4 December, 2021
Are your tyres ready to road trip?
TYRE safety is almost a mantra for Shannon Grills, so often is she recommending people check their tyres ahead of any trip.
Shannon, co-owner of Toogoolawah Tyres and Battery, said there are a number of simple things people can do before they head off on their summer holidays, to make the trip safer and more enjoyable.
“Let’s face it, non one wants to spend their summer holidays on the side of the road, or in a workshop, waiting for a repair to be finished,” Shannon said.
“The very first thing is to check your tyre pressures, with a reliable tyre gauge, so you know you are getting a correct reading.
“Most people still talk in psi (pounds per sqaure inch), but the correct metric reading is in KPa, or kilopascals, which is a measure of pressure, but either way, they should be making sure that all tyres have the same reading.
Shannon said a quick call to their local tyre shop will identify the correct pressure for their car, if they are unsure, and then they can be certain everything is ok.
“Tyre pressures tell us if there is a possible leak, if one is much less than the others, also, it means they are not over- or under-inflated, which also causes problems.”
An under-inflated tyre will wear the outer edges of the tyre faster, while an over-inflated tyre wears the centre section out before the shoulders.
“Then they need to look at the actual tread depth, that is the gap between the tread blocks, it has to be at least 1.5mm deep to be legal for the road, we usually measure at three points across the tread.”
While most people are good at checking their car, Shannon said many trailers and caravans do not get checked before a trip.
“Trailers, boat trailers and caravans, it is vital they get checked before a trip, can you imagine getting half way to your destination and having a tyre failure because it hadn’t been checked?
“It is exactly the same checks for your trailer as for your car, tyre pressure and tread depth, they are the starting point for a safe road trip.”
Checking the age of the tyres is also important, Shannon said, as the rubber in the tyre does deteriorate with age, and tyres have a date stamp showing the ‘use by’ date.
“We have use by and best before dates for most things in life, and tyres are the same, after a period of time, they start to go hard, and can crack, it is good to make sure they are inside that date.”
The most important safety tip of all, Shannon said, is to have the wheel alignment checked at least once per year, or more frequently if you do a lot of kilometres, especially on poor quality roads.
“The wheel aligment is vital, it makes sure that not only are the tyres pointing in the right direction, but they are sitting flat on the road.
“Just as importantly, regular wheel alignments save you money in reduced fuel bills, because your tyres are all pointing in the same direction and sitting flat on the road, so you are not dragging a tyre up the road, wearing it out prematurely, and also making your car work harder and burn more fuel.”
One area Shannon says a lot of people ignore is damage to the rims on their car or trailer, and she finds it is mostly because they don’t know how to deal with a bent or buckled rim.
“A bent or buckled rim can be a real challenge, it can create a vibration, or make the whole wheel and tyre wobble, which can then cause more problems.
“We can diagnose and repair bent and buckled rims, it is a specialist area, but we have the experience and the knowledge to fix most rim damage and get your vehicle riding smoothly once again.”
As a Dunlop Super Dealer, Shannon said they have access to the full range of Dunlop tyres, to fit virtually any size car or truck, including machinery.
“If it is black and round, we probably have a tyre for it, from a wheel barrow to a semi trailer, we have the range and experience to fit it and look after it.”
While tyre service and safety is a key aspect of the business, Shannon said they recently expanded to add an auto electrician to the mix.
“We have had an on-site auto electrician since April, so we can now do fault diagnosis, accessory instillation and other work to meet customers needs,” Shannon said.
To book your pre-trip tyre safety inspection, call Shannon Grills at Toogoolawah Tyres and Battery on 5423 1217.