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Tyres Q & A's
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How to change a wheel
How can I tell when my tyres need changing?
Tyres don’t last forever and will wear down according to your mileage, the speed at which you drive, emergency braking and under or over inflation.
The first thing you may notice if your tyres are deteriorating is that driving your car feels a little different. Does it take longer to stop than usual? Do you feel yourself slipping in wet conditions?
Certainly, the tread on your tyres should measure at least 1.6mm. Although you should check your tyres on a weekly basis for any tears or bulges, and examine your tyre pressure regularly; if you feel that your tyres may be worn, it’s best to take your car into a garage to have them checked professionally.
Why do I need to fit winter tyres?
The need to fit winter tyres in the UK has become much more evident in recent years. Many parts of Britain during the worst weather became virtually impassable for most vehicles due to a build up of snow and ice – bad news for most of us but for those who drive long distances as part of their job, it is vital that they can continue as close to normal as possible.
On the whole, British cars have historically tended to use summer tyres all year round. However, with temperatures plummeting to around -17°C, the advantages of winter tyres certainly become apparent. Below temperatures of 7°C, winter tyres have been proven to offer greater safety on wet and icy roads, offering a safe braking distance of up to 8 metres shorter than that offered by summer tyres at a speed of 30mph – an advantage which could potentially save lives.
Why should I check my tyres?
Following on from the UK’s harsh winters over the last few years, road surfaces have become uneven and full of potholes. These holes, along with fresh grit, can play havoc with your tyres. If you suspect that your tyre has been damaged or that your wheel alignment settings have altered, you must have your car checked at a garage as soon as possible.
Similarly, if you have had to perform an emergency stop, this can also damage your tyres so have your car professionally checked.
Although you may feel that your tyres are absolutely fine, you may be surprised to learn that around two pounds of air escape every month – more during warmer weather. For this reason, your tyre pressure should be checked every couple of weeks.
To accurately check your tyre pressure, use a tyre pressure gauge, when your tyres are relatively cold.
What is the UK law regarding tyres?
Firstly, you should always have the correct size and type of tyres meant for your particular model of car. Next, always ensure that your tyre pressure is of a level that is recommended by the manufacturer (you should find this information in your vehicle handbook). Some garages may offer a free tyre check, so be sure to look around.
What should my tyre pressure be?
Having your tyres inflated to the correct pressure means that your tyres will last for longer, you’re using less fuel and you’re driving responsibly and safely. Your specific tyre pressure will be dictated by the manufacturer and you should ensure that you check it every couple of weeks.