Summer is here, and along with the warm weather and longer days – you’re probably tempted to get down to the beach or take your vehicle on a bit of a trip! But the big question is – when did you last check your tyres? If you can’t remember, you might like to read on…
It may seem like a time-consuming task that you’re too busy to bother with, but safety, performance and fuel efficiency are just some of the really good reasons why it’s important to give your tyres a regular once-over. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Checking that the pressures are correct is an essential part of regular tyre maintenance as both under- and over inflated tyres can pose a safety risk. Most petrol stations have inflation stations and if you do this check regularly, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. You’ll find the information regarding the right pressure for your tyres on the inside of the driver’s door – or in your vehicle owner’s manual. Always remember to do this while the tyres are still cool, before you set off on a journey.
Your tyres are the only thing between you and the road! So, keeping an eye on how the tread is wearing is vital for good grip and safety. While the minimum legal requirement is that your tyres have a 1.6mm tread, it is highly recommended that you have at least 3mm. If the tread indicators (the small rubber blocks across your tyres) are level with the rest of the tyre (or coming close), your tyres will need to be replaced. If you’re in any doubt, visit a tyre specialist who will be able to do an exact measurement as to how your tread’s tracking.
Signs of damage
Have a good look for any signs of damage, cuts or evidence of a nail or other sharp object (such as a stone) that may have become embedded in the rubber. Sometimes you don’t get any warning of these unfortunate events, however being able to get any damage repaired before it becomes a flat may minimise the necessity to replace the tyre and save you money and inconvenience.
Check your spare
With “Run Flat” tyres now being used on some vehicles, you may not have or need a spare tyre. However, if your car does have a spare, make sure that you check this too (both for correct inflation and overall condition) so it’s usable if needed in an emergency.
Towing or carrying a heavy load
If you are towing a boat, caravan or trailer — or your vehicle is just carrying a heavier load than usual — your tyre pressures may very likely need to be adjusted. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for details.