Must New Tyres Be ‘Broken In’?

Staying Safe on New Tyres

New tyres will need a running-in period. You should be aware that your vehicle will feel different with a new set of tyres fitted. You may pick the same brand and style of tyres as those you are replacing, but older tyres perform differently to new tyres.

In this article, you’ll learn what the differences are, how long tyres take to break in, and how you can drive safely until your tyres are ready to be driven on ‘normally’.

What You Need to Know About New Tyres

You may have brought a new car or got a fresh set of tyres to replace old tyres on your current vehicle. Before you hit the road and enjoy your upgraded tyres, there are some things you should know. Like a new pair of shoes, a new set of tyres requires some breaking in.

New tyres go through a period of breaking in before they start performing at their best. To ensure you are driving safely, learn what makes new tyres lose traction and change the handling of your vehicle.

What Makes New Tyres Different from Older Tyres?

Several factors that impact a tyre’s performance are different in new tyres than older tyres. These include:

  • Lubricants

During production, tyres are released from their mould using a release lubricant. This lubricant will stay in the grooves of the tyres until it wears off through driving. Until this lubricant is completely gone, your tyres will have less traction – increasing braking distances and reducing handling efficiency.

  • Antioxidants

Your tyres may feel slick at first due to the antioxidants that are applied to the tyre during manufacturing. These help the rubber maintain its structure when exposed to different environments such as fluctuating temperatures and oxygen levels.

  • Tread depth

In Australia, new tyres come with a tyre tread depth of 8mm. If you allow your previous tyres to become worn down to the legal minimum (1.5mm), you will certainly feel the difference in your new tyres. Fresh tyres have stiff and deep tread that makes your car feel like there is a large cushion between you and the road. This sometimes results in something called ‘squirm’. Tyre squirm is when you feel excessive movement in your tyres when turning from the increased flexibility caused by fresh rubber and deep tread depth.

How to Drive with New Tyres

New tyres require a small adjustment in driving style until they are worn in. It is prudent to consider the first 250-300km as the ‘breaking-in’ period. During this time, you should take extra care while driving.

Drive gently, braking and accelerating smoothly. After this breaking-in distance, any substances in the tyres should have worn off. The tread depth will also have worn down a fraction. This ‘roughing up’ of new tyres helps them perform at their optimum level, improving traction and the handling of your vehicle.

Tips for Driving with New Tyres

Here are our four top tips to drive safely on new tyres:

  1. Stick to dry roads
  2. Drive at a reasonable speed
  3. Keep a suitable distance from the vehicle in front of you as your braking distances will be further than normal because of the lower initial traction
  4. Avoid accelerating quickly or braking sharply

Summary

Improve the long-term performance of your new tyres by driving smoothly until they are worn in. For the first 250-300km, avoid harsh braking or accelerating and allow the lubricants used in the manufacturing process to wear off.

Once they have been worn in, the new tyre’s tread will be optimised for safe braking and accelerating, and you can return to your normal driving style.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

About the Author

A Professional fighter living and fighting in Thailand for many years retired at 26 yrs old with a massive hand injury which really changed his focus from fighting to training and helping the youth of their local area. After his injury and change of focus, he recently had an interest in Darra Tyres the family business and has decided to dedicate to the growth of Darra for himself and his family. Currently, he is still training kids at Corporate Box twice a week as Darra now has taken priority.

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