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Is it Time to Replace my Tyres?

Although it might be easy to look past the role that your tyres play in the well functioning operation of your car, the reality is that you should never diminish just how important it is that your tyres are in good condition.

After all, tyres serve as the sole point of contact between your car and whatever surface lies beneath, so it’s vital that they’re up to the ever-changing task. Nonetheless, many of us fall into the habit of disregarding our tyres, at least until it’s too late.

Given the amount of tyre options on the market, there is also difficulty when it comes to finding the right replacement. Before then, however, what are the things that you should be aware of.

 

How do I know when my tyres need replacement?

The best way to stay on top of tyre maintenance is through preventative care. Every few weeks you should inspect your tyres visually, looking for general wear, assessing the tread and also gauging the pressure in the tyre.

By law, the minimum legal tread depth is 1.5mm in Australia. Of course, waiting until it gets to that point is a dangerous choice, because in many ways you are still potentially compromising on your safety the closer that point nears.

Ideally, once the tread on your tyre gets below 2.5 or 3mm, you will want to start eyeing up a replacement for your wearing tyres. Wait any longer and the grooves on your tyres will start to flatten out, which is when a tyre starts to go bald. The consequences of this are a loss of traction, meaning longer braking distances.

There are various ways you can measure the tread depth without needing a precise ruler. First, keep an eye out for the rubber ‘nibs’ located on the space between the tread grooves. These are indicators that once worn down, will let you know it is time to be replacing your tyre.

If you have a 20c coin at hand, you can also use this as an approximate yardstick. Insert the coin in the tyre groove and look for how far it sits in the space. One handy thing to keep an eye on is the picture of the platypus on the face of the coin. If its bill doesn’t touch the tyre tread, you have less than 3mm tread depth and are fast approaching a replacement. On the other hand, if the coin sits snugly inside the tread groove, you’re good to go.

Beyond tread, however, tyres also have a lifespan as far as material composition. Tyres should generally not be kept more than five years as the rubber starts to experience degradation as far as its flexibility. If you look close enough, you’ll spot a four digit code on the sidewall of the tyre. This code tells you the week and year when the tyre was made, so if that was more than five years ago, you’re well overdue!

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