Kwik Fit | Friday 29th June 2018 10:13am
With summer approaching, many Brits will be heading off on holiday. However, increasing numbers of Brits are choosing to spend their holidays at home rather than abroad. The UK has many exciting attractions for those who choose a staycation. If you’re heading off on a road trip in the UK this summer, make sure that your car is ready for the journey.
Issues with your vehicle could spoil your summer fun. Simple checks such as checking your oil, coolant and windscreen wash levels can ensure that your car is performing at its best. You should also inspect your tyres before you set off.
Checking the tread depth and pressure of your tyres can help keep your vehicle safe on the road. Tyre experts, like Continental, recommend that you check your tyres for both.
Tyre pressures matter
Correct tyre pressures do more than just increase safety. The correct tyre pressure also improves fuel efficiency and decreases tyre wear. Making sure you have the right tyre pressure for your holiday is easy to do yourself before you leave. Remember to check the pressure on your spare tyre too as you never know when you may need it.
You can find the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle on the inside of its fuel cap or inside the driver’s door. If your car is packed full of holiday essentials, look for the pressure value for a laden load.
The best time to check your pressures is before you set off on your journey.You can also check your tyres in garages or petrol stations. To do so, unscrew the tyre dust cap and attach the air hose which will measure pressure and tell you whether you need to top up or release air.
The problem with under inflated tyres
Under inflated tyres will become warped out of shape leading to uneven wear and increased fuel consumption. Vehicle handling can become more difficult leading to less control for the driver. Tyres that are under inflated can increase stopping distances, especially on wet surfaces. These tyres are also more susceptible to damage from sharp objects.
Over inflated tyres cause issues too
Over inflated tyres will also cause uneven tyre wear again leading to reduced grip on the roads. These tyres are also more likely to sustain damage from uneven road surfaces as they are too rigid so can’t absorb shocks well. This can lead to a tyre blowout.
Tyre tread depths
Uneven wear reduces tyre tread depth.The treads are crucial for clearing water from wet roads. Therefore, without good tread depth, you may not have enough grip which is dangerous for your vehicle. New tyres typically come with 8mm of tread. Tyres such as the award winning ContiPremiumContact™ 5 provides the ideal level of grip even on wet roads.
Premium tyres don’t wear as quickly as cheaper budget tyres due to their superior quality rubber compounds. However, even the highest quality tyres gradually wear down. The UK legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. However, we recommend that motorists change their tyres when the tread is worn down to 3mm. Stopping distances, especially in wet weather are significantly increased if the tread is below 3mm. As a result of this the chances of an accident are significantly increased.
Checking your tyre tread depth
The 20p test is a quick and easy way to check your tyre tread depth. Place a 20p coin in the tread grooves, if the top band of the coin is visible then your tread depth may be below the legal limit. This could result in a fine of £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre. If you're unsure whether you have enough tread depth, visit your local Kwik Fit centre for impartial, expert advice.
Protecting your tyre sidewalls
Sidewalls absorb the stresses that your tyres endure. Therefore, it is important to maintain your sidewalls. You should check your tyres for any signs of visual damage regularly. Any visual damage indicates issues with the structure of the tyre and increases the risk of an accident. If you spot any faults with your tyres , it is important to get them fixed as soon as possible.
Tips for avoiding tyre damage
Try to avoid scuffing your tyres on kerbs as this can lead to tyre damage.
Bangs and scrapes with potholes can seriously damage your tyres.
Under and over inflated tyres
Incorrect inflation puts additional, unnecessary stress on your sidewalls.
Oil and dirty water
Regular exposure to solvents and oils softens rubber, so try to clean your tyres regularly.
Glass, nails, and other sharp objects
Contact with sharp objects can cause tyre damage. This, over time, can escalate into something more serious, and often results in tyre blowout.
ContiSeal™ – protection if you have a puncture
Unfortunately, punctures are sometimes inevitable and there is little drivers can do to prevent them. However, there are ways to avoid the subsequent issues from arising from one.
Continental’s ContiSeal™ technology automatically seals any damage (of up to 5mm in diameter) from inside the tyre, stopping the air from escaping and allowing you to continue driving. This minimises the consequences of getting a puncture because there’s no need for an immediate stop or roadside change. Changing your tyre on the side of the road can be very dangerous and difficult.
This can be particularly beneficial for holiday makers with a full car as they won’t have to remove their luggage to get to the spare tyre. Having to do this while stopped on a narrow country lane or the side of a motorway would be a stressful experience for the driver.
Minimise the chances of puncture
There can be less obvious debris, like glass and stones, on the road. Avoiding these glass and metal fragments can be difficult as you may only be aware of them after you've made contact with them. This can cause significant damage to your tyres, often leading to a puncture.
ContiSilent™ – enjoy a quieter drive
ContiSilent™ has also been developed to improve driver comfort. This technology reduces cabin noise thanks to an inner tyre absorber – made from polyurethane foam – which is attached to the inner surface of the tread area. You’ll find the technology in Continental’s latest high performance SportContact™ 6 tyre.
Talk to Kwik Fit for tyre advice
For tyre advice and fitting solutions, find your local Kwik Fit centre.
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