When should I change my tyres?

A car's tyres are its only contact point with the road surface, so making sure your rubber is in good nick is vital for overall safety

Few things are more critical to the safety and performance of a car than its tyres. A car cannot be safe if its tyres are in poor condition.

As the only components in constant touch with the road surface, the tyres contribute not only to safe handling and braking, but also to the comfort and overall running costs of a car.

Major signs you need to replace your tyres area: Poor road grip when braking or cornering and Excessive vibration.

The following checklist should be followed every two weeks:

Tread Depth

All tyres have tread wear indicators (TWIs) - small blocks of rubber within the tread at certain points around the tyre. As the tyre wears, these blocks get closer and eventually become flush with the surface of the tyre.

Once that happens, the tyre is officially unroadworthy because by this time only 1.6mm of tread is left. The recommendation is that the tyre should be replaced once tread depth is down to around 2mm.

The easiest way to tell how much life is left in the tyre is by using a tread depth indicator. Tyresales.com.au provide these free so if you would like one sent to you please contact us on 1300 897 372.

Uneven Wear

Uneven wear can be a sign of incorrect wheel alignment, worn suspension, or under/over-inflated tyres.

To check for uneven wear, inspect the whole contact surface, including the outer edges, of the tyre. Front-wheel drive cars normally show a greater degree of wear on the front tyres, so particular notice should be taken of the relative wear front to rear.

Swapping tyre pairs from front to back at regular intervals is recommended, for both front and rear-wheel drive vehicles, provided tyre size is the same at both ends.

Old Age

Generally, a tyre that has been fitted onto the vehicle for more than five years will need replacement. Even if the kilometres travelled are low, or the tyre isn’t even being used, it will deteriorate as the rubber loses its suppleness through the drying out of moisture and oils.

This applies to all tyres on the vehicle – including the spare.

It’s also worth noting that tyres deteriorate more quickly in hot climates.

Replace Full Set

It’s best to replace all four tyres. Once the tyres are due for replacement, it’s recommended that they’re all replaced at the same time, including the spare.

Mismatched tyres can interfere with the overall balance and road grip of the vehicle. It’s also necessary to note if your vehicle’s tyres have a specific rotational direction – many tyres today are designed this way and need to be fitted accordingly.

Choose the Right Tyre

It’s important for your car’s safety that you use correct-size tyres to replace the originals. A change in tyre profile will affect the rolling circumference of the tyre and may require changing rim size so the original circumference is retained.

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