A Driver's Checklist For Making Sure Your Tyres Are Safe *

-*This post is in collaboration with Elite Direct Tyres, all opinions are my own-
Taking your car for it's MOT or for a service is basically like taking yourself to a doctors appointment for a annual check up. It has to be done for peace of mind. Obviously a car has to have a MOT every year if it's over 3 years old and you should also have your car serviced every year (or every 12,000 miles). But in the time in between having your car MOT'ed and serviced you should also keep on top of maintaining your car and making sure it's performing at it's best throughout the year. I tend to not do much driving in the car during the Winter because it's just too cold and I'd rather be out and about when the weather is a little better and also warmer. Plus I feel more confident driving in the better weather rather than snowy weather. I basically come out of hibernation (lol) around March/April time and make more plans and travel to different places in the UK and knowing that the car is in a good way is a peace of mind whilst travelling longer than usual distances because there's nothing worse than your car breaking down when your miles from home, is there? In this post I'm taking about how to keep your tyres safe and know that your car is road worthy and safe to drive.

1) An obvious thing that should be on your checklist is to make sure you check your tyres often (weekly) for any signs of damage, wear and tear and slow punctures.

2) You should check your tyre pressure at least once a month and also before travelling long distances or on motorways. But you should aim to check your tyre pressure every couple of weeks when the tyres are cold and also make sure to use a reliable tyre pressure gauge. You should never check your tyre pressure when your car/tyres are warm as the pressure increases as your car gets hot so if you check your tyre pressure when the car/tyres are already warm or hot then the reading would be wrong which would mean the pressure will most likely be too low.

3) Check your tyre tread regularly so you can determine how much life your tyres have left in them. The law says that your tyres should have at least 1.6mm depth but many manufacturers would recommend changing your tyres before then - when they are at around 3mm. This is because the less amount of tyre tread on your tyres means a bigger braking distance because there isn't as much grip left so you won't come to a stop as quick and could possibly slide too if road and weather conditions are bad. If you're stopped by the police and you're found to have one or more tyre with a tread depth below the legal limit then you could land yourself with a hefty fine of £2,500 AND three penalty points per tyre. You can use a special device called a tread depth gauge to check your tread depth or you can check using "the 20p test" which I've done myself before. You just pop a 20p coin into the grooves of the tyre and check if you can see the outer band of the coin. If you cannot see it then you tyre is safe and above the legal limit. If you can see the outer band of the coin then it means that the tyre is unsafe and needs changing.

4) Make sure to replace any missing valve caps. When the cap is remove the valve is exposed and this can lead to it getting clogged up with any sort of road dirt, grease, ice etc. It can also lead to a air leak over time which will result in the tyre going flat. So don't drive around with no valve caps on!

5) Check for basic wear and tear regularly and make a note of any sort of wear and tear which needs sorting out ASAP.  

6) And lastly just make sure you're tyres are cleaned often! This is also a good time to spot any sort of wear and tear and also any cracks, bulges and onset cracks in the tyres which will need attention.

If you are in need of some new tyres for your car then you can order tyres in Loughton from Elite Direct Tyres and get them delivered to your front door.

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