Fitting the correct tyres to your vehicle is critical when dealing with an off-road workhorse.
4WD tyres are broadly grouped into three categories: Highway Terrain, All Terrain and Mud Terrain. Deciding which tyre is best for your rig depends entirely on where you intend to drive it. For example, you wouldn’t fit a set of MT tyres if you spend your time cruising highways and taking the kids to school.
Here are five simple tips to ensure your 4x4 tyres last longer and will take you where you want to go.
1. Choose the right tyre for the task. For instance, open-tread (mud) tyres suffer when used extensively on bitumen, while a showroom-spec H/T tyre probably won’t like thousands of kays of outback gravel.
2. Run the correct pressures. Your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendation (listed on the tyre placard and in the owner’s manual) will list pressures – including increases when loaded and/or towing. Check tyre pressures regularly.
3. Rotate your tyres every 5000km, as the four corners of your vehicle treat tyres differently. In particular, the front left tyre of a vehicle used around town will round- off its outside shoulder more than the right. Front to rear and side to side.
4. When travelling, make checking tyre pressures a part of your morning routine (just like you check oil and fluids). Blowouts are often the result of a tyre overheating due to low pressure.
5. Get regular wheel alignments. Many 4x4s can have wheel alignments knocked awry by rough roads. Most wheel alignments set the vehicle ‘toe’ only, but there can also be benefits to tyre life with adjustments to camber and caster. You’ll often have a crisper-handling rig, too!