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9 April 2024 · Tips N' Tricks

End Of The Road For Your Tyres?

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Australian tyres roll on through the heat, and rain and survive gnarly road surfaces, doing all that while still delivering on their core purpose – providing the right mix of grip and other characteristics for safe cornering and braking and comfortable, efficient driving. For all these reasons, you should never start a road trip – or any trip – with tyres past their best. Here's how to tell if you should visit the tyre shop before you set off.

You've had them for five years or more

Generally speaking, tyres last about 40,000 kms which is roughly four to five years for an average driver. If you've had your current set of tyres for five years or longer, it’s time to replace them, regardless of current mileage or if they still look okay. While the characteristics of rubber are a great match for use in tyres, it also starts to naturally break down over time, impacting a tyre's performance, efficiency and structural integrity. While there’s no law obliging you to change your rubber after a certain time, most tyre experts recommend changing tyres every five years.

They have insufficient tread

Tyre tread is designed to pump water away from between a tyre and the road surface, optimising the tyre's grip when it is wet and giving you maximum control and safety. New tyres have an 8mm tread depth. While the minimum legal tread depth in Australia is 1.5mm, most tyre experts recommend replacing tyres once the tread depth hits 3mm.

They have cracks, bulges or blisters

Long-term exposure to the elements dries the rubber in a tyre out. If you can see small cracks starting to appear, your tyre is past its best and needs to be replaced. Bulges and blisters should also be treated with urgency. These obvious and unsightly examples of a compromised tyre are caused by uneven wear or damage that leads to a weak or thin spot. Keep driving on them and you're looking at a potential blowout and loss of control.

They have something embedded in them

We drive over a lot of different surfaces as we make our way from A to B and sometimes it'll be metal or sharp. If it's big and sharp enough, you won't have to think too hard about a tyre replacement – you'll be stopped by a puncture that can’t be repaired. Some embedded objects might not puncture a tyre – or they might just lead to a slow puncture – but will still render it unsafe. In the case of others, like small nails, they can be removed, the hole can be plugged and your tyre can keep rolling.

Finally – don’t forget your spare

Most cars have a spare tyre. If you want to ensure you're not caught short when you might really need it, check its condition regularly and replace it if it has any of the issues mentioned here. If you rely on any other tyres when you drive – such as those on trailers – you'll want to give them regular checks as well.

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