Thursday 17 November 2022

Give Your Tyres a Thorough Check-up – and Leave for Your Holiday in Safety

Image Credit: Pexels

{This is a collaborative post}

Going on holiday is exciting, especially if you are travelling for Christmas and/or New Year and often, it can be all too easy to want to just hop into your car and go. But rein in that excitement, just for a couple of hours and, before you even pack your suitcase, take a moment to give your car – and especially your tyres – a quick, but thorough check before you set off. After all, breaking down on your way to a Christmas getaway is not the restful change you have been looking forward to! Here are some things you can try at home.

Eyeball It

Look at your tyres as best you can. Use a bright torch that will light up the underside of your car, even on the brightest day, and then get up close and personal with your tyre surfaces! Use your eyes and fingertips to examine the rubber, looking for signs of weakness, damage or distortion: all signs that you might need to replace your tyres sooner rather than later. If you do spot anything untoward: cracks or missing chunks of rubber, dimples or bulges in the sidewall, or even the single black spot that can indicate the presence of a puncture, you can get yourself a new pair of winter tyres from Dartford Tyre Shop, Sidcup, and enjoy even safer driving than usual while temperatures are below 7°C.

Check the Pressure

Always keep an eye on your tyre pressure. So vital is it for modern tyres to be kept at optimal inflation levels that it has now become part of the annual MOT test – which means it is something that is essential all year round for basic roadworthiness, which means that your car is kept in the safest and most environmentally friendly state. If you buy a pressure gauge, you can easily get into the habit of checking the pressure once or twice a month – or you can test the tyres at your local service station when you pop in for fuel.

Test Your Tread

Your treads are literal lifesavers in wet wintry weather. The grooves and ridges on your tyres are carefully designed to suck surface moisture off the road so that the contact area of your tyre can grip the road, keeping you in control of the vehicle. Without a good tyre depth, you are at risk of hydroplaning (also called aquaplaning) which is essentially skidding on top of that thin layer of water, with no real means of control. You can quickly and easily check your tread depth by looking for the little 'pegs' of rubber set into the deepest part of the tyre – as long as they are not being worn down, your tread is probably fine. Another way to do it is to stand a 20-pence coin in the deepest part of the tread. If the band on the outside of the coin is fully covered by the tread, you are good to go off and enjoy your Christmas break.