We all know that tyres can get expensive, and the bigger they are, the more they cost. So what can you do to maximise their lifespan and get more mileage out of every set? Is it a case of reducing the wheel spin to increase tyre life? Maybe. But that is just scratching the surface of what you could do to keep your tyres longer. We got in touch with Jon Tamblyn, National Technical Field Service Manager from Bridgestone Australia, to get the real truths about maximising tyre life. Some of their tips are so simple, you’ll kick yourself for not thinking of it sooner.
1. TOO MUCH WHEEL SPIN
When it comes to ripping the side out of a tyre, wheel spin is a major contributing factor especially off-road. This damage can be caused simply by not adjusting your tyre pressures to suit the terrain. Further unseen damage caused by this would be damage to steel belts and even the tyre carcass. So just remember to drop your tyres and as hard as it is sometimes, reduce wheel spin.
2. THE IMPORTANCE OF TYRE PRESSURES
Jon TAMBLYN, Bridgestone Australia “Ensuring you maintain the correct tyre pressures for on and off-road driving is critical. Under or over-inflation is dangerous and can lead to excessive tread wear. When you set off, the tyre pressure should be set to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended specifications. Once you’ve reached the start of your off-road adventure, lower your tyre pressures to improve traction. For most vehicles tackling graded dirt trails, the tyre pressure can remain at the pressures listed on the vehicle’s tyre placard. If you’re unsure, stop by your local tyre fitter and see what they recommend. Not only will the right tyre pressure make your drive easier, it will also reduce the risk of tyre damage.” 3. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES DRIVING STYLE MAKE TO TYRE LIFE? Driving style is a big issue when it comes to tyre longevity. Driving too fast into corners and heavy braking on the blacktop can seriously reduce the life of your tyres. This can be heavily caused by the open tread pattern of a mud tyre tearing under load when cornering as it is trying to grip and the lugs are twisting on carcass. An easy fix is to just slow down a bit on the road, this will allow the tyre to work through a corner and not twist the tread blocks causing damage. 4. WHY YOU SHOULD ROTATE TYRES ON A REGULAR BASIS
Jon TAMBLYN, Bridgestone Australia “One of the best ways you can look after your tyres is by rotating them regularly. This will help your tyres deliver more even wear and longer life. Diagonally swapping the rear tyres to the front and vice-versa ensures they wear evenly and last significantly longer. As a guide, tyres should be rotated every 5000 to 8000km even if there is no obvious sign of uneven wear.”
5. IS TYRE QUALITY A BIG FACTOR IN LONGEVITY?
A high quality tyre will last longer than a cheap knock off as the technology and testing that goes into manufacturing is on a higher level. It also comes down to the construction of the tyre, companies that use a higher level of silica in their production have a harder compound and will chip a lot more in harder conditions than a tyre that is higher in natural rubber. A tyre with a higher silica level works better when driving in wet conditions as it disperses the water away from the tread surface quicker than a one with a higher rubber content. 6. DOES A WHEEL ALIGNMENT MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE?
Jon TAMBLYN, Bridgestone Australia “When it comes to vehicle maintenance, a wheel alignment is one of the most important considerations. As well as compromising your vehicle’s safety, incorrect wheel alignment can greatly increase tyre wear – which means it costs you money in the long run because your tyres will have to be replaced well before they should need to be. Over time a slight misalignment can cause a lot of uneven or premature tyre wear, so it’s important to get this fixed quickly before it leads to larger problems. Wheel alignment should be checked every time you replace your tyres and any time that your vehicle begins to pull continuously to the left or right.”