UNDER PRESSURE: Maintaining the correct pressure in your tires one of the one of the ways top prolong your tyre's longevity as well as your safety.
Tyremaker Bridgestone has shared its five top tips to avoid tyre woes this holiday season - and the good news is that tyre checks are all well within the ability of the average driver.
“Good tyre maintenance is a case of knowing what to check,” said Bridgestone PR Manager, Mandy Lovell, “and top of our tip list is ensuring your tyres are correctly inflated.”
TIP ONE: Tyres lose pressure over time and if they're not checked for a long period can become dangerously under-inflated and start running hot. The extra heat and friction generated in an under-inflated tyre can eventually cause it to disintegrate, ending in a blowout. It takes energy to generate that heat and friction and under-inflated tyres can push up one's fuel consumption quite sharply.
GET YOUR TREAD CHECKED
Lovel added: “Check your tyre pressures every two weeks when the tyres are cold, to ensure you get maximum tyre life and to help identify a tyre that may have developed a slow puncture. Buy your own tyre gauge - keep it in your car - so that you don't have to rely on garage gauges, which are often inaccurate - the cost is minimal compared to the safety benefit and savings.”
Tyre pressures are especially important for motor-cyclists.
TIP TWO: Check regularly for uneven tread wear and to ensure there is enough tread left. The tread disperses water in rain; worn tyres won't and you will, one day, aquaplane out of controll. While you're checking the tread, look for objects lodged in the tyre. The sooner they’re spotted, the sooner you will be able to have them removed and the tyre repaired - if possible - before further tyre damage occurs or a slow puncture develops.
TIP THREE: Inspect the tyre sidewalls for cuts or bulges. Don't forget to pop your head under the car to check the inward-facing sidewalls as well - damage can occur to each side of the tyre. Large cuts make a tyre illegal and a bulge is a blowout waiting to happen - replace such tyres immediately!
TIP FOUR: Check for fluids leaking on to the tyre. Oil, or from the wheel hub, or possibly brake fluid can cause tyre failure.
TIP FIVE: Make sure all the systems that help you to get the best out of your tyres are in perfect working order. Worn shock-absorbers reduce roadholding dramatically and can also cause premature tyre wear. Incorrect wheel alignment does the same, making the vehicle tiring to drive.
“Tyre-related emergencies are almost all preventable," Lovel added. "Our five simple tips will help save you money and reduce the chances of a tyre letting you down.”