How to keep your car tyres in good condition

Are you the type of person who keeps putting something off in the hope that the problem eventually goes away? Or are you the type of person who knuckles down and gets the job done straight away?

Well, if our research has taught us anything about the attitudes of motorists towards car tyres, it’s that Australians fall fairly equally into both of those categories.

We asked 1,648 drivers some telling questions relating to their experience of buying new car tyres, and found that almost half (48%) delay buying them for as long as possible. And when they do buy new tyres, almost one in four (23%) said they tend to buy the cheapest tyres available.

How much do new car tyres cost?

checking tyresOne of the main reasons for this tyre-buying tardiness is almost certainly the cost involved. We all know that car tyres are not cheap, but exactly how much are people spending on their new tyres? We asked our survey respondents and found that:

  • The average spend per tyre is $151
  • Drivers in Victoria spend the most ($161)
  • Those in Queensland spend the least ($145)
  • Gen X ($153) spend more than Baby Boomers ($151) and Gen Y ($143)

A shocking 72% of the adults we questioned said they were wary of being ripped off when buying new tyres, so before you part with your hard earned money, make sure you do your research and ascertain roughly how much your new tyres should be costing you.

What to look for when checking your tyres

They may be expensive, but car tyres are critical to your vehicle’s overall performance and to your safety. So if you struggle to find the money to buy new tyres, here are a few tips to help ensure your current tyres are kept in the best possible shape.

Tyre maintenance is not a complex task and there are a few quick checks that can be completed when you fill up for fuel. Inspect your tyres regularly, paying attention to:

  • Objects embedded in the tread. Remove all stones and other objects embedded in the tyre tread before driving.
  • Ensure tyres have adequate tread depth. If your tyres are worn to the tread-wear indicators (TWI), they must be replaced.
  • Sidewall condition: If there are bulges and cuts, have the tyre examined, as the damage may be more serious than it appears.
  • Check air pressures regularly – invest in a quality air gauge. When checking your vehicle’s tyre pressure, make sure the tyres are “cold”. Cold air pressure means that the vehicle has not yet been driven one kilometre (remember that driving on a tyre as well as being in direct sunlight increases its temperature and air pressure). If you must drive more than one kilometre for air, check and record the air pressure in all your tyres before you leave.

Even if you follow the advice above, it’s important to remember that your tyres will – at some point – need replacing. A worrying 29% of survey respondents believe they have driven on tyres that would not have met legal safety standards, and by doing so they would have put lives at risk.

So don’t be a fool – if you think your tyres need replacing, don’t take any risks. And if you don’t have the money for new tyres… take the bus.

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