What you need to know about tyres
- September 28, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Road Safety
Tyres are black and round and that’s all we need to know, right? WRONG!
We need to know a whole lot more about tyres.
Most people don’t realise that with most vehicles there is only about one handprint of tread connecting your tyres to the road, so that’s about four handprints of tread keeping you safe on the road. So, what do you really need to know about tyres?
Checking your tyres
How often should you check your tyres and what are you looking for? You should check your tyres regularly for wear and damage and also check the pressures. How often should you check pressures? Every time you fill your car with fuel would be ideal as most fuel stations have checking and inflation stations.
Legally in Australia, tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Anything less than 1.6mm is considered unroadworthy and certainly unsafe. It should also be noted that the 1.6mm minimum depth is required across the full face of the tyre.
Tyres showing uneven wear, where just the edges have only the minimum tread depth, can still render the tyre unroadworthy even if there is still good depth across the rest of the tyre. Uneven wear can also be indicative of bad steering alignment which may require attention to extend your tyre life.
Tread depth can be checked using a tread depth gauge which can be purchased from most auto parts stores. It’s a good idea to pick one up and keep it in your car. Most tyre dealers are very happy to inspect your tyres for depth and condition. If you happen upon one that isn’t, then you know where not to buy your tyres. Tread is very important for grip and stopping and general safety on road.
What pressure is in the tyres of the car you are driving now? Are you checking your tyres pressures regularly? Knowing and running the correct tyre pressure in your tyres is very important. So, what is the correct tyre pressure? This information can be found in the car owner’s manual or on a tyre placard attached to the driver’s side “B” pillar (right beside where you sit while driving) or you can speak to your local tyre dealer. If you are talking to your tyre dealer, ask them about running your tyres a little higher than the information provided and see what they say.
Tyres will naturally deflate every day and on some occasions a tyre can lose enough pressure in a month to make a substantial difference to the vehicle’s handling. Keeping your tyre pressures at the correct PSI/KPA will certainly give the vehicle better fuel economy, better stopping capability and better tyre life. Can you remember as a child trying to ride a push bike with low or flat tyres and then how much easier it was to ride after pumping up the tyre? Now liken this to your car.
Car safety and driving safely go hand in hand to ensuring our roads are safer for everyone. If you’re unsure about any aspect of your tyres, speak to your mechanic and they’ll gladly assist!