Thursday Tip: 5 steps to tyre safety

& Why checking your tyres is important

Thursday Tip: 5 steps to tyre safety

5 Tyre Safety Tips

One of the most important aspects of car maintenance, which is often overlooked, is tyre condition and safety. As, and it can’t be stated often enough, the tyres of your car are the ONLY thing that is on your car that connects with the road. So when you add to this that you have no control over the road condition, you must keep your car tyres in the best shape that you can.

There is a 5 point plan that, if you follow, will give you the best chance to keep your tyres in good condition and you safe on the road.

 

  1. Inspect Tyres for Damage
  2. Check Tread Depth
  3. Check Tyre Pressure
  4. Check Your Wheel Alignment
  5. Make a plan

The 5 tips Step-by-step

1. Inspect Tyres for Damage

Always check the tyre walls and surface for cracks, cuts, splits, bubbles, bald patches, wire, bruises, punctures or other signs of damage, wear, and tear. Remember that what might appear as only minor damage or superficial cuts in the tyre wall can cause significant problems later. As tyres cannot regenerate themselves, the problem will only get worse, and also, it means that the tyre has a weak spot that the road could exploit.  

Even small stones or bits of debris that have become embedded into the tyre can puncture or damage the tyre over time. Imagine that the average weight of a car in kg is 1857 kilograms. The average weight of a small car (e.g., Nissan Micra) in kg is 1200 kg, and the average weight of a large car (e.g., Audi A8) in kg is 2000 kg that is a lot of weight to be putting on to the tyres. So while they might appear to be small and inconspicuous objects that might not cause an immediate risk, the damage they can cause will only get worse over time and result in severe damage or blow-out.

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2. Check Tread Depth

We’ve looked at tyre depth before. However, tyre tread plays a crucial role in your car’s handling, helping you control your vehicle easier in various conditions and allowing you to stop as quickly as possible. Therefore, having worn tyres on your car presents a significant safety issue. Check your tyre’s tread. Make sure that it is at least 2mm in depth. Even though  1.6mm of tread depth is the legal limit, make this the lowest the tread should be and not the place where you think about changing them; this is where the tyres should have been changed. On a front-wheel-drive car make sure that you pay particular attention to the front tyres and conversely, on a rear-wheel-drive car, the rear tyres as these are the tyres that provide the drive and therefore take the most pressure in regards to tyre rotation as they are driving the car forward.

3. Check Tyre Pressure

Tyre pressure is also important as incorrect tyre pressure, either over or under-inflated, causes significant issues.

Over Inflation

Over-inflated tyres give you a bumpier ride. When a tyre is over-inflated, the outer tread pattern rounds out, which causes the centre of the tyre to wear out much faster than the outer edges.

Overinflated tyres:

  • Have a smaller contact area with the road.
  • May effect breaking
  • Create uneven tread wear – the centre of the tyre wears out faster
  • Compromise handling
  • Creates an unpleasant ride – the tyre is unable to soak up the bumps

Under Inflation

Under-inflated tyres are one of the leading causes of tyre failure. Low pressure means that too much of the tyre touches the road, increasing friction and significantly reducing the life of your tyres. A tyre doesn’t need to look a little flat to be under-inflated, so always refer to your owner’s manual for the required tyre pressure level for your car and get testing!

Underinflated tyres:

  • Can increase rolling resistance
  • Increase fuel consumption – due to the rolling resistance, which makes the engine work harder
  • Creates uneven tread wear – the edges of the tyre wear out faster
  • Affect braking performance

The best way to check your cars tyre pressure is when your tyres are cold, first thing in the morning or after around 3 hours after you have parked the car. So one tip that I would give is that it is worth carrying either a tyre pump or a tin of puncture repair spray with you as a handy tip.

4. Check Your Wheel Alignment

Another safety tip that needs to be checked is your car’s wheel alignment. Inaccurate wheel alignment causes faster, uneven wearing on tyres and noisiness, vibration and skidding while driving, causing potential safety issues.

Proper wheel alignment is vital to getting the evenest wear and the best performance from your tyres. Properly aligned wheels provide:

  • Safe, predictable vehicle control
  • A smooth and comfortable ride, free of pulling or vibration
  • Improved fuel efficiency

5. Have a Plan

Finally, make a plan for if something goes wrong.  Get yourself familiar with where things like the wheel brace, the jack, and the lock-nut (also known as the safety nut) are for your car. Carry a touch and a head-torch.  Changing a wheel in the dark when holding a torch in one hand is almost impossible, so a head-torch is invaluable. Have a hi-vis vest and a red warning triangle in the boot of your car.  Punctures never seem to happen on beautiful sunny days on wide unused roads, be prepared.  Make sure you know how to change a tyre, don’t guess because if you get stuck with the nuts or can’t get one back in, then the whole safety of the car is compromised, leaving you and other road users at risk of possible injury. Finally, and one thing that is often overlooked, make sure your spare tyre is in good condition and inflated. The number of times we have seen spare tyres worn, damaged, or flat is incredible, and please make sure your tyres are in good condition, it’s critical.

Get Your Tyres Checked!

If you follow these five steps, you will have given yourself the best possible chance to avoid any issues related to your tyres. 

As we have seen, your car’s tyres are critical to road safety. Therefore, it is imperative that you check your tyres constantly.  As with anything, if problems are left unchecked, no matter how big or small they are, they can wreak havoc on other parts of the car.

Book your tyre inspection in Gorey with Oliver’s Car Service Centre today!

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Thursday Tip: Tyres Sizes, What Do They Mean?

Thursday Tip: Tyres Sizes, What Do They Mean?

What does tyre size mean?
To the untrained eye, the side wall of a tyre can look like a meaningless set of numbers, letters and symbols. Hidden amongst these is the tyre size. But what does it look like and, more importantly, what does it mean?

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