When it comes to staying safe on our roads, properly maintaining your vehicle’s tyres should be near or at the top of your ‘to do’ list.
Those round black hoops are, quite literally, the only point of contact between your car and the road. If they’re not working properly, it can have a dramatic effect on how the car handles, brakes and steers; as well as the performance of any of the supplementary safety systems such as antilock brakes or stability control.
Taking care of your tyres also has knock-on effects that will save you money. Top of the list, your tyres will last longer; and correct inflation helps to optimise fuel economy.
So, here’s a handy checklist on how to inspect the health of your tyres.
Take a look at each tyre for any foreign items that may be lodged in the tread (think nails or screws) by visually inspecting the surface of the tyre. These items may not necessarily cause an immediate puncture but they can sometimes work their way into the tyre and create a slow air leak.
If you do find a nail or screw stuck in the tyre, do not attempt to remove it. Instead, contact a tyre fitter or your roadside assistance provider.
Next, check the sidewalls of the tyre for any bulges or cuts. You can check the inner sidewall by parking the vehicle with the steering on full lock one way to check the front edge and then full lock the other way to check the rear edge.
If any of the tyres show signs of damage it is recommended to replace them immediately. This can be assessed by a professional tyre fitter.
There is probably nothing more frustrating than having a flat (or damaged) spare tyre when you need it. So, at the same time you’re checking the tyres that are on the car, do the same for the spare.
If your car is fitted with a space saver, check, first of all, whether it is meant to be inflated in the boot, or not. Some space savers are designed to remain deflated for packaging reasons and will come with an inflation kit to use only when required.
Roadside Assist can be purchased for just $99 a year or added with any Woolworths Car Insurance policy. This could come in handy if you have a flat tyre. They will arrange for it to be changed with your car’s serviceable spare wheel or transport the car to an approved tyre outlet.
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