• Safety checks before you take to the road these holidays
• Worn tyres can increase braking distance by nearly 20m in wet conditions
As the warmer weather and school holidays approach, it is time to think once again about your car’s safety before you hit the road to that holiday destination you have been saving up for. Continental is one of the largest manufacturers of tyres globally, which means we are all too aware of how important it is to make sure you add tyres to your vehicle safety check list.
The tyre pressures specified for your vehicle are decided upon after extensive testing by the car maker’s engineers. The recommended tyre pressures for your vehicle/tyre combination can be found in your vehicle handbook, inside the fuel filler flap or on the driver's door post, this is known as the placard pressure.
Tyre pressure influences many important characteristics of the car’s performance, such as: driving comfort, directional stability, cornering, braking grip and longevity, plus the general handling behaviour. Check your tyre pressures at least once a month, after all the air at a fuel station is probably the only free commodity you can get there now days.
Driving with incorrect tyre pressure will have a negative influence on one or more of these important characteristics. Over-inflation could have a negative effect on driving comfort and vehicle handling behaviour, while under-inflation could see a negative impact on steering response, driving safety (in severe underinflation situations), economy (higher fuel consumption) and tyre durability or irregular wear.
Correct tyre pressures are the easiest way to save money on fuel and to prolong the life of your tyres. It is recommended that you check them on a regular basis as part of a regular maintenance routine to ensure your car always performs at its best.
Correct tyre pressures also helps with even wear but more importantly your tyres should not run too low in pressure so as to avoid a possible blow out or a potential accident.
Give your tyres a quick check today and remember to check them again within the next month or so!
It is a fact of life that tyres wear. Continental recommends that tyres are changed when the remaining amount of tread is at 3mm as it is the optimum time to do so. Allowing tread depth to fall below this measurement will severely affect the safety of the vehicle, particularly in wet conditions. Tests have shown that breaking ability is severely impacted leading to higher risks of accidents. The legal tread depth limit in Australia is 1.6mm, and tyres should be changed immediately.
Continental also recommends that tyres are aligned and balanced regularly because these issues usually only present themselves when visibly present on the tyre and by then the damage is already done.
Did you know? If your tyre tread is at 3mm of depth, your braking distance in the wet is lengthened by 9.5m. Worse still, if your tyres are at the lowest legal limit of depth, your braking distance is lengthened again to 18.6m as to that of tyres with full tread depth?
It's generally accepted that worn tyres are a bad thing, but why is that? There are so many reasons, from grip, to control to a higher risk of blow outs, but most importantly the ability for your car to stop in an emergency.
WhichCar takes you through key things to know about worn tyres and why you should be aware of how worn your tyres are during their life.
Consumers are strongly encouraged to be aware of their tyres’ visual condition, including signs of road damage. This may include punctures, impacts, cuts, cracks and bulges. Regular inspection for this type of damage is important and should occur more frequently the longer the tyre is kept in service. They should be aware for any change in dynamic performance such as increased air loss, noise or vibration. Such changes could be an indicator that one or more of the tyres should be immediately removed from service or there is a problem with one of the issues mentioned. If in doubt it is advisable to consult a tyre retail professional for advice.
With any tyre preparations, ensure the spare wheel is checked as well. In the event of an emergency, you want to ensure your spare is up to the task. If the spare is a full-size spare, the tyre pressure should be set as per the recommendation by the car maker. If your car has an extended mobility solution i.e. a puncture repair kit, ensure that this is in working order.
With over 19.5 million cars on Australian roads there are more than 78 million tyres in service at any one time. The tyre is the sole contact patch between the car and the road and are the most vital component in vehicle safety, which is why it is important to make sure your tyres are in good condition and checked for the journey. For your family and other road user’s safety sake.
 Source: https://www.abs.gov.au