Your Tyres’ Health Determines Your Safety on the Road
One of the most overlooked causes of vehicle accidents and poor vehicle performance, is faulty tyres, says Australian veteran tyre recycling expert Chris Lett. He emphasises the importance of regularly inspecting and maintaining your tyres, and the importance of checking their health before navigating the roads, especially if the car’s been standing for long periods without use.
Lett says the list of dangers attached to driving with old or damaged tyres, incorrect pressure and worn tread, is long, especially if the road is unsurfaced, wet, icy, or pitted with potholes. Any of these can call for longer braking distances and raise the chances of skidding, as well as resulting in a tyre blowout, poor vehicle performance, and the danger of injury or death for you, your passengers and others on the road.
“Any of these situations can cause immediate loss of control of the vehicle, potentially causing it to veer or roll. In this situation, you should not use your brakes to stop the vehicle, but rather use the gears to slow it down,” Lett says.
Preventing the Unthinkable
To avoid finding yourself in a dire situation, Lett said it is vital to become aware of anything unusual in the car’s performance while on the road, such as unusual vibrations or sounds while driving, as this could be a sign you have a problem with your tyres. It is also necessary to check tyres regularly, and pay close attention in the process. A quick glance, or kicking the tyre, is not sufficient.
“Very important is to regularly check the rims, treads and tyres. Make sure nothing is wedged into the tread or rubber, and check that the sides of the tyres are free from cracks, splits or cuts, or any strange bulges and bumps,” Lett says.
Tyre Maintenance, the Do’s and Don’ts
Wash your tyres regularly with soap and water, cleaning off any road debris and chemicals that may degrade the tyre, check all valve caps are present and bolts correctly tightened, and look out for any signs of uneven wear or bald spots.
Check the pressure of your tyres once a month when the tyres are cold for better accuracy. The tyre specs for your vehicle can be found in the vehicle manual or on the label on the inside of the driver’s door. These specs will give you the correct pressure for the tyre size and speed/load ratings for your vehicle.
Look out for lumps, bumps and tears: Situations such as hitting a pothole or obstacle in the road can cause wheel alignment to go out of balance and cause internal damage to the tyre. Squealing tyres, the car pulling to one side when driving straight, and uneven tyre wear, are all signs of damage.
Keep an Eye on the tread: Check the tread on all your tyres regularly. A tyre has markers called TWI (Tread Wear Indicators) which are placed evenly in the main grooves in the tyre tread. These give a visual indication of how much tread is left on your tyre. If they are worn down to the level of the TWS, it is time to replace the tyre. Another method is to use a tyre tread depth gauge.
Balancing, Wheel Alignment and Rotation: Lett recommends visiting a tyre specialist at least every 10,000 km to check wheel balance and alignment, and rotating your tyres in order to ensure the long life and health of the tyres.
Many people may take a chance on delaying tyre replacement because they can’t afford to purchase new ones. This is where good quality recycled tyres come in at a fraction of the cost. Lett stresses the importance of ensuring recycled tyres have been tested and graded by a reputable dealer, who will provide you with safe tyres with a good few years of use still left in them.
Lett’s Branigans Tyres in Burleigh Heads and Southport stocks well-known brand names such as Continental, Avon, Bridgestone, Michelin, Dunlop, Firestone and Goodyear. All recycled tyres are thoroughly checked and graded for age, tread and projected functional life-span before being sold to customers at budget prices.
For further information, visit or call Chris and his team for Second Hand Tyres Gold Coast |Branigans Budget Tyres Service Centre at either Burleigh Heads (07) 5535 2660 or Southport (07) 5591 8633.
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