When Should I Replace My Tyres?
Tyres are one of the most important parts of your car. They’re the only piece of your vehicle which is actually coming into contact with the road. As time goes on and the kilometres add up, your tyres slowly but surely, will wear out. Worn out tyres can cause a number of issues, not to mention also being illegal. How do you know when it’s time to replace your rubber?
When Do I Need New Tyres?
The best way to tell if your tyres need replacing is to take a look at them. There are a few different parts of the tyre that you will need to look at:
- Tyre tread: The tread is the chunky part of the tyre that forms a contact patch with the road. The tread is what gets worn down as part of normal use.
- Wear indicators: The wear indicators are small sticks of rubber situated in grooves between the tread.
When the tread has been worn down flush with the tread wear indicators, it is time to replace the tyre. From this point on, your tyres performance will begin to degrade, becoming more and more dangerous. In Australia the required minimum tread depth is 1.5mm and once your tyres have worn down past this point they become illegal. To test tread depth, you can use a ruler to measure your tyre tread.
Why Replace Your Tyres?
Replacing your tyres is an important piece of car maintenance. Worn out tyres begin to degrade in performance, especially in the wet. As the tread becomes shallower, the tyre is less effective at providing grip while under acceleration. This can cause:
- wheel spin
- gripping while braking causing skidding
- loss of traction
transferring steering forces leading to over or understeer.
All of these can very easily cause an accident.
In the wet, the tread is used to displace water from the road. If your tyres are unable to effectively displace this water, you will begin to lose grip and could slide across the road. This is commonly known as aquaplaning. This is very dangerous and is more likely to occur if your tyres are worn.
If safety alone isn’t a good enough reason to replace your tyres, then the fact that having worn tyres is illegal may be. As previously mentioned, a minimum tread depth of 1.5mm is required for your tyres to be legal. Failure to have legal tyres on your car can lead to fines and demerit points. In Queensland, bald tyres may cost you $220.00 in fines and three demerit points.
What Causes Premature Tyre Wear?
As you drive, your tyres naturally wear out over time. However, a number of different issues can cause your tyres to wear prematurely. Incorrect tyre pressure is a major cause of premature tyre wear. Over inflated tyres will prematurely wear the centre of the tyre, whilst under inflated tyres will wear the outer edges and side walls of the tyre. Click here to learn more about why tyre pressure matters. Poorly aligned wheels can also cause your tyres to wear out prematurely. Checking your wheel alignment is common component of log book servicing.
If you’d like to talk to a professional mechanic in regard to your tyres, contact Australian Mechanical today, or book an inspection/service online.
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