When it comes to road safety, tyres are one of the most important parts of your car, having the right rubber is vitally important in both staying safe and avoiding huge fines and potentially losing your licence.
We’ve enlisted the help of tyre specialists Davanti to make sure you’re getting the best advice possible. Plus we’re are giving you the change to WIN a set for Tyres and Fitting!
If you’re a learner driver or you’ve just passed your test, chances are you’re looking for a car. We’re willing to bet you don’t have £10,000 lying around to pay for fines though, so it’s time to talk tyres.
Whether you plan to go for a new motor or save money on a second-hand runaround one thing you must pay attention to is tyres. The penalty for driving with illegal tyres is £2,500 per wheel – hence a £10,000 maximum fine – plus three points per corner. That could mean you lose your fresh new licence too.
Worn tyres are also very unsafe. The lack of tread means they don’t grip or clear water effectively, increasing stopping distances and reducing cornering control.
That’s why it’s vital you check your tyres every month. The most important things to look out for are:
- tread depth – it must be no lower than 1.6mm
- tyre pressure – it must be in line with the recommended pressure in your driver handbook
- alignment – if you notice your tyres wearing more on the inside than outside then you need to have your wheel alignment looked at.
- foreign objects – Anything sticking in your tyre is bad news and will require an immediate visit to a garage or tyre fitter.
Ignore any of these, and you risk a fine, penalty points and the safety of you, your passengers and other road users.
But how do you check your tyres? There are a number of ways, but Davanti has put together this simple guide for you.
This one is relatively simple as your tyres will tell you when they need replacing. Buried in the grooves of the tyres are tiny rubber blocks, precisely 1.6mm tall. As soon as your tread is level with them, you need to change your tyres.
If you check your tyres every month, you’ll know they are due for a change before the tread gets too low. You can also buy gauges online at retailers like Amazon if you want to be precise.
No doubt you’ve figured out that many new cars have Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems which, in theory, measure your pressure and warn you when it drops.
These are not a replacement for checking your pressure regularly though. They only warn you when you lose 25% of your air pressure. But losing just 6psi – roughly 20% for a standard road car – is enough to increase your stopping distance, reduce handling and cornering response, wear your tyres out faster and increase your fuel bill.
Over and underinflation are equally dangerous. Check your vehicle handbook for the correct pressure based on your wheel size and the load your vehicle is carrying. If you can’t find it, there should be a small plaque on the inside of the driver door sill which tells you all the tyre pressure info. The psi – the standard unit of measurement used at forecourt air pumps – is typically the middle number (in our image it would be 35).
To check your pressure, go to the local petrol station where there is an air pump that will measure it. Alternatively, you can purchase tyre pressure gauges for a reasonable price on the internet.
Don’t try this at home; this is one for the professionals. In order to grip effectively, car wheels and tyres need to be set at the correct angle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to knock this out, and the results can be dramatic. Your car may pull one way or the other; it may feel like you’re sliding around or it could become shaky.
One clear sign of this is uneven tyre wear. If you inspect your tyre and the inside is more worn than the outside, have it checked out at a garage or tyre fitter. It’s usually a quick, cheap fix.
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Just remember that sometimes if an object punctures your tyre, it can stay in the tyre and keep the air in. That’s why it’s important to check your tyres regularly. You could be driving around with a nail in your tyre and not even know!
If you check your tyres every month and keep them in good shape, you’ll save money on fuel, replacement tyres and, of course, fines.
We’d like to thank Davanti for providing the above information. You can visit their site at www.davanti-tyres.com to find your local dealer.