Thursday 10 September 2015

Keep an Eye on your Tyres & Stay Safe in the Family Car

Get them checking the tyres young!

Safety and our families well-being are always our primary concern. For this very reason, we all like to choose a reputable family car that gives a better chance of safety on the road. We service them regularly, monitor the oil and cooling liquid levels, check the condition of our brakes and so on. However, there is one major thing that many people seem to forget and that is to keep an eye to ensure we have functional tyres.

Tyres are our cars only points of contact with the road surface. Damaged or worn tyres can’t fulfil their role properly and can pose a threat to our and our family’s safety. So how do you know when it is time for new tyres? Here are some warning signs from

You should change your tyres when...

Tread depth is below the safe level - For safety reasons summer tyres should have a tread depth of at least 3 mm, whereas for winter tyres it should be no less than 4 mm. (Of course it is worth noting that the UK legal minimum is 1.6mm tread depth across the central three quarters of the tyre, around the full circumference). To check whether your tyre tread you can insert a 20p coin into a tread groove. If you can’t see the outer rim around the edge of the coin, it’s time to think about new tyres.  

Cracks, slits and blisters appear – If you notice any of these on the sidewalls or the surface of your tyres, then it is time for immediate replacement. Fissures of any kind can let the air escape and cause the tyre to deflate. Under-inflated tyres lose their grip and may influence the maneuverability; they are also prone to blowouts at higher speed which could be extremely scary, not to mention dangerous.

So each time you visit the garage to refuel don't forget to check your tyre pressure and make sure they are inflated to the optimum level, not only will that give you the best maneuverability it will also help your car be fuel efficient.

Vibrations and strange noises are audible – As they may indicate alignment or balancing problems. These, in turn, may be the result of uneven tread wear or tread damage. Thus, if you feel any discomfort driving your car or if you hear any squeaking or whining, you ought to check whether your tyres need to be replaced. I find that my local garage are happy to check over the tyres for me and advise if I need new ones.

Your tyres are aged – Tyre specialists advise a replacement after about six years as the rubber compound of older tyres begins to deteriorate and with time tyres lose their tightness and elasticity. I have to say though that I've never yet had a tyre last me six years, if it did I'd be a very happy lady.

If your tyre check-up suggests it might be time to think about new tyres then don’t keep postponing it as at the end of the day what is more important that the safety of those you love? Oh and would you really want the possible three penalty points and £2500 in fines?  I don't think so!

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