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,