Are you using your vehicle again now that various lockdown measures have been eased? Road traffic slumped by as much as 65% in late March, while many drivers were granted MOT extensions. But now we’re returning to work, going on staycations and travelling to see loved ones, car maintenance should once again be at the front of our minds.
So what should you be checking? Tyres are one often neglected feature that, when left in poor condition, can affect both vehicle performance and safety. Their shelf life can vary depending on their quality and the roads they’re used on.
Run flat tyres are an increasingly popular solution that keep your car under control and allow you to safely drive to a garage after a puncture. They save the need for a spare wheel too. But beyond tyre choice and driving environment, what other factors can influence tyre condition?
From regular maintenance to careful driving, here are some key ways to extend the lifespan of your tyres.
Keep them inflated
It’s recommended to check your tyre pressure every one or two weeks if you’re a regular driver and always before long journeys. Improper inflation can harm fuel economy, increase the likelihood of a blowout and impact braking and acceleration.
Not all tyres require the same amount of air however, so check your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation in the driver’s side door or in your owner’s manual. Keeping a pump and tyre pressure gauge onboard can be helpful should you hit a pothole or kerb and lose pressure.
You should also keep a close eye on your tyre tread. A worn tyre can put your vehicle in closer contact with the road surface – and risks punishment too. Anything below 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre and all around the circumference could land a £2,500 fine per tyre, plus three points on your license.
In reality however, you’re likely to notice negative performance impacts below 3mm. Learn how to check your tread with this handy Confused.com tip.
It’s relatively common to experience tyre ‘wobble’ when driving above around 40-50mph. You may also notice uneven wear and tear from time to time or strange vibrations. These are all signs that your tyres need rebalancing by a tyre specialist to prevent any further deterioration.
It’s a relatively quick and easy fix that, if left unseen to, could cause damage to your suspension.
While the tips listed so far focus on maintenance, your driving style can also affect the condition of your tyres. Driving too fast while braking, turning and accelerating hard can all put your tyres under unnecessary strain.
Drive smoothly to give your tyres a fighting chance.
Do you neglect your car tyres?