tyres are the only grip your car has on the road making sure they’re in good
condition is a must to stay safe. Here are the two clear signs it’s time for
1. There’s not enough tread on your tyres
Tyre tread is designed to remove and disperse water between
the tyre and the road surface to maintain good grip when it’s wet – on a brand-new
tyre, the tread is typically eight millimetres deep. The minimum legal tread
depth in Australia is 1.5mm. A tyre with less than 1.5mm tread depth can increase
the distance it takes your car to stop, reduce your grip levels on the road and
increase the serious risk of aquaplaning or sliding in wet conditions.
Small bars of rubber running across the grooves in between
the tread called tread wear indicators tell you when the tyre is worn out. If
the tread is worn down to these bars on any part of the tyre, it’s worn out,
unroadworthy, and needs to be replaced. If your car tyres are worn unevenly but
not necessarily worn out, it is usually a sign of a steering or suspension
problem. Having it checked out and fixed will make your car safer and maximise
the life of your tyres. Even when your tyres seem to be wearing well, a wheel
alignment every 12 months or 20,000km is a good idea to ensure long tyre life.
2. There is visible sidewall damage on your car tyres
A quick visual inspection of tyre condition when you check
your tyre pressure can help you detect damage early, reducing the risk of tyre
failure. A cut, bulge or missing chunk from the sidewall is usually the result
of impact with a gutter or pothole and can make a tyre unroadworthy and unsafe.
A bulge means the inner structure of the tyre sidewall has separated and is
allowing the air inside to push against the rubber facing of the sidewall,
which puts the tyre at an increased risk of failure.
If the rubber facing on the sidewall has been cut or damaged
through to the inner structure, it’s time to get the tyre replaced. Another
sign to watch for is crazing (small cracks) on the tyre sidewall. This is
caused by strong sunlight and sea air (because of its high concentration of
ozone). If you live near the sea or your car is frequently outside in the sun,
keep an eye out for these signs too.