7 common tyre myths - busted

Posted by: Cal on 30/09/2014

Category: General

Arguably, your car tyres are the most important feature of your vehicle. As the only contact point with the road, it is vital tyres are always up to standard and well maintained.

This said, tyres are probably one of the least understood features as they are both complex and diverse.

Here are seven of the most common misconceptions are tyres:

1) Replacing the front tyres is more important than the rear ones

False. Although it sounds right, the rear tyres actually provide the bulk of the stability to your vehicle. If you are attempting to brake or steer on damp or wet conditions, it is the rear tyres that maintain balance and stop you from ending up in a spin.

As well as this, if you only replace the front tyres, it will cause water to bounce off them and back onto the rear tyres and put even more pressure on them. Contact your tyre supplier if your rear tyres have less tread than your front ones!

2) Unused tyres don't degrade

False again. Tyres are complex and each brand and manufacturer will have different recommendations around when you should be replacing your tyres. In fact, some will suggest changing them every five years, regardless of the tread depth.

In addition, tyres can degrade even without being driven. If your vehicle has sat idle for a number of years, you will probably have to replace the tyres instead of just refilling them.

3) Pumping tyres too much will cause them to burst

Essentially true, but even if you pump your tyres slightly past the number in the tyre's sidewall - the tyre should be fine. Good quality tyres are manufactured to withstand partial increases past this point without much trouble to their integrity.

Unless you go out of your way to overpump a tyre, there is little chance you will cause any long lasting damage or put your safety at risk.

4) All tyres are filled with air

If you are thinking about your own car tyres, then this is true, but this isn't the only substance that can be pumped into tyres. Many racing and aircraft tyres are actually filled with nitrogen as the gas can maintain stable pressure better than air.

As nitrogen contains 0 per cent moisture, it is less likely to seep out and fewer pumps are required. In comparison, air contains 21 per cent moisture that can corrode the rim of wheels.

5) There are no laws related to tyres in Australia

Completely false. Australian law requires a minimum 1.5mm tread depth on every tyre. This is measured across the face of the tread that is in contact with the road.

Tyres that aren't up to scratch are commonly the target of authorities and will attract fines and demerit points. To avoid this situation, conduct regular checks yourself and if something isn't right take your vehicle to a tyre supplier for an expert's opinion.

6) Specialist tyres aren't worth the investment

If you are planning a drive on the beach or taking your 4x4 vehicle offroad, it is imperative that you purchase specialist tyres for the journey.

It is inappropriate to use your normal car tyres as they are not tuned for good traction and you will end up causing damage to your vehicle as well. Ensure that you do some research about what the traction will be like and discuss the situation with your tyre supplier.

7) Cheap tyres are good enough

It is important to remember that cheap tyres will still meet minimum legal requirements, but might not last as long as the higher end products. These tyres would have had less testing and development, but will still be safe to drive on.

As with most things, you get what you pay for so think carefully before shelling out for cheaper tyres for your vehicle.