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As motorists we put a fair amount of faith in vehicle tyres.  Most of us jump into our cars or slide behind the wheel of a lease van and don’t give a second thought to those rings of rubber that make contact with the road.


This is foolhardy and dare we say, downright dangerous. Good tyre care is vital, especially now we are heading into the winter months.


By rights you should check the condition of your vehicle’s tyres at least once a fortnight. Try to check these suggestions once a week though. You can’t be too careful when it comes to road safety.


What to check on vehicle tyres


·         Tread


·         Sidewalls


·         Pressure


Tread


The first port of call should be the tread on the tyre. The more tread you have the extra grip you will have on the road.


You can check tyre tread physically in a matter of seconds. Use a tyre depth gauge, they’re cheap to buy and very simple to use.


When you are testing the tread, look for a minimum of 1.6mm across three-quarters of the tyre. Any less and not only is the tyre dangerous, it’s illegal as well. Consider changing tyres when tread levels get down to about 3mm to ensure grip is maximised at all times.    


Sidewalls


Explore the outer rims of the tyres. Check for bulges that could indicate stress points on the rubber. These are weak areas also known as tyre ‘eggs’ and they can result in the tyre blowing at speed.  


Bulges are caused when tyres are clipped against kerbstones. Try to avoid this where possible to prevent problems in the future. 


Pressure


Regularly check the air pressure in tyres too. Ascertain the correct air levels for the vehicle, this is usually found in the owner’s handbook.


There are various ways to test the pressure in your vehicle’s tyres. One is with a trusty foot pump. This can be hard going though, especially if you need to add air to the tyre.


Another is with a compressor that plugs into the 12v outlet inside your vehicle. It’s faster and a straightforward solution.


Finally you could use the airline at your local filling station. Adjust the gauge to the right setting, pop some money in the machine and it’ll automatically inflate the tyre to the right pressure.      


 


Taking care of tyres isn’t difficult. With practice it becomes second nature and you never know, one day it might save your life!  

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