Brisbane tyres – 7 symptoms of dangerously worn tyres

Brisbane tyres – Learn when to have your tyres replaced

With every journey you make in and around Brisbane, your tyres suffer wear and tear. Even a trip to take the kids to school or drive round the corner to buy essential supplies from the local store affects your tyres. Even if you religiously follow every one of our 8 top tips to make your tyres last longer, eventually your tyres start losing their tread. When this happens, your drive is a little less comfortable. Worn tyres impact how your car performs, whatever the road conditions, and worst case could be the cause of a fatal accident. Way too late. Brisbane tyres go through extreme weather and tough roads

In this article, you’ll learn how to spot signs your tyres are worn to the point of posing a threat to you, your passengers, and other road users. If you experience any of these symptoms, or notice the tyre wear and tear described, take your car to our Brisbane tyre shop and get your tyres checked out professionally. (Or somewhere closer to you)

Feel and listen for a worsening driving experience

The first signs of wearing tyres are often felt or heard. Most drivers put noise or vibration down to poor road conditions or bad driving surfaces − a common mistake to make on many of Brisbane’s roads. Here are four common driving experiences that many drivers mistake for something other than tyre wear:

1.     More vibration than normal

Some vibration is natural when driving. A car engine is full of moving parts, and movement causes vibration. Of course, vibration is also caused by poorly laid roads. It might also be due to a problem with your suspension (in itself a source of concern, and an issue that will decrease your Brisbane tyre life).

You’ll instinctively know how much vibration is natural when driving and be able to feel when the amount of vibration increases to an abnormal level. If you do feel this, then it may be a sign that your tyres need examining.

Vibration is also one of the ways to tell that it’s time to get your tyres aligned: an issue that can be tested and corrected easily at our Brisbane tyre shop.

2.     A noisier drive than usual

Even though there will always be road noise, there are different sounds that should start to alarm you. I drive with the radio either set low or turned off so that I receive these advance warnings of tyre wear:

  • A continuous buzz or hum is often an indication that the tread has worn unevenly as if it’s been chopped. It is a pretty dangerous tyre problem, often caused by ineffective suspension or poor tyre rotation. Read our tyre blog “Save your life and your money by proper tyre rotation” for more information about the risks of uneven tyre wear and how tyre rotation reduces these risks and helps tyres last longer.
  • If you notice a thumping sound while driving, the likelihood is that you’ve got a bald spot on a tyre. The cause of this is uneven or harsh braking (you may need to adjust your driving style). Bald spots can’t be repaired – get your tyre replaced as soon as possible.

(While I’m discussing tyre noise, if your tyres squeak or screech when you’re turning a corner or driving a bend, it’s most likely that your tyres are underinflated.)

3.     Movement in the steering wheel

Your steering wheel should be solid with little to no lateral movement when you’re driving. If you notice a wobble either in the steering wheel or the car itself (especially when driving in low gears at low speeds), then one or more of your tyres probably needs replacing.

Wobbling and bouncing are commonly caused by an internal tyre problem. You might also notice the tread bubbling. If you feel these symptoms when driving, get down to our tyre shop immediately – it’s a real serious issue, and you need your tyres changed before it’s too late.

4.     Aquaplaning, like you’re water skiing

If you feel like your car isn’t gripping like it should when the roads are wet in Brisbane, you’ve probably got tyres that have worn tread. The wear could be even, but a smoother tyre means more likelihood of aquaplaning: a grave cause for concern in areas that suffer flash floods and slick roads.

In a nutshell, if you’ve lost traction you need new tyres. Now. Today. Tomorrow could be too late.

Look for physical signs of tyre wear

Having covered the symptoms of tyre wear that you’ll feel and hear, let’s turn our attention to the visual signs that your tyres are past their ‘use-by date’:

5.     Can you see the tread indicator bar?

Some while ago, a bright spark at a tyre manufacturer came up with a life-saving idea: put a bar on tyres that makes it easy to see if the tread is worn beyond safety. When your tyres are new, you won’t even see these bars; but when worn you’ll see bars that run perpendicular to the tread. If this is the case, then you need your tyres changed.

You can also use a tyre gauge to measure tread depth, making sure it conforms to Australian tyre tread regulations.

6.     Do you have cracks in the tyre sidewalls?

So far we’ve concentrated on tyre tread, but other problems can occur that are just as dangerous. One of these is cracking on the sidewalls of your tyres. These weaken the structure of a tyre and increase the risk of a blowout. If you notice cracks or cuts on the sidewall of any of your tyres, have the tyre checked.

7.     Is your tyre blistering or bulging?

Time takes its toll on tyres, even if your car isn’t being used. The sun and hot weather, in particular, can weaken tyres, and one of the symptoms of this is blistering or bulging of the tyre. These bulges are natural weak spots, increasing the possibility of a blowout. Don’t take any risks with bulging tyres: get them checked straight away.

Stay tyre safe

Check for stones, nails, oil and fuel residue, and the visible signs of wear, tear and damage that I’ve described above.

In the 1970s, at the height of the Cold War, a lot of governments produced advice about the four-minute warning − that’s the time they guessed people would have to save themselves from a nuclear holocaust. A tyre blowout, loss of control because of aquaplaning, or increased braking distance may not be the nuclear holocaust that we were so sacred about 40 years ago. But for you and your passengers, the result could be just as catastrophic.

Check your tyre and stay tyre safe. It could be the most productive four minutes of your life.

Call us today on (07) 3333 5510, and book an appointment for a tyre check. Our job is to make sure you and your passengers are safe on the roads and help you save money at the same time.


Kevin Wood

About the Author

Kevin has been at the forefront of the tyre industry for over 20 years. Kevin's speciality is in industrial and commercial tyres including the management and upkeep of fleets. Kevin has worked with vehicles his whole career from painting, mechanical, suspension and panel beating he has also spent time in the Australia Army as a driver. He has driven all size of vehicles throughout his career so understands the demands placed on drivers.