Although some answers to the question of how to make tyres last longer can easily be found, Chris Lett of Branigans Tyres, a Gold Coast tyre business feels that a few points are often overlooked. From the obvious, to the less easily apparent, he outlines the ways in which tyre life can be extended.
1. Tyre Pressure Checks
Although most people know that they need to ensure that their tyres aren’t underinflated, many people aren’t aware that changing temperatures can cause them to become overinflated. The air in tyres expands with heat, and overinflation causes unnecessary tyre wear, affects vehicle handling, and makes tyres more vulnerable to punctures. A sudden cold snap, on the other hand, could result in underinflated tyres, not because they’re losing air, but because the air inside them has contracted owing to the lower temperature.
Chris recommends checking tyre pressure when the tyres are close to ambient temperature using the car manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure as the target. That means checking the tyre pressure after the car has been standing for a while, or after a short drive to the nearest filling station, not when the car has already been on a long drive.
As for how often tyre pressure should be checked, once a month would be the absolute minimum frequency while some diligent folk recommend a check every five days. “It doesn’t take long to check tyre pressure,” says Chris, “so you may as well do it while you’re filling up with petrol, and you should certainly check before setting out on long journeys.”
2. Wheel Balancing, Wheel Rotation, and Wheel Alignment
Correct wheel balancing and alignment help to make tyres last longer and gives the driver a smoother ride. Chris says that the signs of poor wheel alignment are usually picked up when people stop in at his workshop for a tyre change or for rotation of tyres. “You can see the uneven tread wear,” says Chris, “and that tells technicians that the wheel alignment isn’t good.”
“If you drive smoothly on tarred roads, wheel alignment can stay correct for years. But if you often drive on rough roads, hit a pothole hard, drive into or over a curb, or are involved in an impact, you will need to have your wheels aligned more frequently. You’ll notice that it’s time to attend to wheel alignment if your steering wheel doesn’t automatically return to a straight position after cornering, and you are experiencing handling problems or unusual vibration. The faster you have it corrected, the better it will be for your tyres – and for your overall driving experience.”
Wheel balancing is done whenever tyres are changed. That includes times when the car owner goes for tyre rotation: another simple routine that helps tyres to last longer. “To extend tyre life, have the tyres rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 kilometres,” advises Chris. But wheel balancing weights can also fall off – it’s not that common, but also not impossible. The symptoms are similar to those indicating bad wheel alignment, and the driver will know that it’s time to visit a local tyre dealer to have it checked out.
3. Bonus Tips for Extending Tyre Life
Parking the car in the shade isn’t always possible, but sun exposure does degrade tyres over time. It’s also not great for the interior upholstery and the car’s paint-job. Even the battery life can be reduced. All in all, parking in the shade is the best bet – at least when it’s possible to do so.
Travelling light can make a difference. “If you have a lot of heavy stuff in your car boot, it’s going to add its mite to tyre wear,” says Chris. “It’s usually not a biggie, but some people let things pile up in there over time, so giving it a clean out from time to time is never a bad idea.”
Last, but not least, getting really good quality tyres for one’s car could mean that they last longer. “It can be expensive going for big-name brands,” says Chris, “but our nearly-new tyres include some famous brands, and are often better than cheap new tyres in terms of service life.”
For further information, visit or call Chris and his team at Second Hand Tyres Gold Coast |Branigans Budget Tyres by contacting the Service Centres in Burleigh Heads (07) 5535 2660 or Southport (07) 5591 8633.