Wheels and tyres
Keeping your wheels and tyres in tip top condition is the best way to guarantee safe driving in all kinds of conditions.
Requirements for all tyres
Strict design standards have been progressively introduced to specify everything from wheel rims that will stop a deflated tyre from coming off the wheel, to strength, air pressures, speed ratings and allowable combinations of wheel and tyre sizes. Some standard guidelines include:
- Tyres must have a tread pattern of at least 1.5 millimetres deep in the band that runs continuously around the entire circumference of the tyre
- Tyres must be free of any apparent defects that render the vehicle unsafe
Generally speaking, for your tyres to be legal in Australia they can be constructed using cross-play, bias-play or radial-play, but they must meet the following testing standards:
- Resistance to bead unseating
- High-speed performance
- Have no ‘chunking’ (where chunks of tread break away)
- Have no tread separation
- Have no ply separation
- Have no cord separation
- Have no belt separation
- Have no bead separation
Asymmetrical tyres also need clear indication of which side has to face outwards, and all tyres are required to have four evenly spaced wear indicators that show when the tyre’s tread has worn down to 1.6mm; anything less than that is not road-worthy.
When you’re replacing your car’s tyres, the new tyres must have a load rating equal to, or better than, the minimum load rating stated by the vehicle manufacturer on the tyre placard.
There’s also a minimum requirement relating to the tyre’s speed rating. In NSW that’s 140km/h; in other states and territories it’s 180km/h for passenger cars, 140km/ for off-road vehicles and 120km/ for other vehicles.
Since 1973, all cars have been fitted with a tyre placard (usually located inside the driver's door, glove box or fuel filler cap), which specifies recommended air pressure, load capacity and speed rating of tyres. It also includes the manufacturer’s name, the date of manufacture, the type of construction and the maximum load rating.
Keeping your tyres safe
Kmart Tyre & Auto Service offer a number of services related to keeping your tyres and wheels safe including wheel alignment and wheel balancing. We also offer a Tyrelife Saver™ Card to help give you a better service and safer driving experience.
Is your car due for a check-up?
Please note: Requirements vary, depending on the car make and model, and the state or territory in which you drive, so it’s important to check with your local motor authority if you have any questions.
More about car safety:
- Wheels and tyres
- Lights and reflectors
- Exhausts and emissions
- Number plates and identification