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Top 5 DIY Tyre Checks

Tyre sidewall showing heavy damage, most likely from flat spotting while stored for long period of time.

Now that Coronavirus restrictions are easing and many people are returning to their normal commute, it’s a great time to check your tyres to make sure they’re up to the task.

If your vehicle has been parked up or seen very little use while you’ve been working from home, or maybe you’re a habitual public transport user, these tips are for you.

1: Visual tyre check

Take a moment to look at your tyre, we’re looking for signs of sidewall damage such as nicks, cuts or scrapes. Tyre sidewalls are the hardest working part of the tyre and any damage here can potentially result in a sudden loss of control, should the tyre come apart at highway speeds.

If you look at your tyre sidewall and notice any bulging, it’s worth checking tyre pressures first and foremost as low pressure is the most likely culprit. If the vehicle has been sitting for a very long period of time in the same spot there is also the potential for the tyres to have developed flat spots.

While you’re down looking at your tyres, it’s worth checking the tyre valve caps are tight. Any missing caps can result in dust and dirt getting caught up inside the valve, causing a slow leak.

Person checking tyre pressure with handheld gauge

2: Check your tyre pressures

If you’re noticing your sidewalls are bulging, the first thing to check is your tyre pressures. This can easily be done with a cheap gauge you can get from nearly any auto parts store, otherwise, if the tyre is only partially deflated you can limp the vehicle to a nearby tyre store or service station.

In the event of a very flat tyre, it is best to put the spare tyre on to avoid damage to the tyre or the wheel.

Do not risk driving on a completely flat tyre, the damage done to the tyre will be irreversible and replacement is the only course of action.

Be sure to check your spare tyre too, the last thing you want is to need to change a tyre to find your spare is flat or damaged.

3: Check tyre tread depth

Measuring tyre tread depth can be easily done with an inexpensive tool from an auto store or by using a ruler. Using a ruler, measure tread depth in 3 to 4 locations across the width of the tyre.

The minimum legal tread depth across the country is 1.5mm anywhere across the tread face.

As tyres wear, their ability to disperse water diminishes. If a tyre isn’t able to move water quick enough, aquaplaning can occur. Aquaplaning starts to become more common at around 3mm of tread of less so if you find your tyres are getting low, before winter is a great time to ensure your tyres are going to be up to the task.

Checking tyre tread depth

4: Go for a test drive

For a truly comprehensive tyre test, the best thing to do is go for a drive. Feel through the steering wheel for any vibrations or vague steering feel as well as listening out for any strange sounds.

While travelling in a straight line on a level road, the steering wheel ought to be straight and the car should not want to fight you to stay in your lane.

If any vibrations don’t disappear after a few kilometres of driving or you notice new sounds, get in contact with Kogarah Tyrepower today and have our technicians look over your car with a wheel alignment and balance.

5: Ensuring you have correct tyres for the conditions

An often overlooked component of driving is having the right tyres for the job. A good example is a new 4WD or SUV coming factory fitted with highway terrain (HT) tyres while the owner would typically require an All Terrain (AT) for accessing rocky job sites and so on.

Coming into winter is a great time to access the current state of your tyres and ensure that you have tyres that will handle what conditions you plan to be using the vehicle for.

Contact us today

If you’ve noticed anything out of the ordinary in regards to your tyres, or you’re experiencing unusual steering feel, be sure to contact the experts today. Kogarah Tyrepower are your local Premium Pirelli dealer, covering the South Sydney area.

Visit our store at 7 Lindsay Street, Kogarah or contact us on (02) 9587 3366 to talk with our knowledgeable staff.

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