Kwik Fit | Monday 20th August 2018 10:05am
As September approaches, it’s almost time for back to school. With this comes the return of the daily school run, make sure that your vehicle is safe by checking your car tyres before the school term starts.
As your tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road, ensuring that you select the right tyres for your vehicle and that they are in good condition is vital. In this blog, we share our top tyre safety tips.
Why is tread depth important?
One of the most important aspects of your tyre is the tread depth. These are important as they disperse water from the road to enable your vehicle to maintain grip. This is particularly important in wet weather conditions. When you purchase a set of premium tyres, they come with 8mm of tread depth. However, these treads wear down over time and if they become too low they become not only dangerous but also illegal.
Even though the UK legal minimum is 1.6mm, we recommend that your tyres have at least 3 mm of tread depth. This is because tread depths lower than 3mm can increase your stopping distance by up to two extra car lengths. Many premium tyre manufacturers, such as Continental, include additional tread wear indicators on their tyres. These alert the driver when the tread depth falls below 3mm. This is part of their Vision Zero global safety initiative. The aim of this initiative is to achieve zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero accidents. If your tread is lower than 3mm, it’s time to replace your tyres to ensure that your vehicle is safe.
Tyre pressure checks
Another tyre safety check that ensures your vehicle is safe and can also save you money. Your pressures have a significant impact on the performance of your tyres. If your tyres are underinflated, there’s a greater chance of uneven tyre wear. Not being inflated enough causes bulges to show in the tyre which lifts the central area of the tyre away from the road. This will reduce your vehicle’s grip on the road.
Underinflated tyres can also cost you more money. The fact that your tyre is misshapen means that it will make contact with the road in places where it shouldn’t. This unnecessary friction means that more fuel is needed to turn the wheels causing higher fuel bills.
Over inflated tyres also cause uneven tyre wear. In the case of over inflated tyres, wear occurs along the central length of the tyre. Over inflated tyres become pointed in the centre so this area makes the most contact with the road. Increased wear in this area leads to longer stopping distances. There’s also a greater possibility of sustaining a tyre blowout or a puncture as over inflated tyres are too rigid to absorb shocks. This means you’re more at risk of losing control of your vehicle. For all these reasons, find the time to check your pressures – before the new school year starts.
Tyre damage checks
It is important to regularly check the condition of your tyres for visual damage. Maintaining the correct tyre pressures will reduce the chances of tyre blowouts and punctures. Sharp objects, such as metal and glass, can often be found on the road surfaces. These become embedded in your tyres. Although it is sometimes not possible to prevent this, if you spot visual damage early, you can prevent more serious issues such as punctures or tyre blowouts.
Puncture Protection- the latest technology
Tyre manufacturers, such as Continental, are developing tyres that are better protected against punctures. Tyres with Continental’s ContiSeal™ technology helps to keep your tyres functioning for longer in the event of a puncture. This technology seals any hole up to 5mm in diameter which prevents the outflow of air and allows you to continue driving.
Choosing the right tyres
If you find that your tyres need replacing, there are many factors to consider when deciding which tyres are best for your vehicle. The type of car you drive, your driving style and how often you drive all have an impact on which tyres are best for you. For example if you drive on the motorway often, you may wish to purchase tyres that offer greater fuel economy and a more comfortable journey. However, if you predominantly use your car for short trips, then your priorities may be different. For example, you may be more interested in the safety features of your tyres.
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