Looking After Your Tyres
There are ways you can look after your tyres to maintain their lifespan helping you save money on replacement tyres.
Taking good car of your tyres and making sure they are replaced when necessary is one of the most important maintenance tasks you can do for your car, but also one of the easiest.
Healthy tyres are critical to the overall performance of your vehicle, they are the only piece of your car which is in constant contact with the road and they affect your ability to brake, corner and accelerate safely. A balding tyre will add up to 10 metres of extra stopping distance in wet conditions, and low tyre pressure can increase the amount of petrol you use by up to 3%.
A regular inspection of your tyres is one of the best ways to keep your vehicle, and your family, safe on the roads. The cost of tyres makes them a major investment and good maintenance will extend their life and save you money. There are three main things to check when it comes to tyres:
Tyre damage and irregular wearing.
Check Your Tyre Inflation Pressure
Check your tyre pressure weekly and always check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cool (not after a long drive) and adjust it accordingly. Tyres which are under inflated increase the risk of blowouts due to heat stress and can increase your petrol costs by up to 3%. Tyres which are over inflated also wear unevenly and have higher safety risks, and so, it's important to make sure your tyres are at the recommended pressure. To find out the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle - check the tyre placard located in your glove box or on the driver's door pillar. Driving on tyres which are not at the correct pressure will reduce the life of your tyres and cost you more in the long run.
Check for Tyre Damage or Irregular Wearing
Regularly making a visual inspection of your tyres is very important to save you money and keep you safe. Blowouts and loss of control due to damaged tyres cause a large percentage of road accidents in Australia every year. Look for any bulges, cracks or cuts in the tyre and if found, have the damage inspected by the professionals at The Engine Bay to get the best advice on whether the tyre should be removed from service. Irregular wear patterns, such as feathered edges, wear on one side or only in the middle of the tyre can be signs that your vehicles steering, suspension or wheel alignment need adjustment. As well as compromising your safety – these issues will reduce the life of your tyres and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Check Your Tyre Tread Depth
In Australia the minimum legal tread depth for tyres is 1.6mm. However anything under 3mm can seriously affect your stopping distance and the overall handling of your vehicle, especially in wet conditions, which is why it is recommended to replace your tyres at 3mm tread depth or less.
Worn out tyre treads can cause dangerous hydroplaning at speeds as low as 35kmh, which means your tyres are no longer in proper contact with the road but rather ‘skating’ on top of the water which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Tyres have special tread wear indicators which are raised bars in the main grooves of the tread. These bars or TWI become level with the rest of the tread pattern when the tyre tread depth has reached the minimum of 1.6mm. TWI’s are good for regular visual checks but the best way to measure the tread on your tyres is to use a dedicated tread gauge. You should always check each of the main grooves, in at least two spots and check all four tyres.
If you have any doubts about the safety of your tyres please don’t hesitate to come and see us for a bit of advice.
We provide a 65 Point Vehicle Inspection report with every full car service here at Temby Auto Service, which includes a check of all five tyres (including your spare) and we will certainly advise you of any issues we feel could be affecting your safety or that could extend your existing tyre life.