Planning your summer getaway in 2024? With the anticipated warmer weather, it’s time to prep for those holiday road trips. Amidst the excitement it’s important you don’t overlook your tires, especially after enduring a harsh British winter!
Tire upkeep is vital for maintaining any vehicle, contributing significantly to your safety and fuel efficiency so read on to discover how to prolong their road life helping save on costs.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Tyres
The surface area of the tyre which is in contact with the road at any one time is only the size of your hand. Therefore, you are relying on that tiny area to safely connect your car with the road. If you think about it that’s a lot of pressure on your tyres.
Maintaining your tyres helps with:
- Ensuring the safety of the driver and passengers
- Increasing the fuel efficiency of your vehicle
- Improving overall passenger comfort whilst driving
Check Tyre Wear
The first and most obvious place to start when caring for your tyres is to check the tyre wear by ensuring the tread depth is still above the UK legal limit.
A quick way to check your tread depth is with the 20p test. All you need to do is place a 20p coin in a main tread groove of your tyres and if the outer band of the coin is obscured by the tyre then your tyres are still within the legal limit. If the coin’s band is visible or nearly visible then you should change your tyres as soon as possible.
Ensuring that you have tyres with a legal tread depth will give your tyres and car the maximum traction and grip with the road, especially in treacherous, wet conditions.
Monitor Your Tyre Pressure
Our next tip for looking after your tyres is to monitor your tyre pressure also known as Psi. You will be able to find out the recommended Psi for your tyres in your car’s user manual.
Checking your tyre pressure is important as it can protect your tyres against increased wear, as well as reducing the risk of losing control of your vehicle.
So, when should tyre pressure be checked? We would recommend checking your tyre pressure once a month, and definitely before a long journey.
One crucial thing to remember is to check your tyre pressure when they are cold and on a flat hard surface; so check before you start a journey, ideally or at least 2 hours afterwards, giving the tyres time to cool down to ensure you get the correct measurements.
Reduce Tyre Wear with Correct Wheel Alignment
If you’re wondering what can cause excessive tyre wear then it might be time to check your wheel alignment. You can easily change the alignment of your wheels just by hitting a pot hole (sadly prevalent on British roads). Not only does incorrect wheel alignment decrease your car’s handling ability but it will also increase the wear on your tyres.
When you go to get your tyres changed we would recommend getting your wheel alignment checked at the same time as this will ensure that your new tyres will last longer.
Protecting Your Spare Tyre
It isn’t just your on-car tyres that you should be caring for, you need to ensure that you keep an eye on your spare tyre too, as you never know when you may need it.
Yes, we know, many modern cars no longer carry spare tyres, but for those that do it’s best to keep an eye on it and check it’s inflated properly.
Far too easy to forget about it seeing as it’s hidden from view but better to have it checked when you get the chance!
Other Things to Look Out for with Your Tyres
We recommend you inspect your tyres for signs of uneven wear, such as cupping, scalloping, or feathering (aka scuffing). Uneven wear patterns can indicate issues with wheel alignment, suspension components, or improper tyre inflation. If you notice significant uneven wear, it may be time to replace the tyres and also have any underlying suspension issues checked by a professional garage.
Cracks and Damage in your Tyres
A good idea is to check for visible cracks, cuts, bulges on your tyre’s sidewalls – as well as in the tread surface. These signs of damage can compromise your tyre’s integrity increasing the risk of a blowout which can be really dangerous. If you find significant damage, we’d recommend you get it checked professionally and look to replace the tyre promptly.
There’s no getting away from it, tyres deteriorate over time, even if they have sufficient tread depth and appear to be in good condition. Rubber compounds degrade with age, leading to less flexibility and traction lowering overall performance. As a general guideline, tyres older than six years should be carefully inspected and considered for replacement, regardless of their tread depth. If you check your tyre’s sidewall you should find the year of manufacture to give you an idea of when the tyre was made.
Challenging Driving Conditions
If you frequently drive in challenging conditions such as heavy rain or snow you may need to replace your tyres more frequently to ensure adequate traction and safety. With more extremes weather we say it’s better to be safe than sorry!
We recommend you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding tyre replacement intervals and length of life – most should have details on their websites. Alternatively you could check with a a tyre professional for specific guidance based on your vehicle’s make and model, they’ll have access to the latest information.
Performance and Handling
Heavily worn tyres can really affect braking distance, cornering stability and overall driving dynamics. If you notice significant changes in how your vehicle handles, it may be a sign that your tyres need replacement. If you’re not then ask a mechanic to drive your car and see what they think.
Further questions that people commonly ask us:
We regularly get asked about tyres by our customers – here’s just a few of the most common ones
What typically shortens the life of tyres?
Tyre life can be shortened by various factors including:
- Improper inflation – a quick and easy one to fix!
- Harsh driving style – hard cornering and wheel spins will wear them out much more quickly
- Overloading – if you carry a lot of weight in the car then this will increase tyre wear
- Poor wheel alignment – if your tracking is out then this will wear tyre shoulders very quickly.
What’s the average life of a car tyre?
The average lifespan of a car tyre typically ranges from 10,000 to 30,000 miles for front tyres and 40,000 to 60,000 miles for rear wheels (if a front wheel drive car).
Do cheap tyres wear out faster?
Cheap tyres may wear out faster due to lower-quality materials and construction but if looked after then this can help mitigate premature wear.
Is it worth paying for premium brand tyres?
Paying for premium brand tyres is definitely worth it for drivers seeking better performance, durability, and safety features. Premium tyres often offer advanced technology and higher-quality materials usually offering a lower level of road noise whilst being driven.
Do more expensive tyres last longer?
More expensive tyres may last longer due to higher-quality materials however they’ll wear prematurely if driven hard or they’re out of alignment.
What is classed as a budget tyre?
A budget tyre is typically a lower-priced tyre that offers basic performance and may have a shorter lifespan compared to mid-range or premium tyres. Budget tyres are often more affordable but usually sacrifice some performance and durability. It pays to do your research in our experience and we’d always recommend premium tyres for the best performance.
Do cheap tyres affect handling?
Cheap tyres may affect your car’s handling due to lower-quality materials used in its construction, leading to reduced grip and stability on the road. Investing in higher-quality tyres, in our opinion, can only improve handling and safety. This is one of the reasons we do not supply or fit “remould” tyres.
Should all 4 tyres be the same brand?
Ideally, all four tyres should be the same brand, model, and size for consistent performance and handling characteristics. Mixing tyre brands can affect vehicle stability and handling; so at a minimum we’d recommend if you have to replace one tyre, say due to a puncture, then you’d change both – unless the other tyre has tonnes of grip left.
Do my front and back tyres have to match?
Front and back tyres don’t necessarily have to match in terms of brand or model but consistency. However tyre type, size and condition is essential for optimal performance and safety so we do recommend they match up.
In conclusion, caring for your tyres and knowing when to replace them is essential for maintaining vehicle safety and performance. Regular inspections, monitoring tread depth, addressing damage promptly and considering factors such as driving style, driving conditions and your tyre’s age can help you determine when it’s time to replace them. Remember that proactive tyre maintenance and timely replacement contribute to safer and more enjoyable driving experiences.
Is It Time to Change Your Tyres?
Your tyres are the main link between your vehicle and the road surface, making them critical for safety, performance and overall driving. Over time, tyres undergo wear and tear due to factors such as mileage, road conditions, driving habits, and environmental exposure. It’s essential to monitor your tyres regularly and know when it’s time to replace them.
Need tyres in Chepstow?
If you think that its time you changed your tyres, contact us on 01291 627137 to talk to our team.
Alternatively check out our website to find out the details of our tyre fitting service for cars and vans.