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Five things all drivers should know about their tyres

Key tyre knowledge to save your pocket and your life

Your tyres are all that stands between you and the road. You may believe it is your driving skill that is the reason you avoided that fool in the road a couple of weeks ago, but don’t ignore the important part your tyres played in the success of your emergency manoeuvre.

Tyres are integral to your comfort and safety on the road. They are the main component in smooth cornering, an imperative element in braking, and they handle the entire weight of your vehicle, passengers and load. That’s why good drivers learn to ‘feel’ their tyres. They listen to them. They check their tyres regularly.

Here are five things that you should know about your tyres.

1.    Tread depth matters

The minimum tread depth in Queensland is 1.5mm, but experts recommend replacing tyres if the tread depth is less than 3mm. This is because tread depth saves lives. In wet weather, the distance travelled when braking with a tread depth of 1.5mm can be as much as nearly 50% more than with a tread depth of 3mm. That could be the difference between life and death – and the extra braking distance can be equally dangerous on dry roads.

2.    Incorrect tyre pressure is a cost and a killer

Poorly inflated tyres cause uneven wear, meaning your tyres will need replacing more often. That’s a cost that is easily avoided by checking your tyre pressures regularly. But this may not be the biggest cost of driving on poorly inflated tyres. When underinflated tyres get hot, they are more prone to blowouts – and at high speed, this could be a killer.

At best, poorly inflated tyres will use more fuel, wear quicker, and cost you more money. At worst, they could cost you your life.

3.    Tyre pressures should be checked cold

You’ll find the correct pressure for your tyres on the inside of the door jamb and/or in your vehicle owner’s manual. These tyres pressures are based on cold tyres, so, if you check your tyre pressures when warm, the check becomes almost useless.

Even a short drive will increase the heat in your tyres and raise the tyre pressure. Accurate readings can only be taken before you drive anywhere, and best after a couple of hours of standing idle.

4.    Uneven wear provides important clues

Uneven wear on your tyres provides big clues to underlying problems. It could be that your tyres are not properly balanced, or that your wheels are out of alignment. Poor tyre pressure creates different wear patterns, and poor suspension also causes uneven wear.

If you notice uneven wear on your tyres, it is best to take your vehicle to a tyre shop to get your tyres, wheels and suspension checked.

5.    Understand the feel, sight and sound of tyres

When driving, take note of the sound and feel your tyres give you. A little road noise is to be expected, but if you hear something out of the ordinary, it could be a sign that a tyre is punctured or has been damaged.

The same is true of vibrations while driving. It may be that you are on a really rough road, but if the vibrations continue on smooth tarmac then you may have a problem with the tyre – though it could also be caused by the wheel or faulty suspension.

The best thing to do if you notice any of the above is to stop and check your tyres. Check for wear, tyre pressure, and cracks in the sidewall, which could be caused by age, debris on the road, or kerbing. A crack or blister could be a sign that you are about to have a blowout. Change the tyre for the spare, and get to the nearest tyre shop as soon as possible.

Finally, check your tyres regularly. At least once a month. Better still, once a week. Best of all, before every journey you make.

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

Tyres Australia

Why savvy drivers buy premium tyres in Brisbane

Four big advantages of buying the best tyres you can afford

Tyres. Expensive pieces of must-have equipment for your vehicle. Without them, you won’t get very far. However, when it comes to the need to replace your tyres, you may be tempted to go for the cheapest set possible. You’ll save a fair few dollars right off the bat. But are they really a saving in the long term?

As strange as it may seem, cheaper brand tyres may end up costing you more in the long run. They may also compromise your safety, reduce performance, and affect the comfort of your drive.

In this article, you’ll learn why savvy drivers in Brisbane choose premium brand tyres over their cheaper competition.

1.    Premium brand tyres can save on fuel

Most premium brand tyres are more efficient on fuel than the cheaper brands. They are designed to offer less road resistance (while maintaining traction), and this lower resistance translates to lower fuel consumption. You’ll travel further on a single tank of fuel. That’s a saving direct into your pocket every time you take a trip out.

2.    Premium tyres give shorter braking distances

It can be super sunshine one minute and then the roads can be awash with torrential rainwater here in Queensland. Premium tyres have benefitted from hundreds of millions of dollars spent on research and development, and tend to offer far shorter braking distances in all conditions. When it’s wet, that could be the difference between a costly accident and a near miss.

3.    Premium tyres offer a better driving experience

The highly developed tread patterns on premium brand tyres, better quality rubber compounds and years of development have resulted in better traction on the road. This adds up to a smoother more satisfying drive, better handling round corners, and a more comfortable driving experience. You’ll notice the difference even on short journeys, but on long-distance drives (or the annual road trip in Queensland or across Australia) that extra comfort can be the difference between an evening with back pain and a relaxing night’s sleep.

4.    Premium tyres last longer

A friend of mine was once made redundant, and as part of his redundancy package he had to attend a number of courses. One was on clothes. He was asked how much he spent on his shirts. He replied that each one cost around $30. The instructor said that he would be better to spend twice as much on them.

When he asked why, the instructor said, “They will last twice as long, fit and feel better, and give a better impression.” She could have been talking about tyres.

Premium brand tyres last longer. They are made of premium quality rubber compounds, and benefit from the best in technical development. Quality isn’t cheap, but it is usually worth the extra money you spend.

In summary

It can be tempting to save a few dollars when replacing a worn tyre, but the initial saving could be dwarfed by the eventual cost. It is likely that you’ll compromise on performance and safety, use more fuel, and need to replace your cheaper tyre sooner.

Premium brands spend hundreds of millions each year on research and development. The result of all this engineering, testing and re-engineering is a quality product made with quality materials. Premium brand tyres are definitely worth the price. That’s why we’ll always recommend them.

If you are on a restricted budget, our advice is to buy the very best tyre your pocket can stand. When it comes to safety drive comfort and long-term costs, it’s the very best advice we can give.

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


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