5 Driving Habits to Make Tyres Last Longer
Road users may well have clicked their tongues disapprovingly when noticing the tell-tale black marks that tyres leave on tar after a wheel-spin, but there’s more to getting the most out of tyres than avoiding showy (and illegal) pull-aways. Chris Lett sums up the driving-style secrets to longer-lasting tyres, and car owners will be relieved to know that they don’t need to do anything awkward or time-consuming to optimise their tyres’ life.
1. Go Easy on the Brake Pedal
A car doesn’t even need to come to the classic screaming halt seen in so many movie car chase scenes to wear out its tyres: going hard on the brakes is bad for any car and reduces tyre life. “Hard braking can trigger the ABS system unnecessarily, and each time there’s wear on that system its lifespan is shortened while tyres are subjected to greater demands,” Chris explains. “Regular hard braking is also bad for the drive shaft. Of course, when emergencies arise, drivers must step on the brakes as hard as they can, but a full-tilt driving style with lots of hard braking is to be avoided. Save it, and tyre rubber, for emergencies.”
2. Go Even Easier When Towing
Even those with a moderate driving style may need to adjust a little for towing. “There’s a lot of weight behind a vehicle when it’s towing,” says Chris. “It stands to reason that it will make overall momentum greater which makes for greater force when bringing the combination of car and trailer or caravan to a stop. Tyres bear the brunt of that, so take it easy when towing and try to anticipate situations in which it will be necessary to slow down or stop so that the brakes can be applied gently.”
3. Gentle in the Rough
Road surfaces make a difference, but every great adventure off the beaten track will involve at least some time spent driving on gravel or dirt roads. “When driving over corrugations, there is a temptation to go faster since the ride feels a little smoother, but the faster the vehicle goes, the greater the impact of surface debris on its tyres. There’s a big difference between hitting a stone in the road when taking it slowly compared to hitting it at speed. Once again, the tyres take the hammering.”
4. Adjust the Seat Correctly
If drivers are seated in an awkward driving position, they are likely to drive in a choppy way. “Always adjust the seat so that the driver’s wrists can rest on the steering wheel when the arms are extended forward,” advises Chris. “They will have better control over the car, and that means a safer, more comfortable ride and less chance of driving errors that can reduce the lifespan of the tyres.”
5. Turn the Wheel When the Car is Moving
Each time a driver turns the wheel of a stationary car, its tyres scrape across the road surface and lose a little more rubber. Sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary to do it when entering or leaving a tight parking space or pulling away into a sharp turn, but it’s better for the tyres to turn when the wheels are in motion. “It’s easy to develop bad driving habits over time, so watch out for this one,” says Chris. “It should be the exception and not the rule.”
Ask Branigans About Tyre Wear Patterns
Chris suggests that motorists ask Branigans technicians about tyre wear patterns and whether they indicate anything of which they should be made aware. “Tyre wear might indicate some extra ways to save,” says Chris. “For example, if the tread is worn only at the central part of the tyre, the car owner may be over inflating them. Cracks and bulges on the sidewall could mean that a driver hit a pothole too hard – or it may be a sign of habitually driving with underinflated tyres. Branigans tyre technicians might be able to provide customers with some interesting insights that lead to extra savings.”
Branigans Tyres has well-established workshops in Burleigh Heads and Southport in the Gold Coast region. Check out their full range of services or current featured promotions. Branigans award-winning affordable tyre subscriptions package start at $7.97 and help motorists budget for their ongoing tyre needs. Vehicle owners are encouraged to drive in at their convenience as no pre-bookings or appointments are required. The branches are Burleigh Heads: (07) 5535 2660 situated at 13 Flagstone Drive or Southport: (07) 5591 8633 situated at 1/277 Southport-Nerang Rd.