Summer’s here, school is almost out, and the year-end holiday season is approaching rapidly along with everything else that goes with it! With so much competing for your attention, it can be hard to get everything done. But, if there’s one thing you make time for, it’s that check of your tyres both for your own safety and others sharing the road! Making sure your tyres are properly inflated and in roadworthy condition can also have a huge impact on the performance of your vehicle and reduce your fuel costs – so two more really good reasons to do the check! Here are a few tips to get you started and on your way:
- How’s the Pressure?
Both under- and overinflated tyres can affect grip, traction and overall safety so it’s important to have them at the correct pressure for your vehicle. You’ll find this information on the inside of the driver’s door – or in your vehicle owner’s manual. This needs to be done while tyres are still cool, before you set off on a journey. Most petrol stations have inflation stations and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes – so what are you waiting for?
- Is the tread worn?
Your tyres are the only thing between you and the road – so keeping an eye on how the tread is wearing is vital. While the minimum legal requirement is that your tyres have a 1.5mm tread, it is highly recommended that you have at least 3mm. The tread indicators (the small rubber blocks across your tyres) will give you a good idea of how your tread is doing: If they 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.
- Are there signs of cuts or damage?
Have a good look for any signs of damage, cuts or a nail, stone or other sharp object that may have become embedded in the rubber. Sometimes you don’t get any warning of a flat, however being able to get any damage repaired as soon as you notice it, may minimise the necessity to replace the tyre. It may also save you inconvenience – especially when you’re on a road trip or busy enjoying your holidays!
- Have you checked your spare lately?
These days with “Run Flat” tyres being used on many vehicles, you may not have or need a spare tyre. However, if your car does have a spare, make sure it’s correctly inflated and in roadworthy condition before starting your trip – so that it’s ready for use if you need it in an emergency.
- Is your vehicle loaded up or towing?
If towing a boat, trailer or caravan is part of your holiday plan, your tyre pressures may very likely need to be adjusted. It’s also important to remember that even if you’re not towing, when your vehicle is loaded up for a trip, it will affect the tyre pressures required. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for details.