How can Australians get the best out of their new tyres?

Tips to stay safer when your tyres are new

Vehicle engines have come on a long way in the last 30 years. I remember a time when you had to run in a new engine gently, driving for a few hundred miles at sedate speeds before reverting to your usual driving style. This is no longer required. Advances in engine technology mean you can take liberties with a new engine that you never used to be able to. The same can’t be said of new tyres.

Tyres are like shoes

Even though they have advanced similarly, tyres are more like shoes: they need to be broken in. Unless you spend time softening up a pair of shoes and getting them ‘moulded’ to the shape of your feet, you’ll cause yourself all sorts of problems. Corns. Blisters. Bruises.

To get the most from your tyres, you need to give them time to get out of their ‘shelf shape’ and into their ‘road shape’.

It’s about the manufacturing process

During manufacture, the layers of rubber and other materials used are lubricated to stop them sticking to the moulds used to shape and cure them. When you buy a new tyre, some of this lubricant is still present on the tyre, making it slippery on the road – I expect that you’ve noticed this, and, perhaps, even wondered why a new tyre with so much tread should suffer from lack of grip.

Driving a little more carefully on your tyres – cornering more slowly and braking less harshly – gives this lubricant time to wear off the surface of your tyre’s tread, producing a little more grip. A little like the soles of new shoes giving better grip when they are a little ‘roughed up’.

Driving gels the tyre together

Another reason to break in tyres is that it allows the rubber compounds used in the tyre to gel together properly under operational use. It’s a little like your shoes shaping themselves to your feet and how you walk. One side of a heel may wear a little faster than the other, and those slippery soles will grip better as they become roughed up where they contact the ground most.

New tyres settle into your vehicle and your style of driving over a period of time. They adjust to load and weight distribution as the compounds gel together. As this process occurs, you’ll find that your ride becomes more comfortable and the performance of your tyres surer. You’ll start to feel the response when you corner and brake as the tread softens a little.

Getting the best out of your new tyres

When I’m braking in a new pair of shoes, I tend to wear them in the house for a couple of hours a day for a few days. Then I venture outside, but again only for a few hours. Eventually, when they are broken in properly, they will feel as comfortable as a favourite pair of slippers.

Obviously, you can’t take a drive around your living room to help get your tyres adjusted, but you can drive a little more gently before driving as usual. Here are a few tips to help you break in your tyres effectively:

Breaking in your tyres will help to keep you safe on the roads for those crucial first few hundred miles, and allow your tyres time to adjust fully to their new owner, vehicle and load. This should also help your tyres to perform better and last longer without causing you any discomfort.

For the best tyre service in Brisbane, and a commitment to your safety within your budget, contact Darra Tyres today.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

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.