Let’s face facts, stuff happens in life that we can’t help and sometimes don’t expect. But, when it comes to cars, and Roadside Breakdowns, there is a lot you can do to mitigate the likelihood of bad stuff happening.
When you think about it, Car Tyres take a lot of responsibility. We basically trust them with our lives as they are the ONLY part of a 1 or 2 tonne car that physically comes into contact with a road. A hard, unforgiving road. Considering our cars can legally travel up to the 70mph in the U.K, it’s perhaps a scary prospect to consider that big hunk of metal is being suspended off the ground by 4 pieces or relatively inexpensive rubber.
And that is exactly why it’s always worth looking after your tyres. But how does one ‘look after’ ones tyres exactly?
For starters, tyres need to be as much a part of your car servicing and maintenance routine as checking your oil, coolant or windscreen washer fluid. On an at least weekly basis, you should be walking around your car, pinching the tyres to ensure a quick visual tactile check that they haven’t lost a lot of air. You should spend this time also ensuring that there are no chunks out of your sidewalls…pretty common to find this time of year as snow and ice recedes leaving great gapping potholes in many a UK road.
Check the tread of tyres…are they wearing evenly? Is the tyre on the opposite axel wearing at the same rate as the tyre this side of the car? Some tyre manufacturers have wear indicators or bands that actually physically notify owners of tyres that are wearing low. Also check the sidewalls for cracking. This can sometimes occur on tyres that have sat still for a long period. When you see cracks, consider changing the tyres regardless of wear or mileage.
Once or twice a month it’s worth checking your tyre pressures on a proper tyre inflator (they have these on petrol station forecourts). Use the manufacturers recommended tyre pressures. If the same tyre constantly needs a top up, get it checked out at a tyre specialist. It may be a buckled rim, leaky valve or slow puncture causing problems. But do you really care which of these it might be when doing 70mph in the outside lane of the M1?
Tyres can also be affected by quality issues. Budget tyres can sometimes be made of material that isn’t of such good quality or design as a premium brand tyre. Branded tyres are also researched and developed over years and years of research. Some car manufacturers actually work with a tyre ‘brand’ to create a tyre that designed to work specifically with that make and model of car. Given these car manufacturers would have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on this research, measuring every concievable ‘action’ of these rounds of rubber, who are we to shrug our shoulders and chose another brand? Where possible, use the suggested tyre brands and types if specified by your car manufacturer. This will also ensure you get maximum VFM from your car’s performance too.
If a tyre is continually used whilst it is deflating air, even if over a period of days or weeks, it will probably start shredding or damaging itself beyond repair. You may not even see this until the tyre is removed, or removes itself from the rim. At a certain point, it may even destroy the rim that supports that tyre.
When buying new tyres, manufacturers in the UK will give a bit of information that can help you decide which is best for you, your pocket, and your driving style. For example, manufacturers will give a ‘score’ of a tyres performance in the wet (wet grip). An ‘A’ score is best. They will also give you a score of road noise in decibels so you can compare with others and finally, expect also to see a fuel efficiency score too.
Yes, tyres can impact on how much fuel your car uses so cutting corners when buying tyres can come back to haunt you at a later date…in more ways than one.