Think about it. When you’re driving your car there’s only one part of that vehicle that is actually in contact with the road surface: your tyres. Yet they’re a part of our vehicles that most of us don’t give enough care and attention to.
It is recommended that drivers should check the wear and tread of our tyres every two weeks, as well as looking for any general damage. All three are important to the safety of your vehicle.
If your tyres are not inflated correctly it can lead to anything from poor handling on the road, through to the tyres overheating. Neither are safe when you’re driving and that’s why it is vitally important to make sure that your tyres are inflated properly, not just that they “have some air in them”. If in doubt there’s usually a sticker somewhere on your car (either inside a door, or maybe inside the petrol cap) telling you what pressure they should be at depending on how loaded your car is.
The other thing that you need to check is the tread of the tyres. The tyre tread is important as this is what makes sure that your car actually stops when you apply the breaks. If there is insufficient tread then your car may not stop as quickly as you are expecting it to.
It is recommended that you change your tyres when the tread on them drops below 3mm. The actual legal minimum requirement is 1.6mm here in the UK, but you don’t want to wait until you reach that level before taking action.
It is possible to buy little tread depth gauges, but a simple way is to just use a twenty pence piece to check the tread. If you place it in the grooves on your tyre then a tyre with sufficient tread will obscure the outer band on your 20p. If you can see part of the band then the tread is not sufficient and you should get your tyres changed.
When checking the tread and pressure of your tyres also take a good look at them to make sure there is no general damage. It could be that you’ve driven over something sharp that has stuck itself into your tyre, or maybe you’ve struck a kerb somewhere and damaged the wall of your tyre. If you spot any damage that you’re unsure about it is always worth getting it checked out by a professional. Just remember – those tyres are the only part of your car in contact with the road.
Importance of correct tyre fitting
Should you find that you do need to get your tyres replaced you can get new tyres fitted for free at Headley Tyres. They will make sure that they are fitted correctly for you so that you can remain safe on the road.
Remember to check
Please believe me when I say that whilst checking your tyres every two weeks may seem time consuming, it really is a better use of your time than waiting in the cold and wet at the side of the road for a recovery vehicle to come as you’ve suddenly got a puncture and your car doesn’t have a spare. Sod’s law will dictate that such a tyre failure will normally happen when you’re on the way to something important and don’t have an hour or more spare in your schedule. Sadly I’m speaking from experience!