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Bridgestone 12th June 2018 06:23 AM

When was the last time you replaced your sneakers?

Tyres: your carís sneakers

We've all had a pair of reliable shoes that lasted well beyond their years. Eventually though, they lose their grip, become slippery, the rubber wears through under your heels or you wear a hole in the toe-end.

In many ways, our tyres are like the sneakers our cars get around in. They too wear down, lose grip, grow uncomfortable and might even become dangerous in the wet.

But holding off on buying new shoes for your car until youíve squeezed every last kilometre out of them isnít always the best plan.

Splashing out on new sneakers

Every now and then a new sneaker will be released that sends people lining up around the block with people keen to get their hands on the very first pairs. Weíre not saying that buying a new set of tyres is quite this exciting, but they do play a big role in the safety of your car.

Buying a new set of tyres can be a costly exercise depending on the car you drive, but youíre receiving very good value over the tens of thousands of kilometres youíll travel on them. Todayís tyres offer longer life, significantly improved safety, and more impressive performance than weíve ever come to expect from rubber tyres of the past.

When to switch out your carís shoes

OK, analogies aside. There's no hard-and-fast rule to determine how long tyres last. Generally speaking, you should have your tyres inspected five years from the date of manufacture, regardless of tread depth. This is because the rubber compound and oils in tyres deteriorate over time and can affect tyre performance.

Also, tyres should be replaced if you've clocked up a lot of kilometres and your tyre tread is wearing down. When your tyre tread depth reaches just 3mm your wet grip is dramatically reduced, and your braking distance is affected.

Look for signs of significant cracking in the tread grooves or sidewall or bulging of the tread face or sidewall. These are sure signs your tyres have reached the end of their life.

Factors that take a toll on tyres

How your tyres wear depends on a combination of many things including driving style, tyre manufacturing materials and design: a high performance tyre may wear faster than a tyre designed for comfort.

Driving habits are a major factor in tyre life. Constant hard braking, fast cornering and rapid acceleration are quick ways to wear tyres.

Impact with kerbs can damage the tyre sidewall and lack of tyre maintenance can also see tyres wear prematurely. Factors such as extreme heat, rough or unsealed roads and potholes all contribute to tyre damage and replacement.

If thereís any question about the roadworthiness of your tyres, please consult an expert at your local Bridgestone Tyre Store.

Maintenance makes a difference

Some simple tyre maintenance will help get longevity out of your tyres and could save you trouble further down the line. Driving on neglected tyres could lead to problems with your braking, handling and fuel efficiency.

Hereís how you check the condition of your tyres:

Check tyre appearance
Inspect each of the tyres and make sure there arenít any cuts, tears or bulges on any of them, or that thereís no significant cracking of the rubber in the tread grooves.

Check tyre tread depth
You can simply check the tread depth of your tyres by looking at the tread wear indicator bars moulded into the tyre tread. These are found at the bottom of the tread grooves around the tyre. When the tyre is worn to the point where any of the bars become equal with the adjacent tread, your tyre may be deemed unroadworthy. Or, use our simple 20 cent coin test to check on your tyresí tread. Learn this easy life hack with just a 20 cent coin.

Check tyre pressure
Your tyre pressure is essential to keeping you safe. Too much or too little air in your tyres will cause uneven or excessive wear over time. Itís a good idea to check every four weeks. Look inside the driverís door, glove box cover or near the petrol cap for your vehicle manufacturerís recommended tyre pressure.

Tyre rotation for even wear
Different vehicles wear tyres at different rates. For example, a front-wheel drive car will wear tyres very differently to a rear-wheel drive. One of the best ways you can look after your tyres is by rotating them regularly, about every 5000km even if there is no sign of uneven wear.

Itís all about safety

Itís easy to lose sight of the simple truth that tyres are one of the most critical safety features of your car and provide safer motoring for you and your family.

See why safety is at the heart of everything we do.

When did you last check on your ďsneakersĒ, is it time to change yours? Do you have your own trick for knowing when itís time to replace them? Let us know in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.


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Ben Up North 12th June 2018 09:05 AM

I change my tyres far more often than I change my sneakers. I think my current sneakers are about 10 years old.

Of course living where I do, if we were talking pluggers that would be a different matter...

Rally 12th June 2018 03:19 PM

I tend to be pretty hard on tyres, often lucky to get 15,000 kms from a set. Not with the Forrie. I don’t know how many k’s I have done, but I have had them for a few years and they have a fair bit of tread left.

As for the tyre ageing, I think that if you keep the car in a garage and away from the sun, the rubber will last longer. Where I live, people are funny. Almost every house has at least a double garage, as I live in a relatively new suburb. (One notable exception where the garage in one house’s original design is instead another room). So many people prefer to protect all the worthless junk from the weather they never use but can’t bring themselves to throw out while leaving their second biggest asset (or biggest if renting) out in the elements to deteriorate and lose even more value.

MiddleAgeSubie 12th June 2018 05:13 PM

@Bridgestone ,

I replace my tires far too often. Before I started going unpaved, we never had issues with tire life and we still don't on the Tribeca.

The Outback and now the 4Runner are another story; very careful balancing, rotation, and alignment checks notwithstanding.

When the Geolander ATS were retired from active duty, I was able to get 6000 miles per 1/32 of wear from them. They still saw some dirt but nothing challenging. Meanwhile, my BFG KO2s lost 4/32ns in under 16000 miles of use, but with a higher % of unpaved use.

I know from Discount Tire store data that my current Falken Wildpeak AT3W easily go above 50,000 miles. However, mine have already lost between 1 and 2/32nds in just under 4,000 miles. My Toyota dealer that rotated them had the fronts at 11 and the rears at 12 with careful measurement. I see more like 11.5 on all four. They started at 13 (though Falken claims 14).

This is awful, awful tire wear even though I drive the 4Runner, a Prado relative but with a bit better angles and clearance, very gently on road. But I got 560 unpaved miles over the vehicle's 3,900 total miles, which is not sustainable and as % of dirt decreases, hopefully the life of the tires will improve.

As is, I put the Falkens in March 2018 and I am not sure I will have good tread in summer 2019! I fear I may be down to 6-7/32 which is acceptable off-road for modern tires on a top-end 4x4...but yeah...I will be lucky to skip 2019.

Rally 13th June 2018 12:53 AM

Gee you document your wear very closely. Impressive. All I need to do is to translate it into modern English (metric) to make sense of it! ��

MiddleAgeSubie 13th June 2018 01:52 AM

Bottom line is, I buy tires every other year. :) And then there is the odd year when the Tribeca needs tires as well; 2020 looks like that kind of year.

Note that the Tribeca has 40,000 mile life high performance street tires installed in Spring 2015 whereas the 4Runner has 55,000 mile AT tires installed Spring 2018. They will be out at the same time (of course the 4Runner also sees twice the mileage of the Tribeca, so there is that).

By definition, high performance street tires have much longer life per 1/32 of tread because they are hard and they start at much less, like 9 or 10/32 vs 13/32 for P-metric AT and 15-17/32 for LT metric AT in the sizes in question.

Rally 13th June 2018 01:56 AM

While I go through tyres, I tend to be pretty easy on brake pads. Nearly a quarter of a million kilometres on pads and the discs didn’t need replacing or machining. Except in the wrx when I brake so hard you can see brake dust coming off the wheels if you are looking at the front of the car

MiddleAgeSubie 13th June 2018 02:27 AM

Same here, definitely on the 4Runner. I did brake harder when I had high performance brakes on the Outback but only offroad and only in comparison to offroad vehicles. Sure, I did that on road on occasion but mostly with my city set of tires.

I also on occasion brake hard on the TB: sticky tires and upgraded front pads.

But the 4Runner? I drive it like a limo.

Kevin 14th June 2018 01:58 AM


Originally Posted by Rally (Post 101884)
Nearly a quarter of a million kilometres on pads and the discs didn’t need replacing or machining.

I'm fairly easy on pads too but that's an amazing life! You must use the gears instead.

Rally 14th June 2018 04:10 AM

Yes, I do. It just feels better slowing this way I think

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