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Category Archives for "New Tyres"

Checking Tyres

Is Now the Time to Check Your Tyres?

What Is at Stake if Your Tyres Remain Unchecked?

A tyre check is easy to do. It takes no more than five minutes and ensures that your tyres are running at the right tyre pressure, that your tyre tread depth is legal, and that there is no damage that could make it unsafe to drive. Yet a tyre check is the most neglected of all vehicle maintenance routines.

Neglect to Check Your Tyres and You Ignore Your Safety

New tyres have around 8mm or more of tread depth. While the legal limit is a minimum of 1.5mm tread depth, we recommend that you don’t go below 3mm.

If you let your tread depth reduce to 1.5mm, braking distance can be as much as 50% more in wet weather than it would be with a tread depth of 3mm. That could be the difference between life and death – of you, your passengers, other road users and pedestrians.

It’s not only tread depth that compromises safety on the roads when you are driving. Bulges grazes, cuts and embedded items all affect the quality of a tyre. A damaged tyre is more likely to leak air, and it is more likely to suffer a tyre blowout – at high speed, a tyre blowout could be fatal.

Do you know what condition the tyres you are driving on are in? When was the last time you checked your tyre pressure? When did you last check your tyres for bulges on the inside and outside sidewalls?

Now Is the Time to Check Your Tyres

The condition of your tyres could change after only a few miles of driving. Embedded glass could put you in danger on your next trip. Yet most drivers never check their tyres, until they feel that their ride is a little bumpier than it used to be, or that the handling is not as sharp as it once was.

By this time, it may be too late. The chances are you’ll still put off that simple, five-minute check because you have ‘more urgent things to do’.

After a while, you become used to the longer braking distances and the worsening handling round corners. Until that one time your mind is elsewhere, and you drive the car like you used to when your tyres were in good condition. Like you should always be able to.

Then you lose your grip on a bend. You drive a little too fast, and brake a little too late. The only question to answer now is, will the blood on the road be yours or someone else’s?

If there is a golden rule you should remember it is this: now is always the time to check your tyres.

Let a Professional Check Your Tyres

While a tyre check is simple, the basic five-minute check may still miss technical problems with your tyres. Internal damage or degradation, for example. That’s why you should also consider a regular tyre check made by a professional. Specialists know all the danger signs, and they will recommend action that you can take to help your tyres last longer – such as tyre rotation, for example.

What if You Need New Tyres?

If you check your tyres and find that one or more have shallow tread or damage, don’t risk your life by continuing to drive on it. Replace that damaged tyre immediately.

You might be tempted to buy part-worn tyres to save money. But part-worn tyres are a dangerous, false economy because they are:

  • Older, and may be degraded by age
  • Will have suffered wear and tear, with damage to sidewalls or internally
  • Have shallow and inconsistent tread depths, affecting grip, handling and braking distance

Premium tyres are the best option. They could save you money on fuel, benefit from shorter braking distances, offer a safer, quieter drive, and last longer.

However, not all drivers have deep enough pockets to buy premium tyres. Which is why we also stock good-quality, affordable tyres.

If you have checked your tyres and found they need replacing, do so. Don’t leave it. You are only risking the safety of everyone on the road, and everyone in your vehicle. And when you do replace your tyres, you should always invest in the best tyres in your budget.

Please check your tyres now. If you don’t, you are taking a risk with everyone’s safety when you drive. One death on the road is one death too many. If you are in any doubt about the condition of your tyres and live in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres. We’ll discuss your needs, consider your vehicle and driving style, and make sure you invest in the best tyres in your price range.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

High Performance Tyres

Should I Buy High-Performance Tyres?

Is the Expense Value for Money?

High-performance tyres are made from softer rubber compounds than other tyres. They have been designed to provide extra ride comfort and greater handling capability at higher speeds. They benefit from innovative treads that are designed to increase grip on the road and when cornering.

Are High-Performance Tyres Right for You?

When you need to change tyres, you should buy tyres that match your driving style, your vehicle, and the roads or other surfaces on which you drive. You might be tempted to opt for high-performance tyres – especially if you do a lot of highway driving at speed.

If you watch Formula 1, you will have seen how high-performance tyres give extra grip. The softer compound makes the car stick to the track. The driver gets round the track negotiating bends and corners at high speed. However, during a race lasting a couple of hours or less they may get through two or three sets of tyres.

If you buy high-performance tyres, they will last much longer than those used in Formula 1. You won’t be melting rubber at such high speeds, and the rubber compound used on commercial high-performance tyres is not nearly as soft as that used on Formula 1 tyres.

If you want better handling, more grip and improved braking power, then high-performance tyres might be right for you. Before you make this decision, though, read the rest of this article.

What Vehicle Do You Drive?

As you might expect, if you drive a high-performance car you’ll probably benefit more from high-performance tyres. However, performance tyres are becoming more popular among drivers of other car types because of the advantages they offer – manufacturers are now producing performance tyres for smaller cars.

The Disadvantages of High-Performance Tyres

Before you rush to buy high-performance tyres, it pays to be armed with all the facts. While you will benefit from the improved grip, better handling and shorter breaking distances, there are some disadvantages, too. These include:

  • Performance tyres are more expensive

Like all tyres, the bigger the tyre you need the higher the price you’ll pay. You’ll also pay a premium for how high-performance the tyre is. A small high-performance tyre might cost around $130. A high-performance tyre that you could use on a racetrack might set you back as much as $2,000.

Generally, you should expect to pay around $230 for a high-performance tyre for a 15-inch wheel.

  • You’ll use more fuel

Better handling and greater grip come at a price on top of the tyre’s cost. That price is lower fuel economy. Your vehicle must work harder to combat the traction on the road, and that means using more fuel.

  • Shorter tyre life

The softer rubber compound wears quicker, and this means your high-performance tyres won’t last as long other tyre options. You’ll be paying more for a set of new tyres sooner.

Summing Up

High-performance tyres should help you stay safer on the road. You’ll benefit from better handling and surer braking. However, your initial outlay will be greater and there is a compromise between grip and fuel consumption. You are also likely to need to change your tyres sooner.

Before making your decision, contact Darra Tyres in Brisbane. We’ll discuss your needs, consider your vehicle and driving style, and make sure you invest in the best tyres in your price range.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Heavy Vehicle Tyres

The 14 Reasons Why Your Heavy Vehicle Tyre Is Dangerous

Ensure Your Vehicle Is Safe and Legal on Australia’s Roads

The tyre inspection is one of the most important jobs that a driver, operator or inspector does. If your heavy vehicle’s tyres are below the required standard, you are putting yourself and other road users at risk. How do you know what the tyre standards are for heavy vehicles? Do your drivers know the 14 reasons to reject a tyre?

National Standards for Heavy Vehicle Tyres

Since February 2014, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has been Australia’s independent regulator for all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM). Its job is to ensure that heavy vehicles are safe and efficient on Australia’s road network. The regulations that it oversees include the standards laid out in the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM). It is in here that you will find the standards for heavy vehicle tyre checks.

Do Your Inspectors and Drivers Know the Heavy Vehicle Tyre Standards?

The NHVIM has been composed to provide a consistent approach to heavy vehicle standards across Australia. Its aim is to ensure compliance with standards, to improve safety, and to reduce vehicle downtime.

It wasn’t written by people with no experience, either. The regulator consulted with the industry and developed the NHVIM to provide inspectors and operators with standards that actually achieve what they set out to achieve.

For fleet managers, the NHVIM provides the criteria for heavy vehicle inspections. This includes all the reasons a heavy vehicle tyre should be rejected when inspected.

Here are all 14 of these reasons to reject a heavy vehicle tyre, with explanations where needed.

1.    Insufficient Tread

The law states that a tyre must have a minimum of 1.5mm of tread in a continuous band around the whole tyre. This tread depth must extend at least 75% of the width of the tyre.

Most tyres have tread wear indicators built into them, though these aren’t included when assessing a tyre’s tread depth around its circumference.

Good operators will replace heavy vehicle tyres sometime before they reach legal minimum tread depth.

2.    Tyres Don’t Match the Tyre Placard

Most vehicles have a tyre placard fitted to the door jamb. This shows the dimensions and air pressure levels that must be maintained. If there is no tyre placard, these details will be in the owner’s manual. A tyre that does not match these standards should be rejected.

3.    Tyre Damage

Deep cuts, bumps, bulges, exposed cords, chunking, and other signs of carcass failure.

4.    Regrooved Tyres

Only if it is stipulated on the sidewall of the tyre that it can be regrooved is regrooving permitted.

5.    Wider Than Mudguards

If the heavy vehicle tyre’s sidewall projects beyond the width of the mudguard when in the straight-ahead position.

6.    Non-Approved Modifications

If the tyre has been fitted with a non-OEM front wheel (i.e. rim and tyre) that has not been approved as a modification.

7.    Not Constructed for Unrestricted Road Use

8.    Illegal Retreads and Remoulds

Only tyres that are marked with ‘Retread’ or ‘Remould’ are capable of being retreaded or remoulded. The tyre should also be marked with its maximum speed (e.g. Speed Limited to 125 km/h).

9.    Illegal Speed Rating

The speed rating of all tyres must be no less than 100km/h or the vehicle’s top speed, whichever is the smaller. The exception to this is if the manufacturer has specified a lower speed rating.

10. Manufacturer’s Tyre Load Ratings Are Less Than the Vehicle’s Ratings

Any tyre fitted to a vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes is not suitable for road use if the tyre load ratings are less than the minimum ratings specified originally by the vehicle manufacturer.

11. Tyres Are in Contact

If dual tyres are fitted, there must be space between them. If they are touching, they must be removed and replaced.

12. A Tyre That Is in Contact with the Vehicle

If the tyre is in contact with any part of the vehicle – the body, chassis, braking, steering, frame, suspension – at any point of travel must be rejected.

13. A Tyre That Could Damage Roads

If cleats or other gripping devices could damage the road on which the vehicle is travelling.

14. Incompatible Tyres

A tyre that is not compatible to the rim to which it is fitted.

In Summary

When your drivers or maintenance staff check the tyres on heavy vehicles, it is essential that they check for all 14 reasons to reject a tyre. If you asked your drivers to write the list of 14 heavy vehicle tyre rejections now, do you think they could do so?

A simple tyre test will help your fleet’s vehicles to be safe and legal on Australia’s roads. When these tests show up heavy vehicle tyre frailties, contact Darra Tyres in Brisbane for the professional assistance you need.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Cheap tyres

How Can Fleets Get the Best Performance from Cheap Tyres?

Tyre Maintenance Tips a Fleet Manager Cannot Afford to Ignore

We always recommend that fleet managers buy the best-quality tyres their budgets allow. The cost is front-loaded. The benefits become apparent over time. Quality tyres last longer than cheap tyres. They are made with better components, and their design and manufacture benefit from years of expensive research and development. They are produced to keep your drivers safe on the road.

But what if your budget is tighter today? What if you must buy cheap tyres for your fleet?

In this article, I discuss how you can get the best from cheaper tyres.

Air Pressure Is Key to Cheap Tyre Performance

Your fleet’s tyres do a specific job. They carry loads on the road. Whether cheap tyres or a premium brand, if your tyres are not inflated correctly, they won’t be as effective.

Drivers should check tyre air pressures every day when the tyre is cold – before they load up and leave. The driver should know the load they will be transporting and inflate the tyre according to the load and tyre pressure recommendations.

If the inflation level is wrong, the tyre will wear faster. Remember, too, that the quality of air in the tyre makes a big difference to a tyre’s performance.

What Quality of Air Do You Pump into Your Tyres?

Especially for tyres carrying heavy loads, the quality of air pumped into them is crucial. And before you ask, no, air isn’t air! Just like instant coffee granules are not coffee beans, and not all engine oils are the same.

Air compressors deliver air that is riddled with moisture, particulates, and oil mist from the air coming into it. A pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit extracts nitrogen from this, ensuring that dry, clean gas is pumped into the tyre. If normal compressed air is added to the tyre, all the benefits of the cleaned air are lost.

The best way to think about this is to consider the oil that you put into your fleet vehicles. If that oil were full of impurities and particles, it wouldn’t take long for the engine to start degrading. The same is true of tyres. Put poor air in, and you’ll find they degrade faster. For example:

  • Oils (hydrocarbons) attack the rubber on the inside of the tyre
  • When this happens, air escapes through the tyre
  • The affected tyre requires more regular inflation

Moisture in the tyre has a different effect. It causes the tyre to expand. This is because moisture turns into vapour when heated, thus inflating the tyre when it is in motion. It is not unusual for tyre air pressures to increase from around 140 PSI when cold to more than 180 PSI when operating at speed. High moisture content in the air inside the tyre will cause the tyre to expand. This reduces handling ability and causes extra wear along the centre of the tyre.

The answer is to ensure that only high-quality air is used in cheap tyres. This will help the tyre to last longer and perform more effectively.

Summary

Whether you invest in premium brand tyres or are restricted to buying cheap tyres, how your tyres are maintained is a major determinant of your fleet’s tyre costs – which could be around 3% of your fleet’s total costs. Drivers should ensure that tyres are checked before leaving your depot. They should test for air pressure, and for cuts, grazes and bumps, and ensure that tyre tread is within legal limits.

Using quality air will help cheaper tyres last longer. Of course, using quality air in the highest-quality tyres is the very best solution.

For all your fleet’s tyre needs in Brisbane, contact Darra Tyres today. We’ll help you cut tyre costs while maintaining efficiency and safety.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Bubble Tyres

Why You Must Take Tyre Bubbles Seriously

Drive on Bubbled Tyres and You Risk Your Life

A road traffic cop in the UK stopped a car on a school run a few weeks ago. The reason was tyre bubbles. These huge bulges are a sign of major tyre failure. They are not normal, and are dangerous. Very dangerous. What causes tyre bubbles, and what should you do if your tyres are bubbled?

The Good News about Tyre Bubbles

First, the good news. If you have tyre bubbles, you’ll see them. You’ll also feel them when you drive.

Tyre bubbles are big bulges. They look a little like Marty Feldman’s eyes – popping out all over the place. If your drive has become shuddery instead of smooth, you may also have tyre bubbles.

The Bad News about Tyre Bubbles

Now for the bad news. You can’t fix tyre bubbles. They are a sign that the tyre is irreparably damaged. But it gets worse. A tyre bubble means that:

  • A slight impact could lead to a tyre blowout. You’ll need to avoid every single pothole, no matter how small.
  • A cut or hole can develop in the tyre at any moment.
  • Air is leaking – your tyre is going flat.
  • Cornering risks a blowout, too.

These risks are present because of how the tyre has been damaged.

How Do Tyre Bubbles Develop?

A tyre bubble forms because of internal damage to the tyre. When the internal components are weakened, the air pressure inside causes the sidewalls to bubble. Air escapes through the inner lining and becomes trapped between the inner lining and outer casing. Often, these bubbles form when the tyre is shocked – such as if you hit a pothole or kerb at speed.

They are also more likely on older tyres. This is because a tyre’s rubber compound breaks down over time (which is why most tyre manufacturers recommend changing for new tyres when your existing tyres are five of six years old, irrespective of mileage travelled on them).

We often find that tyre bubbles occur to tyres most commonly on vehicles that are frequently driven over rough roads, and also to tyres that are poorly maintained and inflated to the incorrect tyre pressure.

How Do You Avoid Tyre Bubbles?

To avoid tyre bubbles, you should always drive safely, within speed limits, and try to avoid driving at speed over potholes. You should also maintain your tyres well, and ensure you replace with new when they must be changed – whether it’s because of inadequate tread depth, degradation or age.

Checking Your Tyres for Tyre Bubbles

Tyre bubbles are not always as visible as the ones on the tyres of the car stopped in the UK. Those bubbles were up to three inches across and spread completely around the outer sidewall of the tyre. There were around a dozen of them. The tyre looked like it had a bunch of tennis balls buried inside it. This simple two-step routine will help you inspect your tyres for tyre bubbles:

  1. In the morning light, or with a bright torch, inspect your tyres for any changes.
  2. Use your hands to run around the inner and outer sidewalls, checking for small bubbles – they don’t become tennis ball-sized immediately. Your fingers are sensitive – you’ll feel bulges and bubbles quite easily.

While checking your tyres, take note of uneven tread, cuts and grazes, too. Uneven tread could be a sign that your wheel alignment needs adjusting or your wheels need balancing. Cuts and grazes and damage caused by sharp objects should all be inspected by a professional immediately.

What Should You Do If You Find a Tyre Bubble?

A tyre bubble is an accident waiting to happen. Don’t take the risk. As soon as you notice a tyre bubble, change the tyre for the spare tyre. Then, take the bubbled tyre to your nearest tyre shop as soon as you can. They will confirm if the tyre is bubbled and if it needs replacing.

Here in Brisbane, if you suspect you have tyre bubbles get in touch with Darra Tyres. Please don’t risk driving on substandard tyres. We’d prefer to see you in our tyre shop than in a hospital.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Investing in Solid Forklift tyres

Should You Invest in Solid Forklift Tyres?

Solid Tyres Could Provide a Solid Performance

Forklifts are the modern workhorse of most manufacturing and warehouse facilities. Forklift tyres provide full support for the loads they carry. Therefore, choosing the right tyres for your forklift ensures that it runs at optimum performance and remains safe in a busy workplace.

Should You Use Solid Forklift Tyres?

Unlike pneumatic tyres, which are filled with air, there is no inner tube or air layer that needs to be inflated in a solid forklift tyre. At present, solid tyres are only used for slow vehicles that carry heavy loads. For example, your car does not use solid tyres because they would place additional strain on the engine, brakes, suspension and axles. The technical reason for this is that rotating mass stores energy and therefore the heavier solid tyre would require more energy to start and stop.

However, in forklift applications, solid tyres may prove advantageous.

4 Advantages of Solid Forklift Tyres

  1. Resilience

Durability and resilience often make solid tyres the best choice for your forklift tyres. As they are not inflated with air, you do not have to worry about punctures or blowouts that would negatively impact your warehouse or factory’s productivity.

  1. Advanced Design

Solid tyres use advanced design and technology to ensure optimum performance for your forklift. Solid forklift tyres are manufactured from advanced materials, with tried-and-tested rubber formulations to improve handling and increase resilience in a range of environments.

Forklifts carry heavy loads, and as such, solid tyres have been designed to be durable, giving them a long life and making them difficult to wear down. Rigorous physical and chemical testing is often carried out to combat any problems that may be encountered in various work environments – so you have added peace of mind that all your machinery will be running when needed.

  1. Safety

Pneumatic and solid wheel rings can be used interchangeably. However, using an inflated tyre there is a greater chance that, on impact with obstacles, there will be serious deformation on the tyre. The compressed air could cause a bulge in the tyre if the carcass cord is fractured, creating a safety hazard.

With pneumatic tyres, there is also the danger of a ‘tyre crash’. If the wheel of the forklift is under high stress, there is the chance that it may come off, which can lead to dropped loads or the risk of an overturn.

  1. Performance

Picking the right tyres for your forklift is vital for the vehicle to maintain optimal performance. According to a Forklift Briefing Test, good-quality tyres can move up to 14% more pallets during a single shift. To maximise productivity on your forklifts you should start from the ground up and make tyres your first consideration. If you are working in an environment that has a high potential for tyre damage, solid tyres are your best option.

2 Disadvantages of Solid Forklift Tyres

  1. Discomfort

In general, there are no serious disadvantages to using solid tyres on your forklift. The only notable disadvantage is that there may be some slight discomfort for the driver compared to pneumatic tyres.

  1. Less Suitable for Outdoor Use

Solid forklift tyres can be used for light outdoor use. However, they are not recommended to be used outdoors for the long term or on rough terrain. Thus, if your forklift mainly operates outdoors or on rough terrain, solid tyres may not be the most practical and safe option for you.

Summary

Solid tyres are a great option for many work environments. However, you should pick your tyres for the task that they are needed for. Solid tyres have excellent resistance and are great for workplaces where your forklift may encounter sharp objects or nails. However, if your forklift will be running over rough terrain outdoors, pneumatic tyres would be a better option.

When was the last time you had your forklift tyres checked? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

New Tyres

Must New Tyres Be ‘Broken In’?

Staying Safe on New Tyres

New tyres will need a running-in period. You should be aware that your vehicle will feel different with a new set of tyres fitted. You may pick the same brand and style of tyres as those you are replacing, but older tyres perform differently to new tyres.

In this article, you’ll learn what the differences are, how long tyres take to break in, and how you can drive safely until your tyres are ready to be driven on ‘normally’.

What You Need to Know About New Tyres

You may have brought a new car or got a fresh set of tyres to replace old tyres on your current vehicle. Before you hit the road and enjoy your upgraded tyres, there are some things you should know. Like a new pair of shoes, a new set of tyres requires some breaking in.

New tyres go through a period of breaking in before they start performing at their best. To ensure you are driving safely, learn what makes new tyres lose traction and change the handling of your vehicle.

What Makes New Tyres Different from Older Tyres?

Several factors that impact a tyre’s performance are different in new tyres than older tyres. These include:

  • Lubricants

During production, tyres are released from their mould using a release lubricant. This lubricant will stay in the grooves of the tyres until it wears off through driving. Until this lubricant is completely gone, your tyres will have less traction – increasing braking distances and reducing handling efficiency.

  • Antioxidants

Your tyres may feel slick at first due to the antioxidants that are applied to the tyre during manufacturing. These help the rubber maintain its structure when exposed to different environments such as fluctuating temperatures and oxygen levels.

  • Tread depth

In Australia, new tyres come with a tyre tread depth of 8mm. If you allow your previous tyres to become worn down to the legal minimum (1.5mm), you will certainly feel the difference in your new tyres. Fresh tyres have stiff and deep tread that makes your car feel like there is a large cushion between you and the road. This sometimes results in something called ‘squirm’. Tyre squirm is when you feel excessive movement in your tyres when turning from the increased flexibility caused by fresh rubber and deep tread depth.

How to Drive with New Tyres

New tyres require a small adjustment in driving style until they are worn in. It is prudent to consider the first 250-300km as the ‘breaking-in’ period. During this time, you should take extra care while driving.

Drive gently, braking and accelerating smoothly. After this breaking-in distance, any substances in the tyres should have worn off. The tread depth will also have worn down a fraction. This ‘roughing up’ of new tyres helps them perform at their optimum level, improving traction and the handling of your vehicle.

Tips for Driving with New Tyres

Here are our four top tips to drive safely on new tyres:

  1. Stick to dry roads
  2. Drive at a reasonable speed
  3. Keep a suitable distance from the vehicle in front of you as your braking distances will be further than normal because of the lower initial traction
  4. Avoid accelerating quickly or braking sharply

Summary

Improve the long-term performance of your new tyres by driving smoothly until they are worn in. For the first 250-300km, avoid harsh braking or accelerating and allow the lubricants used in the manufacturing process to wear off.

Once they have been worn in, the new tyre’s tread will be optimised for safe braking and accelerating, and you can return to your normal driving style.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Summer Tyres

Summer Safety Checklist for Your Tyres

Tyre Safety in the Australian Summer

Australia is heading into summer and temperatures are soaring across Brisbane. With the hot weather comes extra responsibilities in maintaining your tyre safety. Here is our complete checklist for keeping your tyres safe over the summer.

Check Your Tyre Pressure

Proper inflation and tyre pressure are crucial for keeping safe in the summer and come with the added bonus of improving fuel efficiency, handling, and saving you money on fuel costs.

In the summer your tyre pressure should be checked regularly, preferably before use while the tyre is cold. A host of risks arise from poorly inflated tyres, such as:

  • Overinflated tyres causing uneven tyre wear, meaning your car will lose traction on the roads. In summer, the heat causes tyre pressure to increase. It is estimated that for every 5.5֯C (10֯F) the temperature increases, you gain around 1PSI of pressure in your tyres.
  • Underinflated tyres beginning to warp and, in turn, make your vehicle harder to handle.

The above risks increase the likelihood of having an accident on the road. Check your tyre pressure regularly and ensure that it is at the manufacturer’s recommended level.

Top Tip: The manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure level is generally located on a sticker on the door jamb of the driver’s door or front passenger’s door.

Inspect Your Tread Levels

It is essential that you have enough tread on your tyres. Having the correct tyre pressure will ensure that your tyre tread wears evenly. However, over time your tyre tread will wear. The legal minimum tread depth on tyres is 1.5mm. If your tread depth is any less than this your tyres are not considered safe – and you will be driving illegally. For the best tyre safety, we recommend that you change your tyres if the tread falls below 3mm.

Top Tip: You can use a 20 cent coin to quickly check the tread of your tyre. Place it into the grooves of your tyre and if the tread does not reach the bill of the platypus, there is less than 3mm of tread remaining on your tyre.

Protect Your Tyres’ Sidewalls

Hitting potholes and ‘kerbing’ your tyres can cause damage to your tyre’s sidewall. Your sidewalls absorb shocks and stresses that your tyres endure. When they become damaged, your tyres can become unsafe and your chance of having an accident increases. You should regularly inspect the sidewalls of your tyres for any visual damage. If you spot any damage, you should take your car to a tyre shop and have the tyres professionally inspected.

Top Tip: Avoid sharp debris and deep potholes when driving, and take extra care when parking next to kerbs.

Prevent Blowouts

Tyre failure presents a danger to you, your passengers, other vehicles on the road and pedestrians. Blowouts occur in tyres that have sustained damage from impacts and tyres that are worn down. In the summer weather, heat can make blowouts more common. Heat generation and retention in your tyres add additional stress and can increase your chances of a blowout, so it is important to regularly check and maintain your tyres for safety.

Summary

With summer approaching and extreme heat forecast for the next few months, it’s essential to make sure your car is ready for the change in weather. Ensuring tyre safety helps to keep you and others safe on the roads. Simple checks protect you from harm.

Regularly checking air pressure, tread depth, and the condition of your tyres’ sidewalls ensures that your car is running optimally. As well as keeping you safer, such checks save you money by improving your vehicle’s fuel economy.

Want to know more? Do you need your tyres checked in Brisbane? Feel free to contact us to book an appointment.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Cracked Tyres

Are Cracked Tyres Dangerous?

Tyre Advice That Could Save Your Life

Tyres are one of the most important aspects of your car and as such are engineered to be durable. However, they don’t last forever, and after a while, you may notice that your car has cracked tyres. This kind of wear and tear can be a sign that you need new tyres. Here are some tips for getting the longest life out of your tyres and the dangers of driving on cracked tyres.

Dangers of Cracked Tyres

Cracked tyres are a sign of wear and damage to your tyres. They can be dangerous to drive on. If you notice your tyre has cracks, you should take your car to a tyre shop for the tyres to be examined. There are two major risks you face if your tyres are cracked:

  1. Loss of grip

The biggest danger caused by cracked tyres is the loss of grip. This can cause loss of control when driving around bends, and on wet roads, you will be more likely to aquaplane.

  1. Blowout

As the integrity of the tyre worsens and more cracks appear, your chances of experiencing a blowout increase dramatically. See our article, ‘The How, Why and What of Tyre Blowouts’ for tips on how to come to a safe standstill should you suffer a blowout.

Causes of Cracked Tyres

Your tyres are made up of three main components:

  1. Plies, which are inside the tyre and give it flexibility while maintaining its structure
  2. Beads, which are coated into the rubber of the tyre to create a seal between your wheel rim and the tyre
  3. Polymers, the rubber on the outside of the tyre

Cracked tyres are a result of the bonds in these components breaking down and can have multiple causes: ageing, water damage, UV damage, incorrect tyre pressure, and degradation.

  • Ageing Tyres

Polymers naturally break down over time. As your tyres age, they become more susceptible to cracking because of the tyres stiffen and lose their elasticity. Even if your tyres are not used, the bond will naturally break down. You may have a car that’s been sat in the garage for years without being driven, and when inspected, is found to have cracked tyres.

  • Water Damage

I know what you’re thinking: rubber is waterproof, right? Yes – however, if you drive on wet roads for a prolonged period, water can still enter your tyres and cause damage. Queensland can experience monsoon troughs and storms through the rainy season that leave the roads wet all day. If possible, avoid driving in these conditions to prevent damage to your tyres. Use your brakes sensibly, and dry your tyres when you return home.

  • UV Damage

With the rainy season also comes the heat. From December to February in Brisbane, your car tyres will be taking the most damage. The extreme heat and UV rays cause tyres to expand and are one of the biggest causes of cracked tyres.

  • Incorrect Tyre Pressure

Maintaining correct tyre pressures is essential to getting the longest lifespan out of your tyres. Cracked tyres can be caused by both overinflation and underinflation. If your tyres are underinflated, there is more surface of the tyre touching the road. If it is overinflated, there will be bulging. Both scenarios put extra stress on your tyres and can lead to cracking.

  • Degradation

Rubber is an organic material, which means it’s biodegradable. While there are chemicals that you can use to slow down the degradation, there is no way to stop it completely. Eventually, you will find your tyres start cracking naturally. Tyre manufacturers recommend changing tyres every five to six years, irrespective of the miles driven on them.

How to Prevent Cracked Tyres

We do not recommend that you fix cracked tyres. However, there are some steps you can take to extend the longevity of your tyres. For example:

  • Tyre pressure – Ensure that your tyres are inflated to the recommended PSI
  • Tyre protector – Regularly apply tyre protector to your tyres
  • Garage – Where possible, keep your car parked in a dry garage

Summary

Cracked tyres are a sign of wear and tear. If you start noticing cracks, it’s time to take your car to a tyre shop and get your tyres switched. Damaged tyres provide less grip and increase the risk of a blowout.

Don’t mess with your safety. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment to have your tyres checked, or to ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

Tyre Pressure

Tyre Myths: Do Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems Tell You When You Need to Change Your Tyres?

Modern Sensors Make Driving a Breeze

Modern cars make driving a lot easier with all the things they do for us. You no longer need to turn your headlights on when it’s dark, or your windscreen wipers when it rains. You are warned when you drive over the speed limit. They may even tell you what your tyre pressure is. But do modern sensors know how to warn you when your tyres need changing?

What are Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMSs)?

A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System does exactly what it says on the tin. It is an electronic system installed on your car to monitor the air pressure in your tyres.

Modern cars (typically from 2008 onwards) often come with a TPMS installed. The systems use sensors to continuously monitor the pressure of the air in your tyres. A warning light on your dashboard signals when your tyre pressure becomes dangerously low. This warning is a safety feature to prevent you from driving on dangerous tyres. The TPMS can also help you improve the longevity of your tyres by maintaining the correct PSI.

How Do TPMSs work?

Not all TPMSs are the same. The low tyre pressure warning light on your dashboard is the last step for an indirect TPMS or a direct TPMS.

·      Indirect TPMS

An indirect TPMS uses wheel speed to calculate pressure. Rather than measure the pressure in the tyre, the system uses wheel speed sensors from the antilock brakes. Based on the speed of each tyre, an onboard calculator works out the amount of revolutions a tyre is doing. The number is interpreted to figure out the pressure of the tyres, with underinflated tyres spinning faster than they would at correct inflation.

·      Direct TPMS

A direct TPMS uses pressure sensors in the wheel to calculate the PSI. A direct TPMS is more reliable than indirect, as you get a specific tyre pressure reading rather than an interpretation. Measurements from the direct TPMS are analysed by an onboard computer, and, if the pressure is lower than recommended, a warning light will flash on your dashboard.

Data from sensors is sent wirelessly to the onboard computer. To ensure that your tyre pressure is not from another vehicle, each system has its own unique serial number.

When Do You Need to Change Your Tyres?

A TPMS is great for warning you when you need to inflate your tyres. However, there are no sensors to warn you about tread wear or other hazards that mean you need to change your tyres. Instead, you should include a tyre inspection as part of your regular tyre maintenance routine. Here are some examples of signs that you need to change your tyres:

  • Tread depth gets too low: The legal minimum tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm. Tread depth has an impact on stopping distance, and some vehicle manufacturers argue that minimum tread depth should be legally increased to 2mm or 3mm.
  • Uneven tyre wear: Uneven wear is an indication of unusual stress on a tyre. Causes include incorrect wheel alignments or the wrong air pressure in your tyres.
  • Tyre age: You may use your vehicle infrequently and not put a lot of wear on your tyres. However, vehicle and tyre manufacturers still recommend you change your tyres regularly. Tyres over five years old dry out, losing elasticity and becoming increasingly dangerous to use.

What Do the Experts Have to Say?

Vehicle and tyre manufacturers have often worked together in creating TPMSs. They will both agree that they are helpful tools and useful for maintaining safe air pressure in your tyres. However, they also agree that while the systems are useful, they cannot warn you when you need fresh tyres.

For example, Bridgestone says:

“Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems are only able to keep track of the amount of pressure within a tyre. They do not indicate whether a tyre has worn out its tread or the right time to replace it.”

If your TPMS continually signals a warning, you should get your tyre checked by a professional. Feel free to contact us to book an appointment or ask any questions you may have.

Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,

Dean Wood

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