Looking after your car's tyres is something that you ought to be doing on a frequent basis. If you neglect your tyres then you could end up in trouble with the police. Perhaps worse still, you and your car's occupants are potentially driving around in an unsafe vehicle. Remember that ensuring your car's tyres are in good condition is not so much about confirming that you are legal to drive on the road but about providing a set of wheels that can get you out of trouble if you come across a hazard on the road. What should you be doing?
Keep Your Tyres Inflated
Running on a flat tyre is dangerous. In fact, few motorists do this when they notice they have a flat. However, you cannot always tell your tyre is under-inflated by kicking it or from a visual inspection. If you notice a tyre is flat from either of those two methods, then you have probably been driving on a partially flat tyre for a while. Check your tyre pressure every couple of thousand miles. For most drivers, this means every few times they fill up with fuel. Partial under-inflation means your tyre spreads out on the road's surface and won't offer the right level of grip. You may not be able to corner as well. Furthermore, under-inflated tyres take more energy to turn so you are throwing dollars down the drain by driving on with them in this state.
Look for Sidewall Damage
Because of the strong Australian sun, there is plenty of ultraviolet (UV) light around. The problem with UV light is that it slowly breaks down rubber compounds over time. If you look at the sidewall of a tyre which has been out in the sun a lot, then you'll see scratch-like marks which are not good. Far from being gouges, this is the rubber of the tyre separating from itself slowly. Under the pressure of the air within, such a tyre could easily blowout when you go over a bump. As well as scratches, some tyres present with bulges from UV damage. Either way, such tyres need to be replaced without delay.
Confirm Sufficient Tread
If your tyres have been driven on for a while, the tread depth will wear down. This is perfectly normal, but tyres which are approaching the minimum allowed level for tread depth don't perform as well as newer ones. You get less traction when pulling away and it takes longer to come to a stop when you apply the brake. Exchange worn down tyres before they become a real issue which means you are in more danger on the road than you otherwise ought to be.