The temperatures in the UK are finally showing signs of rising and will hopefully continue to do so throughout the Summer months. Just as we take extra precautions to protect ourselves from the sun, we should also take extra measures when it comes to car maintenance and in particular focusing on the tyres.
Heat can take its toll on tyres, being made of rubber and containing lots of air means tyres are prone to expanding in the hotter weather. Given that we don’t always get perfect summers in the UK, and are also prone to regular downpours means tyres can easily become worn and dangerous with the changes in pressure.
As a driver it is your job to ensure your vehicle is in good working order. You should not wait for your yearly MOT, but instead perform regular routine checks in your spare time. Old worn or damaged tyres should always be replaced. There are many places around the UK where tyres can be purchased. If you are wanting to buy tyres in Dunfermline (for one example) then you can explore Fife autocentre’s website and book your tyres in with just a few clicks.
By following these simple tyre tips, you may just avoid accidents or being stranded by the roadside this summer.
1) Check your pressure – As above air expands with heat, and we all now how rubber can also stretch. Incorrect tyre inflation can cause wear and damage. Vehicles carrying extra passengers or heavy goods also require higher tyre pressure. The correct pressure for your car can usually be found in the handbook, the fuel plate or on a few info apps. An Under inflated or over inflated tyre is at risk of blowing and that’s not something anyone wants to risk whilst on the road. Ensure the tyre pressure is correct, pour cold water onto tyres on hot days to prevent overheating and try and park your car in the shade where possible.
2) Tread depth – Your vehicle is reliant on the tyre tread depth to grip the road and stop. Therefore there is a legal limit in the UK of a 1.6mm tread depth. Breaking distance rapidly decrease as tyre treads wear down. Failing to replace worn tyres before the minimum limit will result in points and often a big fine. Your insurance company will be unlikely to pay out in the event of accidents due to tread depth.
3) Tyre valves – The valves help to maintain pressure. They are usually made of rubber but rubber deteriorates with time. Replacing valves is inexpensive yet vital for performance and safety.
4) Spare tyre – A spare tyre should be a necessity when embarking on long journeys. No one wants to find themselves stranded in the middle of no where, miles from a garage or car service centre or worst case scenario- a breakdown on the motorway. However spare tyres must also have at least the minimum tread limit and be in good roadworthy condition.
Other checks – Check your tyres regularly for signs of wear and tear. Always check before long journeys and on very hot days. Simple tyre checks can save lives and money. Check for cracks, tears, cuts and flat spots. If your car has been in a recent bump; no matter how minor then it’s best to get the tyres checked to be on the safe side.