Home tips to improve your tyre’s lifetime
Tyres can be expensive. Most vehicle owners, fall into the same category as insurance, registration, & vehicle servicing: things you don’t want to pay for, but you have to.
Inevitably, you’ll want to put off replacing them for as long as possible, so if this sounds like you, here are some great home tips you can take to get as much from your tyres as you safely can.
Before we begin, we’re just going to come out and say it – no matter how much care you take of your tyres, they will always need to be replaced eventually. Tyres start to break down depending on their age, how far they’ve travelled if they haven’t been regularly rotated and how they are used. When that starts to happen, you can be only one wrong turn from disaster.
There really is no substitute for having your tyres properly checked & maintained, so even if you follow all the advice in the blog below, you should still check yourself into your local Tyreright service centre at least once a year for a free tyre safety check. Let’s jump in!
Don’t drive like an idiot
Fast acceleration & faster corners. Late braking. Frequent lane switching. Overtaking. These are all things that put unnecessary stress on your tyres and cause them to wear out faster. The best thing you can do if you want your tyres to last longer is to drive calmly and sensibly. Try to avoid using tyres for things they weren’t designed to do, such as taking them off road (unless you have the correct all terrain or mud terrain tyres fitted), mounting kerbs or racing.
Watch where you drive
If you’re driving in your 4-door family sedan, the local forest track is not somewhere you should regularly be. The type and condition of the roads on which you drive can cause your tyres to wear down faster, so be careful around potholes, gravel or dirt roads, or areas with lots of kerbs or raised levels. That speed bump might not be too harsh on the suspension, but your car tyres would likely disagree.
Check your tyre pressures monthly
Invest in a good, easy-to-use pressure gauge and keep it in your car. This will allow you to check your tyre pressures regularly wherever you are to make sure they are at the correct pressure for your vehicle.
Under-inflated tyres cause the rubber to flex more while driving, which wears down the construction, generates heat, and increases the chances of a blowout.
Conversely, over-inflated tyres wear down your treads faster, and the additional air pressure can also increase the chances of your tyres similarly going “bang.”
Your vehicle will have tyre pressure guides in its handbook, while most vehicles also have a guide to appropriate tyre pressures stuck to the vehicle frame around the driver’s door on the placard.
Regularly inspect your tyres
You should make an effort to check your tyres for splits, cracks, bulges, and balding spots frequently. While doing this, keep an eye for stones or sharp fragments embedded in the tread or the grooves. While car tyres are thick, a bumped kerb or pothole can push debris through your tyre into your inner tube, leading to a puncture.
Don’t turn your steering wheel while stationary
While this is sometimes difficult to prevent, you should try to avoid turning your tyres while you aren’t moving. This rubs the tyres against the abrasive surface of the road and generates heat through friction. This not only breaks down the rubber of the tyre, but it can also wear down the tread as well.
While hard to avoid in tight spaces such as car parks, try to avoid turning your steering wheel unless you’re moving.
Rotate your tyres
This might not fit under everyone’s definition of a ‘Home’ tip, but if you have a jack and a toolkit in your car, you can rotate your car’s tyres in a matter of hours.
The front tyres generally take more stress than the back tyres because they are responsible for turning. For front-wheel-drive cars, they are also responsible for keeping the car moving as well, which is a lot of strain on a tyre.
This means they can wear out faster than the rear tyres, so swapping your front and rear tyres every 5,000 – 10,000 km can help spread out the wear across your tyres, helping them collectively last longer.
For expert tyre rotation advice or for a free tyre safety check, visit your local Tyreright service centre.
Check your wheel nuts
Even the best tyres in the world will break down very quickly if the wheels aren’t fitted to your car properly. Your wheel nuts make sure your wheels are securely fixed to your car, so it’s important to make sure they stay tight. Most cars should have a torque wrench in their toolkit for changing over the spare tyre, but if you don’t have one, your local hardware store should have one for very cheap. Buy it and keep it in your car.
Clean your tyres
Most people don’t consider cleaning the tyres on their own, instead choosing to do it while they clean the rest of the car. Dirty, mucked-up tyres can actually decrease your tyre’s handling by filling in the treads, but chips, stones, or patches of caked-in mud can cause uneven tyre wear, reducing the lifespan of the tyre.
Don’t use harsh chemicals & equipment when cleaning
Aussies love a good car wash, particularly in summer, but harsh chemicals can actually damage your tyres. Tyre shine might make your car look top-notch but they carry a risk of drying out the rubber, increasing the risk of cracks and blowouts.
If you want your tyres to shine like they just came fresh from the factory, you should invest in some specialist tyre cleaners instead of the stuff you can pick up in your local supermarket. Your tyres will thank you.
No substitute for the professionals
The tips aren’t exhaustive, but beyond this, you’re really looking to get professional help with your tyres. All these tips are great, but more technical checkups such as wheel alignment, and suspension checks really need the attention of a specialist. Following the advice above will get you nowhere if your tyres aren’t aligned properly or your suspension isn’t set up evenly.
Proper inflation is the single most important part of tyre care. It is the essential ingredient for keeping tyres in good condition, providing optimum performance and giving maximum life. It is the air that keeps tyres fit and safe and carries the weight of the vehicle and its load, not the rubber or the casing material.
Having balanced tyres is important for driving comfort and long tyre life.
Balanced tyres are important for driving comfort and long tyre life. Unbalanced tyres cause vibration, resulting in driver fatigue, premature tyre wear and unnecessary wear to your vehicle’s suspension. Tyres should be balanced when they are fitted to wheels for the first time or after repair. Have wheels and tyres balanced if there are signs of vibration, wheel wobble or patchy tyre wear? Tyres should be balanced about every 20,000km and vehicle alignment checked annually or every 25,000km.
Tyres lose air
Tyres lose air normally through the process of permeation. Changes in temperature can also affect the rate at which your tyres lose air. Generally speaking, a tyre could lose one or two pounds of air pressure per month in cool weather and even more in the heat.
Whether you pride yourself on your car care or not, you should be getting your tyres replaced at a minimum every 5 years, with annual checkups in between. To book a time to see your local Tyreright expert, find your closest Tyreright service centre.