As most people have a tremendous amount on their minds during any given day, it's not surprising that they take far too many things for granted. It seems as if there is not enough time to focus on those "more mundane" elements in life. Unfortunately, towards the top of that list is the humble wheel and tyre combo on your car. Admit it, when was the last time that you had a good look at these critical components on your vehicle? What are you risking if you are blasé about those basics?
In many respects, tyres isolate the car and its occupants from the rough-and-tumble of the roadway. They are designed to help you keep control, but they also have to be able to withstand a myriad of objects along the way. For example, glass, nails and other sharp objects could penetrate the tread or even the sidewall of the tyre, resulting in a slow leak of air. This is why it's crucial that you carefully inspect all four tyres for such issues before you drive away.
While the tyres themselves are very precisely engineered for all conditions, it's the air within them that's the most important factor. Without the proper pressure, your tyres could overheat at high speed and could potentially blow out. You need to get a pressure gauge from your local petrol station or tyre fitter and check these pressures once per week, but only when the covers are cold. Have a look at the owner's manual or the plate mounted inside the door frame to get the right pressure settings. Never inflate to the maximum, though, but look for the recommended figure for everyday driving.
While you should inspect your car's wheels and tyres every time you drive it, you need to have a much closer inspection of the tyres twice per year to look for irregular wear and cracks. If the vehicle sits out in the sun for long periods of time, remember that the excess heat and humidity in Australia can degrade the tyres quite quickly.
You also need to schedule regular visits to your fitter for proper wheel alignment and balancing. These figures and settings are prone to adjustment over time, as the wheels and tyres come into contact with uneven road surfaces and unforgiving curbs and potholes. If your wheels are not in alignment, you will wear your tyres very quickly and will also consume more petrol due to increased friction and resistance.