Tyre maintenance 101
Get the most from your tyres with simple maintenance advice.
Buying a quality set of tyres is a great place to start when it comes to achieving optimum vehicle performance and driver safety. Of equal importance is how you care for and maintain your car tyres.
Here we discuss a few simple things that you can do to care for and maintain your car tyres to ensure that you are getting the most out of them.
Check and adjust your tyre pressures
You should check your tyre pressures, and adjust them if necessary, once a month. Driving on tyres that are appropriately inflated can prolong tyre life, increase performance, enhance safety and decrease fuel costs.
You can locate your manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressures in the vehicle manual or on the vehicle placard, which can be found in the door jamb on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Alternatively, the vehicle placard may be located inside the glove-box or inside the fuel filler flap.
Always check inflation pressures when your tyres are cold to ensure an accurate reading. Your car tyres are considered cold when the vehicle has been parked for a minimum of 3 hours, or has travelled at a moderate speed for less than 1.6km.
Using a quality tyre pressure gauge, you can accurately check the pressure of each tyre, including your spare tyre. If any of your tyres require adjusted pressure, this can be done using an air compressor.
Once you have adjusted pressures as required, you should repeat the process of checking the pressure of each tyre. You can let some air back out of the tyres if needed until you achieve the correct pressure.
Read the tread depth of your tyres
In Australia, the legal tread limit is 1.5mm. Poor tread depth has a negative impact on your vehicle’s ability to effectively brake and corner. It also significantly reduces the overall safety of your car.
You can check the tread depth of your tyres in several ways. All tyres have a tread wear indicator in their tread. As the tread depth decreases it becomes increasingly visible. Once the tread wear indicator is level with the tyre tread, it is time to buy new tyres.
Another way to assess the tread depth of your tyres is to use a tyre tread depth gauge, which can be purchased from a local car part store. Using the tread depth gauge, measure the tread of each tyre three times - the outer and inner sides, as well as the middle of the tyre.
Alternatively, you can even use a 20c coin. Place the coin into the tread of your tyre, if the tread doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus, this indicates that there is less than 3mm of tread.
After checking the tread depth of your tyres, if they only have 1.6mm of tread remaining, now is the time to look at buying new tyres.
Do regular visual inspections of your tyres
It is important to regularly check the condition of your car’s tyres. A quick visual inspection can help you to identify evidence of cracks, bulges and gouges. These can lead to a slow leak, or even cause a blowout, which should be avoided at all costs.
If you notice any cracks, gouges or bulges we strongly recommend that you have it immediately assessed by a professional at your nearest BestDrive store.
Look for uneven tread wear
When doing a visual inspection of your tyres, you should also look for evidence of uneven tyre wear. This can be the result of a number of factors, including under or overinflated tyres, or even the result of a bad wheel alignment.
When you maintain correct tyre inflation pressures and adhere to the recommended tyre rotation schedule as outlined in your vehicle’s manual, you will reduce the risk of uneven tyre wear.
Be aware of excessive shaking or vibrating in the steering wheel
A shaking or vibrating steering wheel is an indicator that it may be time to buy new tyres. It may also be an indicator that the tyres are misaligned or unbalanced, or that there is an issue with the interior of the tyre.
If you notice that your steering wheel is shaking or vibrating, particularly when you travel at higher speeds, it is recommended that you consult with a professional who can assess the issue for you.
Your local BestDrive store offers a range of services to help you achieve prolonged tyre life, increased performance and enhanced safety. If you have any concerns regarding your vehicle’s tyres, or are due for scheduled maintenance, contact us today.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.