If you’re one of our Maxxis community currently in lockdown — we’re with you and feel your pain! Many of us are getting used to the all-too-familiar drill… you reverse out the driveway and before your tyres really have the chance to get rolling (never mind heat up), you’re back home again and your vehicle’s gathering dust until the next 5km journey to your local grocery store.
Yet, while that next little weekend road trip or off-road adventure may seem like a far-off dream, lockdown is actually a great opportunity to check your tyres are safe and in top condition for their next big outing. To get you started, here are a few tips to make sure your wheels are ready to break out of your neighbourhood limit as soon as you’re allowed!
- Check your tyre pressures. Having these right is important, even for your current short trips, as both under- and overinflated tyres can affect grip, traction, fuel efficiency and overall safety. You’ll find this information on the tyre placard on the inside of the driver’s door, under the fuel filler cap or inside the glovebox. We have included some example images here for your reference. Most local servo’s have a tyre inflation station and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to check and adjust. Remember (when it comes time for a decent road trip!) this needs to be done while tyres are still cool, before you set off on a journey. Plus, if you’re towing a load (such as a caravan, trailer or boat) you may need to increase the pressure in your tyres to accommodate the additional load. If you have any questions about tyre pressures, contact your local Maxxis dealer by clicking on the dealer locator at https://maxxistyres.com.au/.
- How’s the tread tracking? Your tyres are the only thing between you and the road – so keeping an eye on how the tread is wearing is vital. While the minimum legal requirement is that your tyres have at least 1.5mm tread, it is highly recommended that you have at least 3mm. The tread indicators (the small rubber blocks across your tyres main grooves) are 1.6mm high and will give you a good idea of how your tread is doing: If they are level with the rest of the tyre (or coming close), your tyres will need to be replaced. You can find the Tread Wear Indicators by searching for the letters TWI or a small triangle on the shoulder of your tyres, then look in the main grooves near this mark. If you’re in any doubt, make a plan to visit a tyre shop (tyre shops are considered an essential service in some states so many remain open during lockdown) and they will be able to check how your tread’s tracking.
- Are there signs of cuts or damage? Have a good look for any signs of damage, cuts, nails, stones or other sharp object that may have become embedded in the tread. Sometimes you don’t get any warning of a flat, however being able to get any damage repaired as soon as you notice it, may help to avoid having to replace a tyre that can easily be repaired.
- Check the age of your tyres. As tyres age air, water and sunlight cause changes to the rubber compounds sometimes reducing the durability of products. So, while your car is hibernating for the winter, it might be a good time to check the age of your tyres to ensure they continue to be safe. Most tyre manufacturers warrant their tyres for five years from the date of manufacture. The date of manufacture can be found on the sidewall of the tyre near the bead. At the end of the DOT code there is a date code consisting of four numbers (eg. 2619) which show the week (26th) and year (2019) of production. If your tyres are more than five years old, it would be best to get them inspected and/or consider replacing them.
- Check your spare. These days with “Run Flat” tyres being used on many vehicles, you may not have or need a spare tyre. However, if your car does have a spare, make sure it’s correctly inflated and in roadworthy condition so that it’s ready for use if you need it in an emergency.
Until next time… That’s it from me, the Maxxis Man, for now. Keep COVID-safe and safe on the road and I’ll be looking forward to sharing my next travel blog and with some inspiration to get you driving a bit further afield — hopefully very soon!