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Are my tyres wearing evenly?

Regardless of how cheap or expensive your tyres are, it pays to get them periodically rotated as well as a wheel alignment in order to get the most out of them.

Even someone with no mechanical knowledge can perform a few simple checks to look for signs of uneven wear and tyre damage.

What do you mean by even tyre wear?

The short version is that it’s normal for tyres to wear unevenly back to front or inside/outside to some extent, depending on what vehicle you drive. That’s why Donnellans always recommends getting your tyres periodically rotated. However, if the uneven wear is severe, there might be more serious issues at play.

Very old and worn out tyres, showing damage.

Paying attention to the way your tyres are wearing can provide valuable insights into how your car is performing and how well it is maintained.

In Australia, the minimum legal tread depth is 1.5mm at any point across the width of the tyre.

How do I measure my tyre tread?

Before worrying or jumping to conclusions, take a moment to measure the depth of the tread on your tyres. It’s easy to do, and measuring tyre tread depth can be done in a few ways.

The first step is to park your vehicle with the tyres turned fully to one side for easy access.

You can use a cheap tyre gauge, or a ruler to measure your tyre tread. It’s best to measure the tread depth at 3 or 4 places across the width of the tyre.

If you don’t have any tools available, look for small triangles or markings near the shoulder of the tyre, these mark the locations of tread depth indicators moulding into the tread of the tyre. These tread wear indicators will be level with the surrounding tread when the tyre is worn down to around 1.6mm. If you see this, book your vehicle in for new tyres as soon as you can.

What’s the best way to look after my tyres?

Looking after your tyres and getting the most out of them really boils down to just a few key steps. Firstly, driving style has a lot to do with how long your tyres last. If you’re constantly accelerating, braking and turning aggressively, you can expect your tyres to wear faster than a driver who uses smoother inputs.

Driving with a heavily loaded vehicle can also contribute to premature tyre wear, particularly in vehicles with independent suspension, where vehicles will undergo geometry changes with ride height.

Maintain Correct Air Pressure

Maintaining correct air pressure is the easiest way to avoid the most common forms of uneven tyre wear. Simply check your tyres fortnightly when you fill your car with fuel as most service stations also have an airline for inflating your tyres.

Checking tyre pressure with a small gauge.

The correct tyre pressures for your vehicle can be found on the tyre placard, usually inside the drivers door jamb.

Perform a Wheel Alignment

In every vehicle, the suspension will have some kind of adjustability in order to account for manufacturing tolerances, damaged or worn components, or even vehicle payloads.

A wheel alignment should be performed whenever you fit new tyres, as well as if you ever hit a curb or a bad pothole.

It’s worth noting that if you always carry a heavy load in your vehicle, such as tools or camping gear, it’s worth getting your vehicle aligned while it is loaded in a typical manner.

Tyre Rotation

Along with a wheel alignment, it’s also important to make sure that your wheels are rotated periodically.

A tyre rotation is when the wheels are taken off the vehicle and put onto another corner to distribute the wear evenly between all of your tyres.

The purpose of a tyre rotation is to let all the wheels spend equal time on all corners of the vehicle to ensure they all wear evenly.

A wheel alignment and tyre rotation should both be performed roughly every 10,000 km.

Wheel Balancing

Every wheel and every tyre will likely be ever so slightly out of balance, and have a heavy and a light spot. Usually, this imbalance is so slight, you don’t even feel it, but that’s why wheels and tyres are spun on a balancing machine and counterbalancing weights are applied prior to fitting them to your vehicle.

Wheel and tyre on balancing machine.

Wheels and tyres that are out of balance will eventually begin to wear unevenly and cause premature component wear on your vehicle’s suspension.

Our techs perform a wheel balance when fitting new tyres, but if you feel like you want your wheels and tyres checked, contact the team today.

Contact us!

If you’re in the greater South-East Melbourne region and need new tyres, a wheel alignment, tyre and wheel rotation, or a suspension issue resolved, come visit one of our 4 locations. Booking in for a quick wheel alignment and tyre inspection is easy and we have experienced and qualified mechanics to provide you with an excellent and comprehensive service.

Find your nearest Donnellans workshop at the link below.

Contact us today!