In the winter months the amount of grip available on the road surface is compromised by a number of factors ranging from the harsh weather to what has been washed or brought onto the tarmac by other road users such as tractors and lorries. This means that the amount of tread on the tyres on your car needs to be at the optimum level, and the tyre itself needs to be in almost perfect condition if you’re to get the best grip when you drive and brake.
Driving with low tread on your tyres, by which that means anywhere around the minimum legal requirement of 1.6mm, you risk aquaplaning when you come across water on the road and even for tyres to puncture. When because you want to be sure that the car you’re buying is buying a car – either new or used – the tyres are one area you take a look at whether you’re buying privately or from a dealership like http://www.jenningsmotorgroup.co.uk road legal, safe and reliable.
Just because you own the car doesn’t mean that you should stop looking at the safety and reliability of your car, especially as the weather starts to turn for winter. Checking your tyres is just as important as putting fuel in the tank and oil in the engine, and it’s relatively easy to check the condition of your tyres yourself.
Start off by parking on a flat surface, off the main road and ensure that you have applied the handbrake and that you’ve got good access to the tyre itself. When making this check, it’s best to do so with a tread depth gauge that can be purchased from most car accessory retailers or online, so that you get an accurate reading across the centre of the tyre and around the circumference. When taking the reading, it’s best to check several areas of each tyre to make sure that it is consistent right around the tyre – it may just be that the reading you take is from the best area when other parts are particularly poor.
Tyres don’t have a “lifespan” like other parts of the car, such as the belts under the bonnet. Instead, you have to keep a close eye on their condition and also how they feel while you’re driving your car. Many people drive around on under-inflated or even punctured tyres without realizing, and only spotting the issue when the tyre goes bang or they’re alerted to the issue by a friend, colleague or neighbour who might spot it.
You can test how much air is in the tyre by feeling if the car is pulling towards one particular side – this could be an indication that there is more air in one tyre than another and it is becoming dominant rather than working as a “four-tyre team” so to speak; or you could test by going to your local filling station where they have air from a machine that you can use to inflate to the required PSI as stated in your handbook.