Tyre Maintenance to Extend the Life of Your Wheels

Posted by Motorama in Servicing Tips

Preventative maintenance is essential for ensuring your vehicle is as safe as possible.

Regular inspections at a reputable car service centre can also help save you money in the long run, as your vehicle is less likely to suffer major breakdowns or failures if it is properly maintained.

One of the most important parts in your maintenance schedule should be checking and protecting your car's tyres from ageing.

Follow this comprehensive guide to find out how to extend the life of your tyres and make sure your vehicle is as safe as possible.

What is tyre ageing?

Quite simply, tyre aging is when the structural integrity of your car's tyres deteriorate over time. This leaves them more susceptible to failure, leading to inconvenience, repairs, or on-road accidents.

What causes it?

Usually, tyre degradation is due to the chemical reaction that occurs within rubber components.

This can be accelerated by exposure to heat and sunlight, and research suggests tyres age more quickly in warm climates with high ambient temperatures.

Poor storage and infrequent use can also speed up how quickly a tyre ages, along with cars that are only driven occasionally. This is because regularly-driven tyres often wear out and need to be replaced before ageing becomes a major safety concern.

With this in mind, it makes sense that spare tyres stored in vehicles are particularly prone to aging problems, as they rarely get used and over are overlooked when it's time to replace the other tyres.

Even if it looks like it has good tread, the internal structure of the tyre could be damaged - so make a habit to replace your spare every time you replace your main set of tyres.

How do I know how old the tyre is?

Tyres should feature a tyre identification number (TIN) that displays the date of its manufacture. The last three or four digits indicate the week and year the tyre was made.

If there's no obvious damage, how old is too old?

Tyre aging all depends on environmental factors. Many tyre manufacturers warrant their tyres against defects for five years from the date of manufacture, and many advise against using tyres that are older than six years.

In terms of mileage, many long-lasting tyres these days are able to get over 120,000 kilometres out of their tyre, but this is dependent on environmental and driving factors.

What is the tyre ageing process like?

One result of ageing is the tyre's rubber becoming increasingly brittle. This is due to the vulcanisation of sulphur and rubber molecules with heat and pressure, causing the rubber to stiffen over time.

Another process of tyre ageing is oxidation of oxygen and ozone from the air, which affects the rubber's elasticity and strength and impacts the integrity of the rubber and steel bond. Breakdown of this bond can also be caused by water permeating through the rubber, bonding with the brass coating on steel belts. This weakens the bond and reduces both the tyre's strength and its heat resistance.

What can I do to prevent it?

When checking your tyre's air pressure and inflating them to correct levels, make sure the compressed air is completely dry.

If it's not, the tyre strength can be impaired. Because exposure to harsh weather conditions can increase ageing, check your sidewalls for signs of cracking to make sure they're still in top shape. This is particularly important for tyres over four years old, and those that are often parked outside.

Replace your spare tyre when you upgrade your driving tyres, and if you suspect they're ageing more rapidly than they should be, take them down to the an expert in car servicing in Brisbane.

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At Motorama we have Brisbane's best service centres located at Moorooka, Browns Plains and Springwood. We service all makes and models, specialising in Holden, Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, Kia and Nissan.

But we offer more then just servicing, with a range of products and expertise available to assist in all your ongoing vehicle maintenance needs.

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