Tyre care is essential, but often easily overlooked by many car owners. Maintaining your tyre condition can have beneficial results, such as having better fuel economy and improving your vehicles handling. Most importantly however, it is good for safety as having damaged tyres could result in a higher risk of crashing or loss of control of your car, so it is very important that you take care of your tyres.
Ensuring that you have the correct tyre pressure will not only help reduce the risk of losing control of your vehicle and save you fuel, it also protects your tyres from initial damage to the internal construction. Tyre pressure can drop due to small holes or tears, air naturally escaping the tyre or even from changing temperatures. You should check your tyres monthly and before any long journey. The recommended tyre pressure can usually be found in the user manual of your vehicle.
Incorrect wheel alignment can occur if your vehicle has come into contact with a solid object, such as a kerb or a pothole, that has knocked one or more of your wheels out of place. It is sometimes hard to know when this has occurred, but there are ways of telling. This can include your vehicle pulling to the left or right, uneven or rapid tyre wear; your steering wheel is crooked when driving straight or you have squealing tires. To fix this problem, you should go to a garage or tyre specialist to get it corrected.
In the UK and Europe, it is illegal to have a tyre tread lower than 1.6mm. Most tyre and safety experts believe that the legal minimum of 1.6mm is insufficient and recommend a minimum of 3mm. Tests were done by the UK technical organisation MIRA, who found that once the tyres are below this 3mm, the stopping distances increased significantly. To check if your tyres are legal, a quick and easy test to do is the 20 pence test. Take a 20 pence and place it into the tread grooves on the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit, if the band is still visible your tyres could be unsafe and require inspection by a mechanic. It is suggested that the test should be done every couple of weeks or before a long journey.
The front tyres on your car tend to wear out quicker than the back ones due to the added friction that comes with steering the vehicle different ways. By rotating your tyres now and then, switching the front ones with the back ones can increase your tyres lifespan. Experts suggest doing so every three to six thousand miles. However, it is better to get an experienced mechanic to do this task, as they will be better at advising where to position each tyre.
Preventative measures when driving
In order to take care of your tyres in the first place and to help prevent damage to them, there are many things you can do when you are driving around and using your car. You should respect the load capacity of the tyres and not weigh down your vehicle above this specific amount. Tyres that are loaded beyond their maximum, can lead to tyre damage and wear down the tread. Avoid driving up kerbs or going over bumps and potholes in the road at high speed, as these can all cause your wheels to be damaged. Parking your car up a kerb can also be bad for the tyres as you hit the wheel each time and this can sometimes cause your wheels to become misaligned, so if this can be avoided, it is best to do so. Ensure that you are regularly checking your tyre pressure, tread and alignment and if you suspect something to be wrong with your tyres to take your car into a garage where it can be looked at by a professional.
Tates Cars offer a wide range of vehicle servicing. If you think your tyres might be damaged, bring your car along to us to get them checked out by one of our experts to ensure your car is still fit for the roads! http://www.tatescars.co.uk/servicing-parts/