Tyre maintenance, roadworthy and safety checks

Car driving on road close up of tyres


Posted March 25, 2024

Tyres are crucial for ensuring overall safety on the road. Here’s how to keep safe – and even save money - through better tyre safety and maintenance.

When tyres are your connection between the vehicle and road, making sure those tyres adhere to legal safety standards is crucial to keeping you and everyone else on the road safe – especially during the busy traffic periods such as school holidays and the festive season.

“Motorists driving on worn tyres increase risk and danger to themselves and other motorists," says RACV General Manager Automotive Services, Jackie Pedersen. “Your overall driving safety depends a lot on the tyres you’re using and the grip they provide.”

Kia EV6 GT tyres

Safe tyres make for a safer drive. Image: Supplied

Tips for better tyre safety and maintenance


Monitor tyre pressure and inflate if necessary

Making sure that your tyres are correctly inflated to your vehicle's specifications is essential when hitting the road. Properly inflated tyres have a better braking distance: a critical safety consideration.

"Proper and regular tyre pressure checks can help mitigate the chance of motor accidents and breakdowns," Jackie says. "Many fuel stations have free air stations where you can quickly and easily check each's tyre pressure, and add or subtract air as needed."

If you're planning on a regional or interstate road trip, or going on an off-road adventure, it's a good idea to keep a tyre inflator in your car so you don't need to search for a fuel station if your tyres get low on air.

Having the right tyre pressure for different terrains is particlarly critical for off-road 4x4 driving. Investing in a tyre pressure monitor allows you to read your tyre pressure and adjust accordingly.

Carry a spare tyre and know how to change one

Having a compatible spare tyre is an essential part of your car emergency kit. It allows roadside assistance to quickly and easily change over a flat tyre for you. Check your spare tyre's pressure around every six months and inflate if necessary so that it's ready to drive on.

Knowing how to change a tyre yourself can be important if you’re travelling through remote locations. Where possible, however, call your roadside assistance for help.

In the unlikely event that you don't have a spare tyre during a tyre issue, advise your roadside assistance provider when you request support so they can get you back on the road as soon as possible.


worn and damaged car tyre

Worn or damaged tyres should be immediately replaced. Image: Matt Harvey

Inspect tyres for wear and damage

Worn or damaged tyres are a serious safety risk.

"Tyre damage can compromise your personal safety and that of other motorists," says Jackie. "Regularly inspect your tyres for tyre wear indicators, bulges, cuts, or other damage that would make your tyres unroadworthy."

All tyres have in-built wear indicators that let you know when your tyres need replacing from too much wear. These wear indicators are small rubber blocks protruding from the tyre channels. If the tyre surface has worn down to be flush with the blocks, it's too worn to drive on.

If your tyres are damaged or too worn, contact your roadside assistance immediately for help.

Get your wheel alignment inspected

Faulty wheel alignment can lead to uneven and premature tyre wear, vibration, and skidding while driving.

To help keep your tyres healthy and your driving safe, it's a good idea to book in for a regular car service to also get your wheel alignment checked. Find your nearest RACV Auto Care Centre, where an accredited mechanic can make sure that your vehicle is safe and sound.