Motorists and Their Tyres
What Motorists Should Know About Their Tyres
Whilst driving it is easy to forget how much pressure your tyres take each time you hit the motorway. Your wheels are the four points of contact your car has with the road and bear the entire weight of your vehicle and its passengers. These carefully designed pieces of kit also help to give you a smooth ride and prevent you from sliding off the road surface. Due to their importance, it is always best to be in the know when it comes to your tyres. If you’re looking to get more clued up on this topic, here are four things that you should be aware of as a driver.
Extra Tread Could Save your Life
Hopefully you are already aware that by law your tyres must have a minimum tread depth and if they fall below this depth you can be at risk of being fined and gaining points on your license. According to these specialists, you should consider replacing your tyres once their tread depth falls below 3mm. Tests conducted by the technical organisation MIRA, on behalf of the British Rubber Manufacturers Association (BRMA), found that stopping distances increase considerably once tread is less than 3mm deep. In wet conditions, braking distances for tyres with a tread depth of 1.6mm can be 44 per cent higher than tyres with a tread depth of 3mm. In other words, it can take nearly twice as long to stop using tyres with this lower tread depth. In the context of a safety test, this might seem merely academic, but on the roads it can make the difference between life and death. If you have to brake suddenly to avoid a collision, you want to know that your tyres are in the best possible condition. This is important year-round, and it’s something you’ll need to be especially aware of in wet or icy weather.
Incorrect Tyre Pressure Can Cost You
Checking your tyre pressure may seem like a hassle, but this task doesn’t only play an important role in keeping you safe but it can help you save money. If your tyres are incorrectly inflated, they can wear out more quickly, meaning you will need to replace them more frequently. Over inflation increases wear on the edges of the tread, while under-inflation causes the centre of the tyres to wear down more quickly. Meanwhile, under-inflated tyres get hotter, increasing the risk of sudden blowouts. As well as being dangerous, this will leave you needing to buy new tyres immediately. Also, under-inflation will increase rolling resistance, meaning your fuel consumption goes up and each of your journeys costs you more.
Uneven Wear Can Be An Underlying Issue
The general wear and tear and sharp objects can affect the longevity and safety of your tyres. However, other factors can also impact on how long these pieces of kit last, it’s not always easy to tell if your car has this problem, but look out for a vibration that can make driving uncomfortable. Another sign that something’s amiss is a wobbling of your steering wheel above a certain speed. The problems are an easy fix, a trained technician to test your car and see how they can rectify this issue now could save you money and hassle further down the line, and it will make driving your car a smoother and more pleasurable experience. Poor suspension can also cause problems for your tyres, placing uneven amounts of pressure on them and meaning they wear out far more quickly and less evenly than they would under ordinary circumstances. So if you find you are replacing tyres more regularly than you should or that the tread is wearing in an irregular manner, be sure to investigate what the underlying cause for this might be.