Looking after your tyres is essential for safe driving – when tyres are worn down or damaged they can make a car difficult to handle and cause accidents. There are many reasons why tyres end up worn down and this can often happen a lot more quickly than anticipated.
From age to wheel alignment or driving on difficult surfaces, a whole range of factors can have an impact on the condition of your tyres. These are some of the things you can do to ensure that your tyres remain in great condition and support safe driving when you’re on the road.
Maintain consistent tread depth
The depth of tread on tyres is important because, as the tread on your tyres wears out, the breaking distance increases. Ideally, you should aim for the shortest possible breaking distance, especially in winter, so that your car can be responsive to conditions on the road. Maintaining tread depth at 3mm will ensure optimum braking performance.
If the depth of the tread drops beneath 1.6mm then you could face penalties or fines, as this is the legal minimum. The easiest way to measure tread depth is with a tread depth indicator but you can also use a 20p coin. Place the coin in the main tread groove of the tyre and if you can’t see the outer border of the coin your tread depth is too low.
Look for obvious damage
One of the easiest ways to keep your tyres in good shape is to regularly check for obvious damage, such as gashes or bumps. These could be caused by anything, from road surfaces to potholes, and can be dangerous if left and not dealt with. If you’ve had an emergency incident, such as making an emergency stop, then it’s also a good idea to have the tyres checked over afterwards to ensure that they haven’t been damaged or worn down as a result.
Keep an eye on tyre pressure
Tyre pressure requirements can differ depending on the type of car – and some manufacturers will recommend different pressures for the front and back tyres. It’s important to ensure that you know what is recommended for your car (this should be in the vehicle handbook) and that you check regularly to ensure that this is being maintained. If you don’t keep an eye on tyre pressure then there are a number of issues that could arise.
If your tyre pressure is low, the tyres may overheat and this can make it difficult to handle the car on the road.
As tyre pressure decreases, rolling resistance increases, meaning that more fuel is necessary to maintain the same speed. Tyres not at the correct pressure will also have a smaller contact patch, which can lead to uneven wear and the need to replace tyres more often.
Poor fuel efficiency
You can only sustain optimum fuel efficiency with tyres at the correct pressure. This will also help to reduce CO2 emissions.
Winter is a crucial time to make sure that every part of your car is well looked after, especially such an essential component as the tyres.
Get in touch for all your winter car needs today.