How to check and maintain your tyre tread and condition

Last updated 15/03/2020

The majority of drivers leave tyres to the professionals. While this makes sense in many situations, it can actually improve your safety – and save you some time and money – if you learn how to conduct a DIY check.

Tyres need to be inspected regularly, and if you’re on the ball, you could prevent tyre damage, punctures, and total blowouts. You could also end up improving fuel efficiency and performance while you’re at it.

Do your tyres need to be inspected? Call our expert team on 13 13 28 or click here to find your nearest store.

The legal tyre tread requirements in Australia

Having a worn out tyre tread isn’t just unsafe, it’s also illegal. In Australia, all tyres require a minimum tread depth of at least 1.5mm. Most tyres are now even fitted with tread wear indicators, so it’s easy for anyone to tell if they’re breaking the law.

Wear indicators are small blocks of rubber within the tread of a tyre at certain points around the tyre. As a tyre wears, these blocks get closer and ultimately become even with the surface of the tyre. If the blocks are in line with the rest of the tyre, it is time for new tyres.

Your tyre tread is what makes your grip so good on a wet road. Without it, a rainy day could result in a serious accident, which is why the legal requirement exists.

While you’re checking the tread, make sure there are no other signs of damage on the tyre, too.

Tips for maintaining your tyres

Maintaining your tyres correctly not only saves you money in the long run, it could also save your life! Try the following tips if you want to make your tyres last longer:

Keep your tyres inflated to avoid damage

Under-inflated tyres are more prone to damage and blowouts, so make sure you’re always checking your tyre pressure and inflating them where necessary. Your tyre manufacturer’s placard, usually found inside the driver’s door or in the glove box will specify the ideal pressure.

Bear in mind that over-inflation is also harmful to tyres. You’ll need to get in the hang of checking regularly and maintaining the perfect tyre pressure.

Rotate your tyres

Tyres will wear out differently depending on whether they’re located at the front or rear of the vehicle. Switching the rear tyres with the front tyres can give them new life and make them last a little bit longer.

Change your driving habits

If you’re a fan of the sudden brake, taking sharp corners, and driving too fast over speed bumps, it’s time to change your ways. All of these things cause your tyres to wear out prematurely. You should also take care when driving around potholes or on unsealed roads.

Get your wheel alignment checked regularly

Having your wheel alignment checked regularly is a great way to keep your tyres going a little bit longer. Tyres that aren’t in correct wheel alignment are more prone to damage and wear. Just ask your mechanic to perform it as part of your annual service

What about the spare tyre?

Your spare tyre’s pressure should be checked regularly, along with your other tyres, as you never know when you may need it. If your spare tyre is more than ten years old, it should be replaced, even if you’ve never used it. The same goes for your regular tyres – if they are more than ten years old, even if the tread looks good, you should still have them replaced.

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