April isn’t all about bank holidays, Easter Eggs and spring lamb you know; it’s also National Car Care Month. So, for the first in a series of car care blogs, we’re looking to educate you on the maintenance of your tyres.
When was the last time you checked the health and state of your tyres? A while ago? Tut tut tut. Although we aren’t exactly going to place the dunce hat on you, we are going to pretend to attempt a slap on the wrist and a ‘I’m not angry, just disappointed’ type of stare. But alas, you are not the first and you certainly won’t be the last to overlook the care of the humble tyre.
Granted, to the majority of the public they’re nothing more than round black objects that help you get from A to B. However, we tend to look at them a little differently….
A staggering 12% of vehicles on our roads are driving around on unsafe and illegal tyres. This is not only breaking the law where you can receive 3 penalty points and £2,500 in fines, it’s ultimately dangerous to not only the driver but other road users too.
When taking into consideration your tyres are the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, whilst also having the task of supporting the whole weight of the car and its load, you’ll be quick to wonder why you haven’t paid more attention to the care of your tyres before. The best news is that you don’t need to be any sort of tyre technician to employ the checks, they’re as simple as 1,2,3.
Size Does Matter
First things first, you need to keep a close eye on the tread depth of all your tyres. The legal limit of tread depth is 1.6mm, however (without trying to sound like we’re pushing for a sale) we do recommend going no lower than 2mm due to the dramatic difference it can make on stopping differences.
To check the tread depth of your tyres, you can simply use a 20p coin as its rim measures exactly 1.6mm, as shown in the image. This should be checked in a number of spots on each tyre as uneven wear is far from uncommon.
Your vehicle is assigned a specific tyre pressure for a reason. Having an overall effect on the performance of your vehicle, both under and over inflation can cause an imbalance in wear and potential damage to the internal construction.
We recommend checking your tyre pressure at least once a month as air will naturally escape under everyday stresses. To read more about how to find your recommended tyre pressure and reasons why it has such an effect on your driving, follow the link.
Rest In Peace
The caring of tyres extends further to those just fitted on your vehicle. Storage also plays a key role. Tyres should never be stacked up on top of each other for long periods of time, instead you should look to store in a dry, ventilated area that is not subjected to sunlight or precipitation.
This is particularly poignant to those of us who’ve recently taken off any winter tyres, making sure they’re fit for use come October. For an easier solution, read about our winter tyre hotel.
Last But Not Least
Although they tend to be just a small piece of rubber and plastic, your valves play an important role in the care of your tyre. Protecting against any dust and dirt particles, they act as an airtight seal to maintain tyre pressure and ensure longer tyre life.
An easy way to take note of the care is to install a new valve everytime you replace one of your tyres. At TyresOnTheDrive, this is included in all of our pricing.
For more car care tips and tricks in aid of National Car Care Month, keep an eye on our blog over the next month for more information and advice.