It’s been more than a century since rubber tyres started to show up on automobiles. Before that, metal or wooden wheels clattered along unpaved roads. Fortunately for the nerves of drivers everywhere, rubber tyres are a feature that we take more and more for granted. To get the best ride and the longest life out of your tyres, they should be more than just an afterthought.

As with just about everything with a car, paying attention and being proactive are the keys to a successful trip. First, we recommend you take a good look at your tyres. Here are a few things that could mean trouble on the road ahead:


Proper tyre inflation is very important; underinflated tyres can make controlling your car more difficult, reduce petrol mileage and may lead to tyre failure. Use a tyre pressure gauge to be sure tyres are inflated properly. Check your tyre pressure every month as well as before long trips or when carrying extra load. The vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations for tyre pressure can be found on a label affixed to the driver’s door or door jamb, or in the vehicle owner’s manual.

Remember that tyre pressure should be checked when the tyres are “cold,” which means when your car hasn’t been driven for three hours or for less than 1.6 kilometres at moderate speed.



It doesn’t just plague middle-aged men. Tyre tread wears away over time and should have a minimum of 1.6mm depth. Fortunately, this is an easy thing to check: Use a tread depth gauge, or check by inserting a coin into each tread groove. If you can see most parts of the coin’s face, it’s time to shop for a new set.