The importance of tyres on your car
Updated 10 Oct 2019
Tyres are one of the most important and most overlooked parts on a modern day vehicle.
They are the main contact your vehicle has with the road and many people fail to realise that tyres require maintenance on a regular basis for them to continue operating at their peak.
Listed here are some top tips to keep your tyres in a good, safe operating condition and improve your tyre life.
Keeping your tyres and the correct pressure is a major part in prolonging tyre life and performance, but is often forgotten, or only checked when the vehicle is serviced.
Keeping your tyres inflated properly not only helps provide maximum contact with the road, but also increases fuel economy and reduces road noise.
All vehicles have a tyre placard fitted to the drivers inside door jamb, or located on the inside of the fuel flap on some European models. This will have the recommended tyre pressures for both normal driving, driving with a full passenger load, and high speed driving.
A rough guide for passenger vehicles for pressure would be:
32-34 PSI (220 - 235kPa) for around town driving
36PSI (250kPa) for highway driving and when carry a full load of passengers or luggage
38-40PSI (260 - 275kPa) for low profile tyres and high speed driving
Tyre tread is designed to disperse water and improve grip on the road in treacherous conditions.
The design of the tread pattern (also known as ‘blocks’) allows the tyres to grip the road, improving safety and handling - even in adverse conditions.
Tyres need to be checked regularly to ensure there is sufficient tread depth left, and to make sure there are no punctures or visible damage to the tyre.
Most tyres have small triangles on the sidewall, that indicate where the tread wear markers are located.
The minimum legal limit for tread depth is 1.5mm. If the tread on the tyre is the same level as the wear indicator, it is time to replace your tyres.
Finding your tyre size:
Locating the size description on your tyres is a simple process. On the sidewall of your tyres (The side facing outwards - usually will have the brand of the tyre) there will be a sequence of numbers, which will give you the tyre size on your vehicle.
An example would read: 205/65R16 92H. This is the number you will be asked for, when quoting tyres.
205 - the width of the tyre, in millimetres (mm)
65 - this is the sidewall height, as a percentage of the width, in millimetres (mm)
16 - the size of the rim that the tyre is fitted to, in inches (in)
92 - the load rating of the tyre. The heavier your vehicle, the higher the load rating.
H - the speed rating of the tyre. The higher the performance of the vehicle will determine the speed rating required.
Wheel Alignment and tyre rotation:
The alignment of the vehicle's wheels can dramatically affect the way the vehicle handles, stops and how quickly the tyres wear out.
Having the alignment checked on a laser wheel alignment machine will make sure all the suspension and steering components are in good condition, and will increase the life of your tyres.
Having your tyres rotated and the balance checked at regular intervals will increase the life of the tyres, as it allows the tyres on both the front and the rear of the car to wear evenly and prevent any wheel vibration at higher speeds.
Industry standard recommends tyres be rotated every 5,000km-10,000km and the alignment to be checked every 10,000km, or whenever tyres are replaced.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru
We let you search, compare and book from over 1600 qualified mechanics who eat car troubles for breakfast.
Finding a passion for cars from a young age, Joel carried out work experience as a mechanic whilst at school before starting an apprenticeship after finishing year 12.
After almost 10 years on the tools and in customer service, he moved into the IT realm as a Data Analyst and In-House mechanic at AutoGuru.