It really is vital to look after your tyres properly. Poorly maintained tyres are dangerous and illegal. They can increase fuel consumption , CO2 emissions and noise. The key aspects to consider are:
Under inflated tyres are dangerous, affecting braking and handling and increasing the risk of blowouts. Underinflated tyres can also increase fuel consumption by as much as 6% and wear out more quickly. A tyre that is 20% under inflated will only last 75% of its service life. You should check tyre inflation every 2-4 weeks.
Worn tyres have reduced braking and handling capability on wet roads, putting the lives of the driver, passengers and other road users at risk. Worn tyres are also noisier. New Zealand law requires tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.5 mm tread depth over at least 75% of the tyre and around the entire circumference. However, tyre safety experts recommend that for full safety performance, tyres should be replaced when the tread depth falls below 3 mm.
Wheel alignment can be affected by hitting a kerb or pothole or if there is wear to the steering or suspension components of the vehicle. Incorrect wheel alignment can lead to rapid irregular tyre wear and affect safety performance. It can also increase the fuel consumption of your vehicles and make them noisier. Tests have shown that just 1mm of misalignment can lead to a 7% loss in tyre life and a 3% reduction in fuel efficiency.
The Campaign for Better Tyres is dedicated to promoting energy efficient, low noise and safe tyres because we believe that they can help reduce transport-related CO2 emissions, improve safety on New Zealand roads and reduce harmful traffic noise. Join our campaign by signing up to our pledge, showing your support and helping us spread the word.