Tyre Safety Tips that Every Driver Should Know
As your tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road, they undergo a lot of wear and tyre and can easily become unsafe if not maintained. In Ireland, driving with dangerous tyres could cost you a fine of up to €2,300 and five penalty points. After five or more years in use your tyres should be thoroughly inspected at least once per year. We’ve compiled some top tips to help you ensure your tyres are safe and roadworthy all year round!
1. Check the tyre tread depth
When it comes to tyres, bald is not beautiful. Driving with bald tyres is very dangerous, as it increases your risk of a puncture, reduces braking ability and can cause hydroplaning wet weather. This is when the tyres skid uncontrollably due to a build up of water that is higher than the tyre treads can displace.
You must ensure that the tread depth is at least the legal requirement of 1.6mm. This can be checked using a tread wear gauge or by checking the tread wear indicator blocks on the tyre. These raised indicator blocks display the level at which your tyres should not wear below.
2. Check your tyre pressure
Tyre pressure also has a massive impact on how well your tyres perform on the road. Under or over-inflated tyres can cause weak handling, reduced fuel efficiency and defective breaking.
You can find the recommended pressure level for your tyres on a label on the drivers door frame, online or in the vehicles owner manual. Inspect your tyre pressure monthly and especially before long trips or when carrying a heavy load.
3. Rotate your tyres
Did you know your front and rear tyres wear differently? As the front tyres carry the majority of your car’s weight generally they wear down faster. Rotating your tyres will not only ensure a safer and smoother ride but it can also save you money by prolonging the life of your tyres. Follow your vehicles manufacturers recommendations for tyre rotation or perform a rotation at every 10,000km.
4. Don’t overload your tyres
Overloading your tyres is very dangerous as it could lead to a puncture or worse a blowout. Check your vehicle owner’s manual or the load rating of your tyres to determine the maximum passenger and cargo load for your vehicle. It’s also best to try to distribute the weight evenly throughout the car and remove any unnecessary weight from the boot of your vehicle.
5. Check your spare tyre
If you’re unfortunate enough to get a puncture whilst on the road, the last thing you want is to have an unsound spare tyre. So check your spare tyre too, you never know when you might need it!
When to Replace your Tyres:
- If cracks, tears or bulges appear
- Tread depth wears below 1.6mm
- After 10 years from their date of manufacture
- If you get an irreparable puncture
- If you identify abnormal or uneven tyre wear
Now that you know some of the basics of keeping your car tyres safe, don’t forget the most important check – making sure your car is fully insured.
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