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Car Tyre Care 101

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Essential Car Tyre Safety Check and Maintenance Tips

Those black rubber things that your car rolls along are so much more than just air-filled accompaniments.

They really are the most important safety feature you have, and an extremely important link between the mechanical and electrical components of your vehicle and the road.

And while car tyres are not a new technology, developments are always taking place in the background.

But are you getting the most from your tyres? Chances are the answer is no.

Fortunately, whether you’re an expert level of car care and maintenance, or don’t know a dipstick from a bumper, you can easily follow these safety check and maintenance tips.

Tyre tread depth

Like your shoes, the more you wear them, the less tread you have.

With tyres, as they get older, you might find they don’t quite give you the same reassured feel, especially in the wet.

You might feel some slippage, primarily in the wet, when you put your foot on the accelerator, or the car might not feel as ‘sure footed’ in corners or when braking.

The way to tell how much life your tyres have is to follow the Bridgestone simple life hack – the “coin test”.

If you believe your tyres need further inspection, get them inspected by a mechanic or tyre outlet.

Using a tread depth gauge, they’ll be able to see how much life your tyres have in them and advise accordingly.

Of course, be aware that there are tread depth requirements enforced by the law and if your tyres are getting bald you could be in for a fine.

Tyre pressure

There is absolutely no excuse for not having the correct air pressures in your vehicles tyres.

Just about every service station has an air pressure gauge and it’s there for your use free!

Simply find your correct air pressure info, this is either on the tyre wall (that’s the side of the tyre), on your car tyre pressure placard (often stuck on the inside of the driver’s door), or in your owner’s manual.

Set whatever pressure is recommended on the machine, take the little black dust caps off the tyre valves, attach the hose and the machine does the rest.

Not sure you trust the machine? Well invest in a tyre pressure monitor – these are available from auto accessory outlets and cost from about $10.

Tyre rotation

You get your car serviced, right? Well next time you do make sure you ask for your tyres to be rotated.

What this does is ensure you get a good even wear across your front and rear and left and right tyres.

It is an easy job for a technician to do and will save you dollars in the long run as your tyres will give you, in most cases, a lot longer more kilometres before they need replacement.

Wheel alignment

Once again, this is something to ensure you have done regularly by your service centre.

Making sure your wheels are properly aligned, i.e. they are set up in such a way that your tyres are sitting squarely on the road for optimal tyre life, will most likely end up saving you dollars in the long run.

A wheel alignment is a relatively easy task for a trained technician and shouldn’t cost you very much money.

Repair and replacement

Tyres do get a hard life, even if you do look after them as best as you can.

Not all tyres have to be replaced simply because they’re worn out, a good percentage of tyres are swapped out each year because of damage.

This can be caused by running over a sharp object such as a piece of steel or a screw.

Sometimes people hit a gutter with some force and that’s enough to send a perfectly good tyre to tyre heaven well before it was due.

For whatever reason, when it comes time to invest in a new set of rubber for your vehicle make sure you do some research (there are tyre reviews and data available online), and don’t just pick the cheapest option either.

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About Kate Richards 1691 Articles

Kate has always had an interest in writing and cars and now as a key member of the Behind the Wheel website team she gets to spend her days consumed by both.

Aside from being a contributor and an editor at Behind the Wheel, Kate enjoys driving her Lancer EVO and walking her beloved dog, Max!

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