Choose the Right Tyres

Your tyres are a critical part of your vehicle’s safety, they just as important as your vehicle’s airbags, seat belts and brakes.

Your vehicle’s total performance can be impacted by your choice of tyres- including handling, safety, and fuel consumption.

Everybody’s needs vary according to how they drive and their vehicle. Some tyres give better grip, while others give a smoother quieter ride, some tyres are more durable. But no one tyre can be all things, it’s always a balance of factors. You need to consider how often you travel on rough roads, do you mainly do city driving, what style of car you have, are you more of a performance driver. Rayners Tyre Centre can help make the right choice for you. Some drivers simply want safe durable tyres at a reasonable price. Whereas other drivers want the extra performance that more expensive tyres offer. This is especially true for off-road 4WD vehicles, they need specialist tyres.

Ask the advice of an Independent Tyre Dealer, rather than one tied to particular brands

Note: Australian production of car tyres stopped a few years ago, in fact all tyres are now imported. Most of the big European and USA brands are now made in China.

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Nitrogen in Your Car Tyres.

Is it Worth it?

Because Nitrogen doesn’t leak as easily as air, Nitrogen gives a more consistent inflation. Having said that Air is 78 percent nitrogen and just under 21 percent oxygen, so the advantage is pretty small. Commercial aircraft tyres are required to be filled with Nitrogen; but that’s not about performance it’s about safety. Nitrogen is non-flammable and commercial aircraft braking systems can overheat.

So what’s the benefit?

Well, if you’re a F1 driver the extra half a second per lap from consistent tyre pressure it’s worthwhile. For road users it’s pretty much all fantasy.

Nitrogen doesn’t respond to temperature changes any differently than Oxygen, remember air is 78% Nitrogen anyway. You still have to check your tyre pressure just as often. Nitrogen is no substitute for proactive, regular tyre care and maintenance. Major tyre manufacturers do not prefer air or nitrogen—both are acceptable gases for tyre inflation.

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Should I lower tyre pressure off-road?

Most tyre manufacturers recommend tyre pressures for Normal Road Conditions, plus most cars have a sticker showing their recommended tyre pressure. These pressures are for when the tyres are cold, (the pressure increases as the tyre heats-up with driving, up to 6psi).

Off-road you need to adjust your tyre pressure. Lowering the pressure will improve the comfort of the vehicle when you are travelling across rough terrain. Plus it improves how your suspension responds. The lower pressure also puts more tread or rubber on the ground giving you better traction on sand, gravel, mud or steep hills.

This lower pressure is only for low speeds, as soon as you get back on the road ready to drive at normal speeds you must increase the tyre pressure back to the normal range.

So what pressure? How low?

It varies according to the terrain you are about to tackle. If it’s just a rough gravel road on which you intend to travel at a reasonable speed, then 28psi will do the job. But if it’s muddy with big rocks and deep ruts, where you need to go slower then 22psi will be better. This pressure will work for hard-packed sand, but if it’s loose sand that you might find in a dry desert outback then you might need to go as low as 16psi. Don’t go too far as there is a risk of rolling the tyre off its rim at very lower pressures, so drive slow and careful.

If your vehicle has a heavy load then naturally you need to increase the tyre pressure 2 or more psi, than the numbers above, to compensate for the load.

You must re-inflate your tyres before travelling at speed. The best way to deflate your tyres is with a proper tyre deflator and buy a quality 12-volt pump to re-inflate your tyres. You can get both from 4WD off-road shops, it’s worth the money if you are going to get serious about off-road.

All Trerrain Tyres
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How to Tell when Tyres Need Replacing.

Here’s how to check if your tyres are still legal.

Turn your front wheels out so that you can clearly see the tyre tread. Look for the Tread Wear Indicators, which are small blocks of rubber moulded into the tread grooves at regular intervals.

If these Blocks are level with the tread then it’s time to replace your tyres. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.5 mm across the width of the tread. Which is what the Tread Wear Indicators show, but you shouldn’t let the tread get that low, RACQ and some car manufacturers recommend you replace your tyres before they wear to that extent.

Uneven wear

If your tyres show uneven wear, more wear in the middle or edge. Then you have Tyre pressure or Wheel balance or Wheel alignment problems or worn suspension. Best to bring your vehicle into Rayner’s Tyre Centre Nambour for an expert opinion and how to fix it.

Tyre Age

If your tyres are old, maybe a spare car you don’t use often, check the age of the tyres. A tyre’s age can be identified by checking the manufacture date stamped on the sidewall, usually in the form of a four-digit number, where the first two digits represent the week of manufacture and the last two digits the year. See Photo Below

Tyres more than five years old will not perform well, tyres ten or more years old need replacing. Even if they have plenty of tread because the tyre rubber hardens over time. This loss of suppleness reduces performance dramatically, especially in the wet.

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