Tyres are a critical aspect of a vehicle – more than anyone really thinks about. However, it’s imperative to buy and install a great set of road tires that can last for a good long while. Bear in mind though that after hundreds of miles, you’ll notice a difference in vehicle performance and safety. This happens because the tyre tread begins to wear away.
Despite the utmost importance of tyres, people don’t really think about them unless it’s necessary – a flat tire, uncontrollable movements, etc. The tyre is subjected to your braking power, acceleration and torque – responsible for moving the car. You may own the world’s most powerful car, but it’s the tyres that dictate its true value.
Tyre aging is the result of numerous factors, but what causes tyre wear increase?
While people focus more on tyre tread depth (Australia recommends a 1.5mm depth) to help them determine when it’s time to replace their tyres, it’s also important to consider the tyre age. Keep in mind that tyres have tread wear indicators (little bars along the grooves). Once these are flush with the tread, it becomes imperative to replace the tyres.
Special Note: Although you may only have one tyre that needs replacing, it’s best to get a whole new set for the vehicle to ensure smooth operation and no uneven wear. If you can’t do this, do it in pairs. Front-wheel drive vehicles should focus on front-wheel tires and vice versa. If you get a new pair again within a year, have your “old” new tires moved to the back and put the new tires on front.
It’s a good idea to look at the tyres’ air pressure every other week to a month to increase their lifespan. If the tyres are over or under-inflated it can lead to uneven pressure on the treads, leading to uneven wear pattern.
Over-inflated tyres cause the tread to wear down in the centre with under-inflated tyres causing wear on the shoulders. Bear in mind that under-inflated tyres not only result in uneven wear but will reduce increase the vehicle’s fuel consumption. It’s believed that for every 3psi (pounds per square inch) under-inflation a tyre is, there is a one percent increase in fuel consumption and 10 percent addition to the tyre wear.
Remember, tyre pressure is affected by temperatures (cold temperatures drop the air pressure while warmer temperatures increase it).
The recommended tyre pressure is between 30 to 35 psi.
One important factor in tyre replacement is tread depth. Every tyre has a treadwear indicator (tiny blocks of rubber molded into the grooves at regular interims). Be sure you inspect the tyres, specifically looking at the blocks. If you notice they are flush with the tyre surface, it’s time to get new tyres.
Australia’s legal tyre tread limit is 1.5mm. If you’re unsure of your tyre’s tread measurements, visit a Tyre Baron fitting station or tyre retailor for an inspection.
There are four primary reasons a tyre will have uneven wear:
Inspect the tyre for uneven wear by looking at the contact surface like its outer edges. If you notice any signs of uneven wear, it’s time for some new tyres.
For your tyres to go a long way, you want a professional to look at the vehicle alignment. The recommendation is every 5,000km. Proper tyre alignment will ensure even wear and improve performance. Now, there are three parts of wheel alignment:
If you notice your vehicle is pulling to one side, shaking or the wheels do not straighten after a turn, then there is an alignment problem you need to have repaired immediately. Misaligned tyres will lead to uneven wear patterns such as feathering, cupping, one-sided wear, etc. If this happens, the tyre’s performance will decrease and will lead to premature aging of the tire.
Yes, a tyre alignment can be expensive, but will typically cost you less than four brand new tyres.
Your tyres will wear out differently based on their placement, which is why you should get them rotated. If you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the tyres will wear out faster than the back and vice versa). With regular rotations, you can reduce the wear between the tyres (the more even wear you’ll have).
The best time to do a tyre rotation is when you’re getting the oil changed.
When it comes to tyre maintenance, you certainly don’t want to overlook its age. If you’re tyre is five years or older, replacing it when the rubber isn’t flexible is ideal. Inflexible rubber will lead to cracks and breaks, which can cause accidents.
You can find the tyre’s age by looking at the manufacturer’s date on the sidewall (usually a four-digit number). The first two digits are the manufacturing weeks with the last two being the year.
It’s important for your vehicle to have a good set of wheels to ensure a comfortable, safe ride with great fuel economy. With ample rubber on the tyres, you can feel confident that your vehicle will stop when braking. Inspect the tyres often, and if you notice any troubling signs, get them replaced right away.
You do and do not have control over tyre damage, but the most common reasons for tyre damage are those within your power:
Road hazards, such as nails, rocks, potholes, animals, and others, are not in your control, but by being mindful while driving, you can lessen the chances of damage to your tyres.
The exact km tyres will last vary from one person to the next such as personal driving mileages, driving style, and road conditions. On average, tyres can last up to 40,000km. With the average kms of Australian drivers is 15,000kms, which means tires can last up to three years. Drivers who treat tyres like babies may not have to replace them until much later while tougher drivers may need to replace them more often.
The smoother the drive (less braking and acceleration you do), the longer the tyres can last. Temperate climates and smooth roads also lead to longer-lasting tyres.
It’s important to remember that a time will come when you need to replace your tyres – this will depend on tyre age, vehicle type and how it’s used. With regular inspections and paying mind of the vehicle performance, you should get a sense of when this is. However, if you’re unsure, take your vehicle to a mechanic for a professional take.
When you buy a brand new set of tyres, you immediately improve the vehicle’s mileage, performance and comfortability. And, to increase their lifespan, make sure you do the following:
By doing this, you will help keep yourself, loved ones, and others on the road safe.