Spring and summer tyre maintenance tips for Queensland drivers

Stay tyre safe and save money for a season of driving

Spring is here! Great news, but it also means that Queensland’s drivers need to be extra vigilant about their tyres. As we head into summer, the risk of an accident because of faulty tyres and wheels increases. Higher temperatures play havoc with tyres if you don’t maintain them properly. Incorrectly inflated tyres and poorly aligned and balanced wheels are leading factors in road traffic accidents in Queensland.

In this article, you’ll learn about the good tyre check and maintenance habits you should start practising now, so that by the time the wet season arrives, keeping your tyres properly maintained is second nature.

The top seven tyre maintenance safety tips

These seven tyre maintenance habits will help to keep you safe on the roads. They should ensure your drive is more comfortable, reduce your fuel consumption, and help your tyres last longer, too. Sticking to this routine will help the environment, your pocket, and your back!

1.    Check for wear and tear weekly

At least once each week – and preferably before any trip – check your tyres for visible signs of damage. If you notice cracks, cuts, or uneven wear, take your vehicle to a tyre professional to have your tyres and wheels comprehensively assessed. See our article “How do Australia’s drivers know they need new tyres?” for advice on minimum legal treads and the type of wear and tear that is a cause for concern.

2.    Keep your tyres properly inflated

At least once per month, check the inflated tyre pressure of your tyres. Poorly inflated tyres will wear faster. But this is the least of your problems. You will also find that underinflation or overinflation will increase breaking distances, cause handling problems, and increase fuel consumption.

Make sure you check the tyres when they are ‘cold’ – when your vehicle hasn’t been driven for at least two hours and for less than three kilometres. You’ll find the recommended inflation pressure on the tyre placard in the door jamb, or in your owner’s manual.

(Top tip: check your spare tyre each time you check your other tyres.)

3.    Heed the warnings of poorly balanced and misaligned wheels

If you are experiencing vibration on the steering wheel, or your vehicle is ‘pulling’ left or right, it could be that your wheels are poorly balanced or have become misaligned. The cause could be something simple like driving over a pothole or nudging the kerb when parking.

The result of poorly balanced or misaligned wheels is poor handling and decreased safety, as well as uneven and premature tyre wear. It is essential that you take your vehicle to be checked professionally if you notice the symptoms of poor balancing and alignment – neither is self-correcting.

4.    Deal with a slow puncture promptly

It may be tempting to put off dealing with a slow puncture, but it’s not clever. A slow puncture will only get worse if you leave it unattended, and reinflation is only a temporary fix. If you notice one of your tyres is losing its inflation, take your vehicle to your nearest tyre shop. The technicians will be able to locate the problem and advise whether it can be repaired or if you need a new tyre. It could save you money, and will certainly save you aggravation later.

5.    Rotate your tyres

Rotate your tyres every 5,000 kilometres or so. By doing so, you’ll optimise tread wear, helping your tyres last longer. The wear that your tyres do suffer will also be more even, and this will help provide a smoother driving experience.

6.    Never overload your vehicle

If you overload your vehicle, you will increase the wear on your tyres and use more fuel. Handling will be affected adversely, and your braking distance will increase. If you have a heavy load to transport, have a professional with a suitable vehicle to do it for you.

7.    Watch your suspension

If your ride is a little harsher than usual, it could be that your suspension is wearing. If you think the rougher ride is hard on you, spare a thought for your tyres because they will be taking a real beating.

Start spring and summer with good tyres

It’s likely that you’ll be doing more driving during spring and summer than you did during the winter months. Days out with the family, perhaps a road trip to see more of Australia. Don’t put your family’s safety at risk by neglecting your tyres. Make the above seven tyre tips part of your driver routine.

Finally, before the spring really gets underway, if you live in Brisbane, call into Darra Tyres. We’ll check your tyres and make certain that they are fit for the season ahead.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


How do you know how old your tyres are and if they need changing?

Is it time for new tyres?

I’ve had a question sent into us, asking “How do you know how old your tyres are?”

The questioner isn’t sure about the age of his tyres and is concerned in case they should be changed. There’s no real wear and tear on them – no bubbling, chipping, or other sidewall damages – nor are there any other signs that the tyres need changing, as we explain in our article “How do Australia’s drivers know they need new tyres?” However, the questioner knows that manufacturers recommend changing tyres every five years, regardless of wear – but he bought the car second-hand a couple of years ago, and isn’t sure how old the tyres are.

In this article, you’ll learn how to tell the age of your tyres. This one piece of knowledge could help save your life, and it could help you drive a better bargain when buying a second-hand vehicle – if the tyres need changing because of their age, you could negotiate a fair few dollars’ discounts.

Why should you buy new tyres every five years?

The older a tyre is, the less safe it is. This is irrespective of use or wear and tear. This rule also applies to your spare tyre. As tyres age, they become age-damaged – even in storage! Often, the damage caused by ageing will show as small cracks in the rubber, which is oxidised by the UV rays in the sun.

Tyres contain anti-ageing waxes which slow down the effect of ageing, but these are only released when the tyre is in motion. Thus, tyres stored poorly – and your spare – may age faster than the tyres on your wheels.

Ageing tyres are more likely to puncture or suffer a blow-out at speed. Older vehicles that have a low mileage are more likely to have prematurely aged tyres. If you are not sure about the condition of your tyres, please do get them checked by a professional. Just because they have plenty of tread left, they may not be safe for driving.

Manufacturers mostly recommend that you renew your tyres every five or six years if you haven’t done so sooner. This isn’t an exact science. Your tyre specialist will be able to tell you if they are good for another few months or more.

How do you tell the age of a tyre?

If you buy a used vehicle, the chances are that it won’t come with a set of new tyres. It’s also unlikely that the seller will know or remember when the existing tyres were purchased – and even then, it is the year of manufacture that’s important.

Fortunately, all tyres are marked with the month and year of manufacture. If you look around the sidewall, you’ll come across a four-digit number in an oval border. This tells you the week and year of manufacture. For example, if the number is 1116:

  • The first two digits are the week (e.g. 11 means the 11th week)
  • The second two digits are the year (e.g. 16 mean 2016)
  • Therefore, this tyre was manufactured in the 11th week of 2016

Some tyres only have a three-digit number. These were made before 2000. They should be changed immediately.

If you are buying a used vehicle, always check the date of manufacture of the tyres. The older they are, the more likely they are to need replacing, and this is a bargaining chip in price negotiation.

Help your tyres last longer

Though they are a valuable investment in your safety and driving experience, whatever your vehicle, tyres are not a cheap purchase. The longer you can help them last, the more value you will get from every dollar you spend on new tyres. These five quick tips will help your tyres last longer:

  1. Keep them out of direct sunlight.
  2. If they are on stationary vehicles, move the vehicle backwards and forward every week to help prevent flat spots.
  3. Avoid parking on or driving through grease, oil, petrol or diesel. Always clean them if this happens.
  4. Don’t brake hard, especially into and through corners.
  5. Keep them inflated to the correct pressure, and avoid ‘kerbing’.

In summary

Aged tyres are more at risk of failure, and it is recommended that you change them every five to six years. You’ll find the year of manufacture of your tyre embossed as a four-digit number on the tyre’s sidewall. If your tyre is approaching five years old, take it to your nearest tyre specialist to have it checked. A five-minute check could save your life.

If you live in Brisbane, don’t hesitate to call into Darra Tyres. We’re here to answer your questions and keep you safe.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


Intelligent fleets will use intelligent tyres in the future, says Goodyear

Intelligent tyres are nearer to being standard than many think

Goodyear is anticipating big changes in the fleet tyre market in Australia. It believes that fleets will use intelligent tyres commonly in the near future, especially as the move toward car sharing and autonomous vehicles gathers pace. Is Goodyear right?

The role of tyres is changing

A few weeks ago, we published an article that discussed how fleet tyre management is set to move to autopilot. Goodyear had just shown its concept tyre, the Oxygene, at the Geneva Motor Show. Although Goodyear cannot be certain of when such tyres will be commercialised, it seems that Goodyear is planning for sooner rather than later.

At the nationwide launch of its Assurance TripleMax 2 tyre in Victoria, Raelene Smith, head of shopper merchandise and market insights at Goodyear and Dunlop Tyres, said “We’re seeing new technology in cars today. We’re seeing people with self-driving fleets always looking at autonomous vehicles and how they work. So, we envisage that, at some stage, the role of tyres will change.

The new role of fleet tyres

Fleet tyres – and those on car shares – have a very different role to play. Their job will be to optimise longevity and safety.

A vehicle which is shared between multiple drivers is unlikely to receive the attention of a personal vehicle. The last thing people are likely to check will be the tyres. It’s not their vehicle, and, even though from a safety aspect you should check your tyres before setting out, people without a real vested interest are unlikely to do so.

Therefore, from the point of view of safety and optimising tyre life, fleet tyres will need to be ‘intelligent’.

What are intelligent tyres?

Intelligent tyres collect information through sensors in the tyre and then provide this information to you. This information could tell you about tyre and tread wear, load and temperature, as well as tyre pressure. This information is then used to optimise performance.

The sensors can also relay information about road conditions, too, enabling fleet vehicles to ‘talk’ to each other, and helping fleets manage routes more effectively.

As well as increasing tyre life, this technology should help to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

To recap, the benefits include:

  • Longer tyre life
  • Greater safety on the road because of better information about road and tyre conditions
  • Better fuel consumption and lower fuel costs

Little wonder that the intelligent tyre sales are expected to hit more than 400 million by 2026.

When will intelligent tyres become mainstream?

The new technology available in new vehicles today is bringing intelligent tyres closer, faster. Autonomous fleets are approaching, and the role of tyres will change.

Goodyear has partnered with Tesla to work on improvements. It has also rolled out a ride-sharing service with intelligent tyres to optimise fleet performance in the United States. These are early-stage developments leading to greater access to intelligent tyres as the first choice.

When I think of how fast these tyres may become mainstream, it makes me look back at the replacement of leaded fuel with unleaded; slow to start, but as more cars were built to run on unleaded, the new fuel snowballed. In a few years, as intelligent tyres become the norm on new cars, you’ll need to replace today’s common tyres with intelligent tyres.

The next big move in vehicles is already happening: electric. My guess is that by the time the electric car is mainstream, intelligent tyres will already be fitted as standard on most new vehicles.

Meanwhile, for an intelligent tyre fitting service in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


Read this warning before you go large on new tyres

New tyre tips to stay legal when you modify your vehicle

In my last article, “Should you check your speedo when you fit new tyres?”, I explained how fitting the wrong-sized new tyres on your vehicle could lead you to break the speed limit even though your speedometer tells you otherwise. This isn’t the only problem you may have if you want to supersize your tyres.

Why you might want larger tyres

If you want extra power, there are many things you can do to your vehicle. You might decide to refit the engine and have it tuned especially for the job your vehicle needs to do. You might fit a supercharger, upgrade the suspension, or replace the turbo.

None of these upgrades will help your vehicles grip on the road. All the power in the world will add up to nothing if you can’t get traction. So, naturally, you’ll look to new tyres. Bigger is better, right? Especially when it comes to grip on the road. A tyre with a wider diameter will give you that grip. It could also void your insurance.

Stay legal with larger tyres

Whatever new tyres you have fitted, they must comply with the law. If you are modifying your vehicle in any way, you must do so in line with the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (NCOP) Vehicle Standards. Regarding new tyres, this code is clear that:

  • New tyres fitted to 4WD passenger vehicles must not be more than 50mm wider in diameter than the tyre size designated by the vehicle’s manufacturer
  • New tyres fitted to off-road passenger vehicles must not be more than 50% wider than the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended widest tyre

You’ll find the manufacturer’s recommendations on the tyre placard on the door jamb, or in the owner’s manual.

Whatever modification you make, you must also ensure that no part of the wheel or tyre touches:

  • Any part of the body of the vehicle
  • The chassis
  • The steering mechanisms
  • The braking system
  • The suspension

Also, when aligned straight, the wheels must be housed within the bodywork – they cannot stick out from the side of your vehicle.

Modify your vehicle legally

If you are modifying your vehicle, and there are many reasons why you might wish to do so, the chances are that you’ll need to consider what to do with your wheels and which new tyres to fit.

A larger-diameter tyre will improve clearance if you do a lot of off-road driving. Increasing the diameter of your tyre will give you the added traction you need to benefit from increased power and retain safe braking distances.

However, by modifying your wheels incorrectly you run the risk of the modification being illegal. If you get into an accident and this is the case, your insurance will be void. You could find yourself with a huge cost to pay.

Modifying your vehicle and fitting new tyres without the technical know-how and legal knowledge is not a smart thing to do. Instead, bring your vehicle into our tyre shop in Darra. We’ll help you decide on the best modification and the best tyres to get the most from your vehicle while staying legal and ensuring your insurance covers what you believe it does.

For a professional and personal tyre service that you can trust, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


Should you check your speedo when you fit new tyres?

The wrong-sized tyres could land you with a speeding fine

The Head of Engineering at the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) has recently warned motorists that if they have new tyres fitted, they may need to consider having the speedometer checked. If you have new tyres fitted, you could drive faster than the speed limit without realising it. I know this sounds strange, but let me explain.

Why you may drive faster on larger tyres

If you have new tyres fitted that are larger than recommended by the car manufacturer, it could mean that your speedometer doesn’t show the real speed at which you are driving. You may think you’re travelling at 60 kph, but you could be moving at nearer 70 kph or faster.

This is because larger tyres move relatively faster than smaller tyres. One revolution of the axle will turn your tyres one revolution. A larger tyre may be, say, 115 cm in circumference, compared to a smaller tyre with a circumference of, say, 100 cm. Though your axle is rotating at the same speed, the larger tyre will move you a greater distance – an extra 15 cm per revolution.

When it is manufactured, a vehicle’s speedometer is calibrated to record the speed based upon the manufacturer’s recommended tyre size. In our example, it records one revolution of the axle as 100 cm. If you are driving with larger tyres, your vehicle records the same speed even though you are moving a greater distance.

So, in our example, you may think you are travelling at 60 kph, but because your tyres are 15% larger, you will be travelling at 69 kph.

How to avoid breaking the speed limit because of new tyres

Australian law says that the speedometer should be calibrated on the safe side. This should be around 10% to 15% faster than your actual speed. In other words, the speed that your speedometer tells you that you are travelling at will be faster than your actual speed. You believe you are travelling at, say, 110 kph and your actual speed is likely to be 100 kph.

So, how do you make sure that your speed is not faster than it should be?

When you have new tyres fitted, the technician should refer to the tyre placard found on your door jamb. This tells us what size tyres match the vehicle. Providing the tyres fitted are the right size as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, then you should not get a misreading on your speedometer. With the right tyre size fitted, if your speedometer tells you are driving within the speed limit, then you should be fine.

Don’t rely on your Sat Nav to tell you the correct speed

I love the Sat Nav, but I would never rely on it to tell me how fast I’m travelling. It may give a good indication, but it is not calibrated to your vehicle or its tyres.

How do you know you need your speedo recalibrated?

Providing you always fit the correct size tyres, your speedometer should retain its accuracy. But, like all mechanical equipment, they do go wrong sometimes. There are two tell-tale signs that you may either be driving on the wrong-sized tyres or that you need your speedo checked for accuracy:

  • Your speedometer and Sat Nav show wildly different speeds of 20% or more discrepancy
  • Other vehicles are travelling either faster or slower, despite your speedo showing you are driving at the speed limit

If you notice either of these two things happening, take your vehicle to your nearest tyre fitter immediately. They will be able to check that your tyres are the correct size for your vehicle, and advise on whether speedometer calibration is needed.

Finally, always make sure that you use a reputable tyre service and that the technician changing your tyres checks the tyre details on the tyre placard.

For a tyre service, you can trust in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


Are these the best new tyres available in Brisbane today?

High-performance tyres for all driving needs

In the last few weeks, two new-generation tyres have been introduced into the Australian market. Both offer the advances in tyre technology that should help you drive more safely, on tyres that last longer and give better fuel consumption. Here we introduce you to Bridgestone’s Potenza S007A and the Primacy 4 from Michelin – tyres we think that Brisbane’s motorists are going to love.

Is this the ultimate high-performance tyre for high-performance cars?

It took three years for Bridgestone to develop. It includes rounded tread blocks, wide ribs, and an evolutionary construction to increase durability. The Potenza S007A is a special tyre.

3D ‘M’-shaped sipes give the tread blocks extra reinforcement, and with three extra-wide ribs, you’ll find that you benefit from better contact with the road, which, in turn, ensures that tread wear is uniform – thus aiding tyre life as well as handling.

The round tread blocks help to expel water more quickly on wet roads, providing extra grip. With a stiffened central rib, your driving should benefit from better stability and more control through corners. On some sizes, the S007A’s sidewalls are stiffened further with a Kevlar flipper, helping to provide extra grip when it is needed most: at higher speeds.

We predict that the S007A from Bridgestone is likely to become a favourite of drivers of high-performance cars.

A safer tyre, even when worn

Released on 1st August and available in sizes from 15-inch to 19-inch diameter, Michelin’s new Primacy 4 tyre is sold under the tyre manufacturer’s concept of ‘Safe when new, safe when worn’. It’s the latest in the Primacy range, and tests have shown that the tyre performs exceptionally well even when worn. You’ll find a quieter and more comfortable driving experience, with better braking distances and more certain handling.

The improved handling is thanks to Michelin’s EverGrip™ technology. Combined with a new rubber compound, energy is released faster, and water is evacuated quicker, improving grip on wet roads throughout the tyre’s lifecycle.

You’ll find that road noise is reduced, too, thanks to the Silent Rib technology that also helps provide better shock absorption on bumpy roads.

Tested by TUV Rheinland Thailand Limited, a leading independent company specialising in testing, inspection and certification services, the Primacy 4 tyre outperforms other premium tyres on wet roads, braking in a distance of 5.1 metres less when the tread is worn down to 2mm.

Grip, safety, handling, noise, fuel consumption and tyre life are important factors when you are buying new tyres. These new tyres from Michelin and Bridgestone deliver on all fronts.

Whatever your vehicle, whatever your driving style, and wherever you drive, in Brisbane you’ll find Darra Tyres has the perfect match for you and your budget.

For a professional and personal mobile tyre service that you can trust, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


The mobile tyre service trusted by businesses in Brisbane

Five benefits of using our mobile tyre service for your commercial and industrial business

More businesses are taking advantage of our fleet and business services in Brisbane. Probably because we’re flexible to your needs, ensuring you maximise kilometres from your fleet while maintaining your legal and regulatory requirements.

Our mobile tyre services for commercial and industrial clients is second to none. When you call Darra Tyres, you benefit from the services of a fully trained, experienced professional. They’ll bring all the tools and equipment needed, without you needing to come to our tyre shop. Want to know why so many businesses use the Darra Tyres Mobile Tyre Service?

Here are five major benefits that our mobile tyre service brings to your business and your employees:

1.    Convenience

A damaged or punctured tyre requires repair or replacement. The longer this takes to get done, the more it will cost you. A vehicle out of action is a waste of resources and manpower.

It may not be convenient to bring your vehicle or wheel into our tyre shop. No matter. Our fleet and business mobile tyre services come to you, whether your vehicle is at the side of the road or at your business premises. You can get on with other productive work, while our trained tyre technician carries out the maintenance that is necessary to get you moving again. That’s real convenience at your fingertips.

2.    Speed

One of your fleets suffers a blowout or tyre damage while on the road. It’s rush hour. Is changing a tyre really what you want your top salesperson to do, before that appointment with your top client? Does your truck driver have the necessary tools and skills to change a blown-out tyre at the side of the road?

Our mobile tyre service is here to help, with a fast and effective solution. We’re available around the clock in the Brisbane area, ensuring a fast response.

3.    Safety

If a driver notices damage to a tyre when he inspects after a pit stop, continuing to drive on it is likely to put them and other road users in danger. Instead of hoping for the best, it’s best to be safe.

Our mobile tyre service will come to you, bringing all the right equipment, tyres, and tubes to get you back on the road as soon as possible. Expert tyre maintenance equals better safety.

4.    Expertise

Between us, we have more than 100 years of tyre fitting, repair, and maintenance expertise, across every type of tyre you can name. We can provide tyres from almost every single manufacturer, and you can be certain of a fast, effective, and efficient service – every time you call us.

5.    Value

While there is a callout charge, when you think of the convenience, the speed of our response and extra safety, you probably already understand that this represents excellent value for money. Don’t forget, too, that you won’t use your time to bring a tyre or vehicle into our tyre shop. And you won’t spend money on the fuel to get here.

Our mobile tyre service allows you to continue to do something productive while saving you transport costs and ensuring you receive the professional service of an expert tyre technician.

If you don’t have the time to get to our tyre shop or your vehicle is stuck at the depot, on the roadside, or at a client’s premises, call Darra Tyres. We’ll supply all your wheels and tyres, fit them, repair them, and make sure you get back on the road as soon as possible.

For a professional and personal mobile tyre service that you can trust, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


Death by truck tyre – why Brisbane firms should use tyre specialists

Keep your workers safe and your firm financially fit

If there is one thing that Brisbane businesses must do, it is to keep their workers safe. It’s not only the law, it’s good business practice. Ensuring you use tyre specialists to fix and fit tyres to your trucks is a good move. It could save you tens of thousands in fines and injury compensation claims, and your people will thank you for keeping them safe.

Wheels and tyres – an explosive combination in the wrong hands

They may appear to be inert, inanimate objects, but in the wrong hands, tyres and wheel rims can morph into highly explosive devices. Between 2012 and 2017, there were 17 cases of tyre and rim explosions reported to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. Eight of these led to hospitalisation. One caused a death.

It’s clear that such accidents can cause a loss of productivity. They can reduce morale in the workplace and workers’ confidence in management. They can drastically alter lives, working relationships, and family bonds. They can ruin reputations and cost a small fortune in compensation and fines.

How much could poor tyre maintenance cost you in Queensland?

Between 2012 and 2017, there were five companies prosecuted for such tyre maintenance accidents. There were also 21 compensation claims paid to workers for tyre explosions. The law says that a company can be fined as much as $10 million for such an offence. Individuals can be jailed for up to 20 years. And the courts are getting tougher. Fines are increasing:

  • In 2008, a worker was left with a fractured jaw and lacerations when a tyre exploded while being inflated. The company was fined $8,000.
  • In 2007, a company was fined $50,000 when a worker was struck by an exploding wheel and tyre that he was working on. The worker was killed.
  • In 2012, a tyre exploded and left a worker with a broken nose, thumb and arm. The worker also required surgery for lacerations. The company was fined $50,000.
  • In 2014, two workers were injured while fitting and inflating a tyre on a truck. The rim was damaged, and this helped cause the tyre to explode. The company chose to avoid prosecution by entering into an enforceable undertaking with a minimum payment of more than $207,000.

The trajectory of fines and payments shows that it probably won’t be long before a company that is found negligent in its tyre maintenance procedures is fined a million dollars and more.

How do you prevent tyre maintenance accidents?

Because truck tyres are bigger than other tyres, the danger of them exploding is magnified. In October last year, a worker was killed when he was trying to weld a leak in it while it was still pressurised. The tyre exploded, killed him instantly, and burst through the roof before it landed 23 metres away. Here are some tips to make sure you avoid a similar accident:

  • Never work on a wheel with a pressurised tyre mounted on it.
  • Always remove a tyre from the rim if you are working on the rim.
  • Among specific rules and regulations, you must ensure that:
    • A safe working system is in place
    • The wheel is properly inspected for damage and wear and tear before fitting tyres
    • Tyres are properly inspected for defects
    • You have identified potential tyre explosion trajectory zones, and these are kept clear while tyres and wheels are being worked on
    • The air hose is long enough to allow workers to remain outside of this exclusion zone
    • A remote dump valve is fitted to allow rapid deflation in an emergency
  • Ensure the wheel is adequately secured before inflating. Use of a tyre cage will prevent the tyre from being ejected, should it explode.

The most important piece of advice we can give, and which is also a point of health and safety law in Queensland, is that workers must be trained and competent to work on wheels and tyres.

For a professional and personal tyre service that you can trust, that will ensure you comply with Health and Safety regulations, keep your workers safe, and help your bottom line numbers, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


How to remove Queensland’s road tar from your tyres

Seven steps to clean your tyres and stay safe when the roads are melting

It was a catastrophe and one that I cannot remember witnessing before in Queensland. Sure, melting tar sometimes sticks to tyres and needs to be removed. But a whole road melting and causing drivers to abandon their cars?

That was the scene in the Atherton Tablelands, south of Cairns, one day at the beginning of July. The road had recently been resealed. Then the weather turned from cool to hot. The tar melted rapidly, and as many as 50 vehicles had their tyres coated in tar. It was so thick and sticky, the drivers were forced to leave their cars on the road.

Hopefully, this will never happen to you. But if you do drive on a road where the bitumen is sticky, you could find that your tyres are wearing a coat of tar. They will pick up gravel and other debris from the roads. The combination of tar and gravel will make your ride less comfortable, increase braking distances, and erode the rubber on your tyres – and could cause other damage to your vehicle, too, as gravel flies off when you drive.

If you find tar on your tyres, it’s best to clean it off immediately. This seven-step process is the way to go. It will help keep you safe on the road and save you money as your tyres last longer.

Get your tar removal kit ready

To get started, you need a few household items and a couple of other specialist products:

  • Detergent
  • Tar-removing product (such as Ta Ta Tar)
  • Water-dispersing products (e.g. WD-40)
  • Linseed oil
  • Water
  • Plastic knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Scrubbing brush

Step 1:

Use the plastic knife and screwdriver to carefully scrape away the worst of the tar, taking care not to puncture or pierce the tyre.

Step 2:

Now, using a large amount of detergent, scrub the tyre with the scrubbing brush. Be prepared for some hard graft – as well as a liberal quantity of detergent, you’ll also need a good supply of elbow grease. Your objective is to remove as much of the tar, gravel and other debris from the tyre as possible.

Step 3:

Now for the linseed oil. Spread it onto the tyre, and let it bleed into the remaining tar for around 30 minutes.

Step 4:

Use the plastic knife to scrape away more of the tar, which will have been softened by the linseed oil.

Step 5:

If you haven’t removed all the tar, use a tar remover like Ta Ta Tar. You could also use WD-40, which will also dissolve tar. Refer to the product’s usage directions for how long you should leave the product in contact with the tyre. If you need to repeat the process, leave it a few minutes between cleans. Be prepared to use a lot more elbow grease – and be patient.

Step 6:

When you have removed all the tar, wash your tyre with a water and detergent mix, scrubbing away any residue of tar and cleaning products.

Step 7:

Inspect your tyre for damage, using our easy way to check your tyre tread and stay safe. If you discover damage to the sidewall or tread, take your vehicle to a reputable tyre shop and get a professional opinion.
Cleaning tar off your tyres is an essential maintenance job. Once it’s done, you must check for damage to the tyres. Don’t take any chances. Bring your vehicle into Darra Tyres, here in West Brisbane, if you are in any doubt about whether your tyres are safe to drive on. It really isn’t worth the risk. For a professional and personal tyre service that you can trust, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood


Tips to make your 4WD tyres last longer in Queensland

Cut your 4WD tyre costs

Whether you drive your 4WD vehicle mostly on tarmac or mainly off-road, a major cost will be its tyres. So, you’ll want to make them last as long as possible. Here are our top tips to make your 4WD tyres last longer. Follow these, and whatever your driving style you will get thousands of extra kilometres from each tyre. That’s real money in your pocket.

4WD tyre tip #1: Fit the correct tyre

This is the most important tip of them all, and one that holds true for all vehicle types. Think about your style of driving, and where you do most of your driving. Mud terrain tyres will wear quickly if they are used constantly on the tarmac. Highway terrain tyres are likely to blow if you spend all your time travelling in the outback.

Speak to your tyre supplier, discuss where and how you drive and take their advice on the type of tyre to buy. You’ll benefit from a more comfortable drive, better fuel consumption, and lower tyre costs in the long run. Read our article Which 4WD tyres are best in Brisbane? for more info.

4WD tyre tip #2: Keep them at the right pressure

Make sure you check your tyre pressures regularly. Changing temperatures will mean you need to inflate or deflate, and if you’re carrying a heavy load you should pay extra attention. Driving with incorrectly inflated tyres affects your safety, fuel consumption, and tyre life.

Always run your tyres at the pressure as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer – you’ll find this on the tyre placard, which is usually on the driver’s door pillar.

4WD tyre tip #3: Rotate regularly

Tyres wear at different speeds, depending on where they are on the car. They also wear differently. Front left tyres to wear more on the inside shoulder than front right tyres, for example. To combat this, rotate your tyres regularly – side to side and front to rear. Every 5,000 to 10,000 kilometres is a good guide.

4WD tyre tip #4: Align those wheels!

4WD vehicles are notorious for having their wheels knocked out of alignment. This may be because of the rough terrain on which they are driven, or because they are bumped against kerbs. Bring your vehicle into our tyre shop in Darra and have your wheels aligned. You’ll get a better ride, your vehicle will stop pulling to one side, and your tyres will last longer.

4WD tyre tip #5: Be extra vigilant on road trips

When you’re on a road trip, and especially if you’re travelling off-road, treat your tyres with extra care. Check your tyres every morning. Make sure they haven’t been damaged, and that the tyre pressure is correct.

For a professional and personal tyre service that you can trust, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safe,

Kevin Wood

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