Tyres – simple-looking yet complex and diverse; one of the most important components of your vehicle, yet the least understood. These are four important common myths and misconceptions that should be dispelled.
Tyre Myth 1: Tyre tread depth tells you when to replace your tyre
Plenty of tyre tread does not necessarily mean your tyre still has a lot of life left in it. This makes sense if you think of a tyre as a whole unit that operates to move your vehicle along a surface. A lot depends on the manufacturing process, the rubber used, the age of the tyre, how you maintained it over time, and even where you usually park your car.
So, short of checking for tyre depth to tell how soon it will need replacing:
Check for hairline cracks on the sidewall, rubber that may be deteriorating, and when the tyre was manufactured. The chances are that an older tyre will be more prone to deterioration than a recently manufactured one. Basically, all factors need to be taken into account.
Tyre Myth 2: The "maximum pressure" on the sidewall is the correct tyre inflation to follow
It's the vehicle manufacturer who determines the correct tyre inflation for the vehicle it is fitted on, and not the tyre manufacturer.
So, to find the correct tyre pressure, the first place to look is in the doorjamb on the driver's side as this is where it is commonly situated. Newer vehicles will also have a sticker placed on the lid of the boot, glove compartment, or inside the fuel opening. If you can't find it anywhere on your car then check your car's manual.
Myth 3: Tyre quality is the same between budget brands and more well-known brands
You might think rubber is rubber. While there are some good quality brands that have more attractive price tags than the big name tyre brands, if you’re after performance, durability, and strength, then don’t expect to get the same quality from each. When it comes to tyres, you really do get what you pay for.
Safety is always the first consideration when purchasing tyres. Once you have that covered you can buy accordingly to affordability and what suits your driving needs best. This means that while racing tyres might be affordable and desirable, they won’t necessarily suit a car owner who predominantly drives to work and back during peak traffic times. (Never mind the fact that they wouldn’t be street legal.)
Myth 4: New tyres should be placed at the front
If you’re only replacing two tyres, usually because your car is front-wheel drive and the two in front wear out first, you’d think to simply replace those with new ones. Not so – tyres with the most tread should be placed at the rear of a vehicle where they provide stability. While it doesn’t matter much in dry conditions, when the road surface becomes wet, it matters a lot.
With smoother tyres at the rear, the water on wet roads is not easily dispersed, causing them to lift off the road resulting in the vehicle spinning out of control.
Note: It is recommended that you replace all four tyres at the same time to maintain even tyre wear and rotate them regularly around every 10,000 km.
Are there any tyre myths and misconceptions you would like to know about? Supa Quick are tyre experts and fully committed to safety. Why not drive in to your nearest branch for a free vehicle safety check and find out how far from the end of its life your tyre really is.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational or informational purposes only. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information. The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Supa Quick.