Checking your tyres regularly – including for tread
wear, tyre pressure and any obvious damage sounds simple, but it is a big part
of “Safety 101” on the road!
You’ve probably heard this advice many
times before, but the truth is that when it comes to the nitty gritty (quite
literally!), your tyre really is all that’s between your vehicle and the road.
It therefore stands to reason that ensuring your tyres are in the best possible
condition, that they are correctly inflated and free from nails or other
damage, is going to make a big difference to both your vehicle’s performance
and your safety.
So, when it comes to doing those very
important checks, here are some important tips and reminders:
Your tyre pressure… The recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle and tyres is usually
found on the inside of the driver’s door and/or in the owner’s manual. Tyre
pressures should be checked when the tyres are cool, so always do this at the
start of a day or trip! Over- or
under-inflated tyres can impact on their grip and possibly result in
aquaplaning or other issues that interfere with their contact with the road and
your ability to brake and control the vehicle safely. Tyres inflated to the
correct pressure will ensure more even tread wear, less likelihood of wheel rim
damage and the best possible fuel efficiency.
Your tread… That word again — Grip, grip, grip!
Where tread is worn or uneven, it will
impact on your tyre’s ability to grip the road – which in turn, impacts on its
ability to provide a safe ride! In Australia, the minimum legal requirement for
roadworthiness of passenger vehicles is 1.5 mm, however it is recommended you
have at least 3mm tread on your tyres. Although
sometimes you may need a tyre expert using specialised tools to do an exact
measurement of your tyre’s tread, you can use the tread indicators (small
rubber blocks at intervals across your tyres), to do regular checks yourself. When
the blocks are level with the rest of the tyre, your tyres will need to be
Your tyre’s overall age and condition… Check regularly for any cuts and damage or sharp
objects (such as nails) which may be embedded in the rubber, which could cause
a flat or other problem. Noticing this
type of issue quickly will help ensure you don’t cause further damage by
driving unnecessarily on a damaged tyre.
Keeping your tyres in good condition and replacing aging tyres is not
only important for safety and performance, but these factors can also have a great
effect on your fuel economy.
Lastly, but most importantly, doing these
checks regularly is the best way to stay on top of your tyres’ condition. It is
also is extra vital to do this at the start of a long road trip or when your
vehicle is carrying an extra load.