15th December 2015
Tyres – your safety is our concern
- Author: Graham Parish
- Published: 16th February 2015
In the latest of a series of blogs Graham Parish of Hilltop Garage Horndean writes about ensuring your tyres are safe, legal and well maintained.
Tyres – the basics
Tyres are responsible for grip during braking and steering; the only contact between your car and the road surface. This point of contact is very small, about the size of your hand, considering the size and weight of your car. So, you want to know they are going to perform at their best when you need them most.
Tyre pressures – what you need to know
Tyres are designed to function at the correct pressure; anything below or above this pressure will change the handling characteristics of your car. If over-inflated, the tyre changes shape with less tread in contact with road surface. Steering may feel light, braking distances increase with less surface grip and tyre tread wears out faster.
If under-inflated, the tyre now has more tread in contact with the road. This may seem beneficial but it is not. Steering becomes less responsive, feels heavier and the car may veer when braking. Your tyre wear and fuel consumption will increase. An under inflated tyre can overheat and may cause a blow out. Tyre pressures should be checked, ideally once a week.
When is a tyre worn out?
The law states that your tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Manufacturers mould into the tread small ‘wear bar indicators’ at minimum depth to alert car owners.
However, manufacturers recommend that tyres be renewed at 3mm depth to improve handling and braking in adverse weather conditions.
Heavily worn tyres increase the risk of aquaplaning – when tyres lose contact and effectively ‘float’ on the wet road surface. Motorists driving with worn out or damaged tyres risk fines, penalty points on their licence and in event of an accident, invalidation of car insurance.
Here is an image of a tyre we found during a routine inspection. It suffered severe damage to the casing, possibly by hitting a kerb or pothole in the road. See the very large bulge in the sidewall and tread!
Free tyre check
Hilltop Garage Horndean encourages every motorist to visually check their vehicles regularly to pick up potential problems. However, we understand that it can be difficult to assess tyre treads effectively. Hilltop Garage will be happy take the worry out of ensuring your tyres are both safe and legal by checking their condition with a Free Tyre check.
Contact our friendly staff on 02392 596038 or call in at Hilltop Garage Horndean, 299 London Road, Horndean, Waterlooville, Hants, PO8 0JE.
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