Wouldn’t it be great if putting on a new set of tyres was something you could just ‘fit and forget’?
Unfortunately, like many things in life, it’s usually not that simple! While choosing good quality tyres that are the right size and type for your vehicle is a vital first step – keeping a close eye on their condition throughout their lifespan is just as essential. From potholes, nails and other unexpected obstacles in the road to uneven tread wear occurring due to certain driving styles, and even daily wear and tear — tyres can encounter numerous situations that affect their condition and how they age.
So, to help you keep safe on the road and your tyres in tip-top condition, here are a few regular checks you should remember to do:
Is the pressure correct?
Having your tyre inflated to the correct level is a “101” of tyre safety. This check should be done regularly and always before a long trip. Pressure that is too low or too high can affect the tyre’s grip and contact with the road, which can impact on your ability to control the vehicle safely. Correct pressures will also help you achieve more even treadwear, improved fuel economy and give your tyres a longer lifespan. The recommended pressure for your tyres is usually found on the inside of the driver’s door or in your vehicle owner’s manual.
How is the tread wearing?
Heavily worn or uneven tread can also impact on your tyre’s ability to grip the road. In Australia, the minimum legal requirement for roadworthiness of passenger vehicles is 1.5 mm, however it is recommended you have at least 3mm tread on your tyres. You can use the tread indicators (small rubber blocks at intervals across your tyres), to do regular checks yourself. When the blocks are level with the rest of the tyre, your tyres will need to be replaced.
Are there any cuts or embedded objects?
Quickly noticing any cuts and damage or sharp objects (such as nails) which may be embedded in the rubber, will help ensure you don’t cause further damage by continuing to drive on a damaged tyre – not to mention the inconvenience and expense of having a flat!
How is their overall condition?
Giving your tyres a quick check-over regularly is a great habit to get into! Not only will it help you realise more quickly if anything doesn’t look quite right – but you’ll also be able to do something about it or get some advice from a tyre expert before it becomes a bigger problem! And lastly, keeping an eye on the condition of your tyres is not only important for the safety and performance of your vehicle, and can also have a great effect on your fuel economy and save you money.