but you should take care of driving at high speed.

Don’t take a chance on your tyre holding out

Those warning lights on your dashboard can fail. But is it worth taking the chance? If your tyre warning light starts glowing suddenly, our advice is to get to a stop and call out a tyre repair service. If you notice a nail or other debris in your tyre during your weekly tyre checks, get your vehicle to the tyre shop straight away.

Don’t risk a blowout. The consequences don’t bear thinking about.

If your tyre warning light comes on or if you find debris in your tyres, contact us at Darra Tyres. Be safe, not sorry.

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

5 considerations to make when you buy new tyres

Tyre buying tips you mustn’t ignore

A new tyre is much more than a black circle. It is the piece that connects your vehicle to the road. Your vehicle’s tyres have a big say in your comfort, fuel consumption, and safety on the road. Therefore, when buying new tyres you’ll need to consider many factors – and not simply the size of tyre you need and the load it will be supporting.

Here are five considerations to make before you put your hand in your pocket to buy new tyres.

1.    What is your driving style?

How you drive affects your tyres and how long they will last. Do you drive slow and steady, or are you always running late with the need to put your foot down?

Different types of tyres will give you a different ride experience, as well. So you should consider if you prefer a firm feeling when driving or a softer ride.

You’ll find that different types and brands of tyres will give you different driving experiences, including noise from the road. If peace and quiet in the car is important to you, then you should veer toward low-noise (or quiet) tyres.

Finally, consider the load that you expect your tyres to carry. If you drive a truck with a load, then a passenger tyre won’t be man enough for the job.

2.    What type of surface do you drive on?

Most people tend to drive the same type of road surfaces most of the time. The roads that you drive on will affect the life of your tyres. If you drive mostly on highways and good surfaces, your tyres will last longer. If most of your drive time is spent in the outback, or on heavily potholed back roads, you may do better to choose a sturdier tyre with deeper tread.

3.    How important is fuel economy to you?

A tyre can help to reduce the amount of fuel you use – by as much as 15% to 20%, according to some industry experts such as Bill VandeWater of Bridgestone in North America. Low fuel consumption is a consideration for many – the right tyres could help you achieve this aim without affecting performance.

(Tip: maintaining your tyres at the correct air pressure will improve fuel consumption.)

4.    What do the tyre reviews say?

Consumer reviews, such as those produced by Canstar Blue, can help you research the best tyres for you. Such reviews gather opinions from thousands of consumers, each of whom speak from experience.

Look for reviews that help you learn how each tyre affects fuel economy, braking distances, handling, noise, and so on. Build up a picture of which tyres perform best, and what qualities meet your needs most closely – for example, better fuel economy versus a little more noise.

5.    What is your budget?

The final factor to consider is your budget. We always recommend investing in the best tyre your money will buy, but we also understand that most people’s range of choice will be determined by their budget.

Here’s a brief summary of the differences between premium, mid-range, and budget tyre brands:

  • Premium brands are the most expensive tyres, produced by manufacturers who have ploughed hundreds of millions of dollars into research and development to deliver tyres optimised for specific uses and vehicles. These should provide the best and most balanced driving experience.
  • Mid-range brands sit in the middle of the tyre market. They benefit from similar R&D advances as premium brands, but are not produced using the same-quality components and compounds. Therefore, mid-range tyres are sold at a lower price to premium brands.
  • Budget brands often look very similar to premium brands. However, they are made from far lower-quality rubber compounds, which tend to adversely affect braking distances and the longevity of the tyre.

When you need new tyres in Brisbane and want to benefit from a personal service that will help you choose the best tyres for you and you car, and within your budget, contact Darra Tyres.

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

4WD tyres

What is the best tyre pressure for your 4WD?

4WD tyre pressures for all terrains

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ll know that here at Darra tyres we consider tyre maintenance and driver safety to be important issues. You’ll also know that we write a lot about the importance of tyre pressure. Much of the damage caused to tyres is because they are driven on at the incorrect pressure. As well as being one of the major causes of uneven tread wear, over- or underinflated tyres also reduce fuel consumption. That’s a double-cost whammy that is easily avoided by a quick tyre check before you set off on your journey.

In this article, you’ll learn about tyre pressure in your 4WD tyres, and what the correct pressure to inflate to is.

4WD tyre pressure is a unique beast

The pressure you inflate to when driving a 4WD vehicle depends on the terrain you will be driving on, as well as the vehicle and load. Different driving conditions require different tyre pressures for the most effective drive experience. You’ll need to inflate and deflate according to need.

On normal roads and highways, you should inflate to your vehicle’s recommended pressures. But there are times when you’ll need to reduce tyre pressure.

When to reduce 4WD tyre pressure

When you are driving off-road, reducing your tyre pressure is not only desirable, it is essential. A lower pressure makes your tyre spread, providing more tyre traction on surfaces such as sand and mud. Without that traction, you won’t move, and could get buried in sand. So, deflate to create a wider surface area in contact with the ground, gain more traction, and move more easily.

You should also use a lower tyre pressure when driving over rocky surfaces, though the reason is different. 4WD tyres with a higher air pressure are more susceptible to punctures from sharp rocks and stones. Taking some of that air out provides more give to the tyre, allowing it to drive over rocks with less chance of suffering a puncture.

The faster you drive, the higher your tyre pressure should be

As a general rule, the faster your drive the higher you should have your tyre pressure. Off-roading over tough terrain, where you are more likely to encounter mud, sand and sharp rocky areas, requires slower drives and lower tyre pressures. Much is down to experience.

The best choice a 4WD enthusiast can make is to select the best-quality tyres in his or her budget range, then deflate and inflate according to terrain, driving conditions and driving style. Remember to alter your tyre pressures on your travels, and you should never get stuck in the mud or punctured on the rocks.

For the best tyre service in Brisbane, and advice on tyres and how to make them last longer, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

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