Precautions for Driving on New Tyres

You’ve just had new tyres fitted, added to the nation’s credit card debt (not to mention your own) via the retailer’s EFTPOS terminal and driven off the forecourt with fresh new rubber.

Feel like testing them out? Maybe right now isn't the ideal time. Here's why:

New tyres are coated in a material called 'mould-release compound', a slippery substance that helps their final extraction from the manufacturing process. It literally helps the new tyres be released from their moulds on the production line. Note that word: ‘slippery’.

New tyres are also kind of furry, you might have noticed, often with flexible rubber ‘stubble’ protruding from the tread face. These little fluffy bits of rubber are called 'vent pips'. They're formed as the rubber flows into little holes in the metal manufacturing dies. They prevent air bubbles from forming in the tread face by allowing all the air (and a little follow-on rubber) to flow out of the dies.

Vent pips might look cute, furry and inconsequential, but they do have the inconvenient capacity, potentially, to roll over and form little friction-diminishing rollers if you drive hard before they’re scrubbed off. It can predispose you to a skid or slide.

The solution is simply to drive 20 to 30 kays in a nice, conservative, moderate fashion. This will buff your tyres free of both problems, and is a perfect prescription for brand new tyres.

Of course the other thing you should do with your new tyres is monitor the pressure every day for a week or so, just to ensure one or more of them doesn't have a slow leak.