You may not realise it, but the way you drive can have a lot to do with how long your tyres will last and how well they perform. As you head down the road, there are a number of things to keep in mind:
Take it easy. Avoid hard cornering, rapid accelerations and abrupt braking and stopping. These actions put a lot of stress on tyres. Smooth, safe driving is better for your tyres – and for you!
Avoid potholes and other hazards. Obviously, it’s best not to hit potholes or objects in the road. But if you can’t avoid them, remember that the faster you are going when you hit something, the greater the impact on your tyres – so slow down as much as you can without endangering yourself or others.
If you can’t avoid a pothole, don’t apply the brakes when you hit it. Instead, apply them as you approach the hole, and release them before striking it. This slows you down, but allows the tyre to roll as it hits, softening the impact. If you hit an extremely large object or hole, have your tyres checked by Woonona Tyres or your mechanic. Such collisions can cause internal tyre damage that you can’t see – but which can cause problems later on.
Sometimes, a tyre can be severely damaged and travel hundreds or even thousands of km before failing. Vibration or rough ride may be a sign of such damage – and time for a replacement.
Getting Stuck – And Unstuck
If you find yourself stuck in snow, ice, mud or wet grass, don’t spin your tyres rapidly, and never spin them if a drive wheel is off the ground. Doing so can actually cause damage to a tyre because if one wheel is stuck, and the other is free to spin, all the engine’s power goes to the free wheel. If you’re in snow, turn off the vehicle, apply the brakes and shovel snow away from the tyres and vehicle. Try sand and gravel to get more traction. If that doesn’t work, gently rock the vehicle back and forth using forward and reverse gears. Keep people away from your tyres and the vehicle as you rock.
Watch out for overloading. Driving on an overloaded tyre is hazardous. When your car is carrying too much, the weight can create excessive heat inside your tyres – and that can cause sudden tyre failure. Never exceed the maximum load rating of your tyres, which you can find on the sidewall of the tyre. When you replace a tyre, make sure the new one has a load-carrying capacity equal to or greater than what is specified on your vehicle’s placard.
It’s also important to treat your tyres right when you’re not using them. If you store tyres, keep them in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight, heat and ozone. Allow air to circulate around all sides to avoid moisture damage. Keep tyres away from grease, fuel and other substances that can deteriorate the rubber. Do not store tyres within 5 metres of an electric motor, eg. compressor, to avoid ozone exposure.
Preventing Tyre Trouble
Regular inspections can help you prevent tyre trouble and keep you rolling safely down the road. If you detect any damage, get it checked out at Woonona Tyres or your mechanic as soon as practical.