Building tyres for heavy-duty use is difficult for manufacturers; there are different climates and road surfaces in Australia, and those variances can present unique challenges. Most tyre makers use computer simulators, testing and customer surveys to create tyres that can handle heavy loads without compromising safety. To help you find the right tyres for your 4×4, we have assembled this list of things you should know.
Tyre Pressure is Important
Underinflated tyres can cause sidewall flex, which in turn causes heat to accumulate in the tyre. Heat is bad for tyres, but it’s even worse for 4×4 tyres because they’re less heat-resistant. For every pound of air you’re lacking, you’ll lose about 1% of your fuel economy.
Match Your Tyres
If you need to replace one tyre but the other three are in good repair, mismatched tread depths can cause issues with your differential. Tyres of slightly different diameters cause the differential to work harder than it should, which can lead to premature failure. If you can’t afford to replace all four tyres at the same time, there are shops that can shave the tread on 4×4 tyres for sale so they all match.
If you have a 4WD, tyre rotation is more important than it would be on a passenger vehicle. The rear and front tyres have to do different things when turning, braking and accelerating, so they wear differently. Rotating tires at regular intervals will increase their lifespan; if you have a full size spare tyre, work it into the rotation so they all wear evenly.
Tyres and Payload
If you choose cheap 4×4 tyres that are beefier than the ones that came on your 4×4, it won’t affect its load rating. Just because you bought tougher tyres doesn’t mean that your suspension components can carry the extra weight.
Over roughly a month, most tyres will lose about 1.5 lbs of air naturally. If you go months without checking your tyre pressure, they’re almost certain to be low – and tyres leak at different intervals, so you’ll need to check all four at the same time.
If you’re only replacing two of your Kumho 4×4 tyres, move the old tyres to the rear axle and have the new ones on the front. Putting more tread on the front of your 4WD can help you avoid sliding in inclement weather, and it’s easier to recover from understeer than from oversteer.
Breaking in Your New Tyres
Tyres are composed of materials such as fabric, steel and rubber, and when they are made, a lubricant is used to aid in release from the mold. All parts need to be gradually broken in, and that lubricant needs to wear away before your tyres will perform at their peak. Experts recommend that you drive the first several hundred kilometers cautiously, and they also suggest that you keep in mind that new tyres respond differently than old tyres do.