Tech Talk Thursday with Workshop Foreman Dean McCartney

How to Check Your Tyres Are Safe:

Tyres… They are probably not something that are given much thought each time you get in the car. But those four pieces of rubber are what keep you moving on the road. Maintaining safe tyre condition could make all the difference in the event of an emergency situation. So how do you check your tyres are safe?

Time Frame for Inspections

Regularly checking of your car tyres is essential for maintaining your safety on the road. Tyres are inspected at every service while the vehicle is hoisted in the air, which is great for checking the inside of the tyres for wear and damage, however, even if you are servicing your vehicle regularly, a quick inspection should be done, at minimum, once a month for tread depth, tyre pressures and signs of wear.

Tyre Tread Depth

New tyres come with a variety of different tread depths. Passenger tyres have an average of 8.2mm, SUV tyres have an average of 10.4mm and 4X4 tyres have an average of 13.4mm of tread depending on the manufacturer.

When tyre tread depth reaches 3mm on any type of tyre, wet grip is dramatically reduced and it’s time to think about getting your tyres replaced. The minimum legal depth of tyre tread in Australia is 1.5mm.

For your monthly inspection, you could choose to purchase a tyre tread measuring gauge, or more simply, you can use an Australian 20 cent coin! If you place the coin in one of the principle grooves of your tyre and the tread doesn’t reach the bill of the platypus, the measurement is under 3mm and it’s time to replace your tyres.

Tyres also have a tyre wear indicator, a small bar that sits in the tread of the tyres, which when reached, indicates it is time to replace the tyre.

Tyre Pressures

Ensuring your tyre pressures are set to the manufacturer standard is another way to ensure your safety on the road and save you money in the long run.

Over inflated tyres will wear the tread on centre of the tyres more quickly, while underinflated tyres will wear the tread on the edges of the tyres faster.

By checking tyre pressures at least once a month when fuelling up, you can ensure they are inflated correctly and are wearing evenly to help save the cost of premature replacement.

Signs of Wear

Checking your tyres for signs of wear, is as easy as a quick visual inspection. This is particularly important for the sidewalls of tyres. You should be checking regularly for cuts, gouges and bulges and if there is any evidence of any of these, the tyres should be replaced immediately.

Other Tips for Maintaining Safe Tyres

  • When your vehicle is getting serviced, request a tyre rotation if required. Tyre checks are done during the service, and your mechanic should recommend a tyre rotation if required as generally the front tyres wear faster than the rear tyres on vehicles, so it’s always best to have the best tyres on the front to get maximum life out of your tyre
  • Wheel alignments should be completed at minimum once a year or every 20,000kms. Improper wheel alignment on vehicles takes its toll on tyres and can cause uneven wear on one side of our vehicle. Something as simple as hitting a pot hole can change the wheel alignment of your vehicle, so if you start to notice something different in your steering, it might be time to get a wheel alignment completed.
  • Don’t forget to check your spare tyre in your monthly check. Even just sitting around can deteriorate your tyre and you don’t want to put a compromised tyre on your vehicle in an emergency situation. Spare tyres should be replaced every 10 years even if there is no evidence of damage or wear as the tyre rubber perishes and/or breaks down over time.
  • Tyres should be replaced in pairs. So even if there are issues with only one of your front tyres, both front tyres should be replaced at the same time. Same goes for the rear tyres. A wheel alignment should also be done at this time to help reset your tyre wear and ensure maximum life out of your new tyres.

Our friendly team are here to assist you at two great locations and are happy to answer any questions or queries about the maintenance of your vehicle.

Paget: 07 4952 3931

Rural View: 07 4840 2334