Do you regularly check your car tyre safety? If you’re anything like me, you may not have realised how important tyres are for ensuring our safety on the road. With a toddler & a baby on the way, I spent a lot of time choosing car seats that were as safe as possible. However, I didn’t think about the fact that our tyres are the only part of our car actually connecting us to the road. Our safety when accelerating, cornering, braking & steering are reliant on these small areas of road contact. Therefore it is vital that our tyres conditions are regularly monitored and maintained.
So, what can you do to check your tyres are safe?
1. Purchase High Quality Tyres
Did you know that almost 1 in 10 MOT failures are due to tyre defects? Tyres deteriorate with age & unfortunately this cannot be prevented. It is therefore the responsibility of the driver to decide when a new tyres are required (see below for ways to check your tyres). When it comes to purchasing new tyres, there are many good tyre brands out there. This can make it difficult to know which ones you should purchase. Before deciding it is worth thinking about your own personal driving style, what you would expect from a tyre, the environment in which you drive & your annual mileage. If you are unsure it is certainly worth talking to a professional who can give you guidance. If you are looking for a professional fitter & live in the South East, Iverson tyres provide one of the best services for tyres in London.
2. Inspect For Damage
It is important to regularly spend some time just looking & inspecting the entire circumference of your tyres. The first step is to check for any obvious damage, for example cracks, bumps, cuts or bulges. If any of these are evident, the tyre should ideally be replaced even if there is tread left. You should also be looking for any stones or objects that may have got embedded in the tyre grooves. Items like screws or nails can cause punctures & can usually be prised out with a screwdriver, but you may be left with a slow puncture. If this occurs, it will obviously need repairing at a garage. Sometimes the damage may not be visible. If you have suspicions, for example after hitting a kerb, but cannot see any exterior issues it is best to ask a professional.
3. Check Tyre Tread
Tyre tread is what keeps your car properly connected to the road & is therefore a vital part of your check. Tread is especially important when driving in wet weather, preventing skidding & decreasing braking distance. The less tread, the less grip. The legal minimum tread in the UK is 1.6mm. However it is highly recommended that tyres are changed BEFORE reaching this depth. A simple way of checking your tread is the 20p test. Place a 20p piece inside the main groove of the tyre in several locations. Look at where the outer rim of the coin sits in the groove. If the outer rim of the coin disappears, the tyre is within legal depth. If you can see the coin rim, the tyre may not meet legal requirements & will need more accurate checking with a tyre gauge or, if present, use the wear indicator on the actual tyre. See here for more information.
4. Check Tyre Pressure
Every car is assigned its own specific tyre pressure to ensure optimum safety, handling & fuel economy. It is key that we stick to these pressures as under or over inflation can cause wear & damage to our tyres & therefore unnecessary expense. In a recent survey it was found that two million UK drivers admitted to not checking their tyre pressures in the last 6 months or, in fact, ever! It is actually a really simple task & can be conducted at either a petrol station or at home with a good quality shop bought pressure gauge.
So, this year, why not spend some more time on your car maintenance & car tyre safety? Not only will this help to avoid break downs, but can give extra peace of mind whilst enjoying a safer 2018 with loved ones. Taking good care of your car is almost as important as taking good care of yourself.