*This is a collaborative post that we hope will be helpful*
If you own a car or use a car you know that there are certain things you need to do, legally for it to be safe to drive. Making sure your MOT is completed every year, and that your car is correctly taxed and insured, are basic car ownership duties.
But there are also other things you need to do, to make sure your car is roadworthy, and ready to drive and it’s not worth skipping them.
I don’t actually drive, but I am the person in our house who organises the MOT, services, tax and any other issues that need to be dealt with for our car. I may not drive the car, but I know how it works, and I know how to manage the basics of the car too. One thing I think everyone who uses a car, should be able to do, is to maintain the tyres, check they are safe and roadworthy, and also be able to change a tyre, if needed. It is true that most people sign up to a roadside assistance scheme (and you probably should) but if for some reason you need to change a tyre, and you don’t have rescue help, then you need to know the basics of how to do it yourself. I have been in a car and caught out with a flat tyre, but because the person driving and I both knew what to do and had the correct kit in the car, we were able to sort it out ourselves, to then drive safely to where we needed to be.
Image by Ulrike Mai
So, before you drive your car, or as part of your regular car care maintenance, there are some things you need to do, regularly and periodically to make sure your car and the tyres that keep it on the road, are good to go. You may need to look at replacing your car tyres if they are worn or damaged, so the following tips might help you to see what you need to do.
Check overall condition of tyres, including inner and outer sidewalls.
Check tyre tread depth.
Check all tyre pressures.
Check signs of irregular wear.
Check and examine the spare tyre.
A tyre does not have to look flat to not be correctly inflated. You should check every couple of weeks, to make sure and use the guidelines in your car manual to make sure the pressure is correct or within the pressures set for your vehicle. Also, you should never check tyre pressure until the car is cold or you may get an inaccurate measurement. So let the car cool down before you check. Make sure your tyres are not over-inflated. This can cause the car or vehicle to be harder to handle when driving and could put you at risk of an accident. The wrong type pressure can shorten the lifespan of your tyres and put it at risk of tyre failure.
If your tyres are unevenly worn, then your wheel alignment may be incorrect. You will need to take your car to a garage or service station to check the alignment and have it corrected. Worn tyres can put your car at risk of an accident.
Bad wheel balancing can put the car at risk of serious mechanical issues, so it’s worth having this checked and dealt with.
The current British legal limit for car tread depth is 1.6mm (across 75% of the tyre).
It is not only unsafe to ignore the minimum tyre tread depth, it’s against the law. For each illegal tyre, you face a fine of up to £2,500 and the chance of three penalty points on your driving license.
To test, take a 20p and place it in-between the main grooves of the tyre. If you can see the outer band of the coin, the tyre may have insufficient tread depth. At this point, it is advised that you have your tyres checked over by a qualified mechanic.
Tyre change kit and spare Tyre
Even if you never use your spare it is still vital that you check that it is in good condition. Check the pressure and the tyre tread periodically. You also should have the right kit to check and change a tyre in an emergency, so that you are not stuck waiting for someone to come and help you. Your car manual will tell you how to change it, or you can watch a video or two on YouTube, or ask someone who knows, how to show you, so that you are prepared if you do ever need to change a tyre.
These simple things can make life much easier and safer, and put you at less risk of an accident or issue with your car and it’s tyres. They are easy to do, and skipping some of them, or not doing them correctly, could be illegal, or at the very least make your car unsafe to drive. So don’t skip them, better safe than sorry. You can also pick up good quality tyre brands in Chigwell at Elite Tyres branch today or book your tyres online now.