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,