Tyres connect your car to the tarmac. Therefore, it’s vital you know your tyres’ characteristics and the kind of wheels you have – for example, 4wd rimsif you want to keep safe.

Your safety is always paramount 

Think about it; your car is probably equipped with the latest and most advanced safety technologies. That’s great, but all the kit in the world won’t help you if your car isn’t fitted with quality tyres that are in good condition and suitable for your vehicle.

Here are five safety aspects to bear in mind.

1. Pressure

Maintaining the correct pressure helps tyres stay healthy. Driving at a lower pressure than recommended reduces stability, increases the danger of sudden air loss, and makes fuel consumption worse. At the opposite end of the spectrum, over-inflation causes premature wear, driving discomfort, and vibration.

2. Crystallisation

Crystallisation of the tyre indicates the rubber’s not in good health. Tyres crystallise in vehicles that spend a lot of time outdoors, mainly due to solar damage. It’s recommended to avoid using tyres more than ten years old to keep things safe.

3. Excessive wear 

A worn tyre loses grip, especially in the wet. The regulations establish that the tread pattern’s depth must not be less than 1.6mm. However, it’s recommended not to use a worn tyre with a tread depth of less than 3mm. Why? Well, tired old tyres drastically increase the risk of hydroplaning and they lengthen braking distance. 

4. Lumps, cuts, scratches

If your tyres have any of these anomalies, visit a professional to get them checked over. If needed, get the tyres replaced. To extend the useful life of your tyres, avoid hitting kerbs and potholes – where possible.

5. Age 

Car tyres deteriorate over time and lose performance. They don’t have an expiry date, but it’s advisable to change them at least a decade after the date of their manufacture, even if they haven’t been used or don’t look in poor condition.

Further tips to remember 

  • Tyre life, in part, depends on how you drive. So, avoiding heavy braking – and slow down before entering bends.
  • Check your tyre pressures regularly – when they’re cold, not warm.
  • Get a professional to check your wheels are aligned. Misalignment reduces tyre performance and causes uneven wear.
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