Having a roadworthy car is vital if you are to remain safe while driving on the UK’s roads – and, of course, it helps if others also have equally roadworthy vehicles. Your tyres can be a problem if they are not in perfect condition: being the only part of your car in direct contact with the road’s surface means that tyre issues can cause major problems for you!
Every motorist in the UK wants to experience smooth and safe driving without any tyre issues on the way, whether he is driving on the roads of London or to a more scenic area like Scotland. Let us take a look at five ways you can make your tyres roadworthy.
Use the Same Brand
Having two tyres from one manufacturer on the front and two from a completely different manufacturer on the back can be a problem as the specifications and fit of the tyres can be subtly – but significantly – different, causing excess wear and tear on your vehicle with one set of tyres taking on significantly more strain than they should. It is not illegal to have mismatched tyres on your vehicle, but it is definitely not recommended.
Change with the Seasons
Get into the habit of changing your tyres along with the clocks going back or forward. This is around when the temperature meets the requirement for the switch between winter and summer tyres. Winter or cold weather tyres work best at temperatures below 7°C, and they are especially effective against icy or muddy surfaces that are too slippery for regular tyres to handle well.
However, winter tyres are softer than summer tyres, so they should be switched back as soon as the average daily temperature of your commute rises back above 7°C. There are tyres on the market which can do both summer and winter conditions, but these tend to behave poorly, and having two sets of specialized tyres is the better option. You won’t lose by doing this: double the investment, yes, but the two sets of tyres together will last twice as long.
No matter what tyres you have fitted to your car, you should always ensure that they are inflated to within the recommended inflation range. Modern tyres work best within these limits, and it can be positively unsafe to drive on under- or over-inflated tyres. If your tyres won’t hold their pressure reliably, it is time for a new set. Further if you are someone planning to drive in scenic routes of Scotland you can book a fitting for your tyres in Dundee, you can check Fife Autocentre’s website. You can order yourself a new set that will make sure you are legally compliant and no longer plagued by air pressure loss.
Your tread should always be above the legal limit of 1.6mm over at least the middle three-quarters of the contact area of your tyre. However, many mechanics recommend setting your own personal limit of 3mm to ensure that you are always legally compliant, but also to ensure that your car will always be under your control, even in very wet and slippery conditions that could otherwise cause skidding and other problems.
Balanced and Aligned
This point covers different processes, but they are often twinned as they are usually completed at the same time. Wheel balancing is, as it sounds, the practice of ensuring that your car’s weight rests evenly across the four wheels. Spreading the weight across the chassis and the suspension system in such a way that your ride feels balanced and you and your passengers don’t feel as though you are tilting to one side or another.
Tyre alignment involves looking at the way the tyres and wheels are fitted onto the axles of the car. If they are not perfectly aligned with one another, they will either push in towards each other or pull away, as though trying to escape. Either of these will cause excess wear and unwanted friction which can cause problems with your vehicle. Balancing and alignment can take mere moments, thanks to modern computer-aided gadgetry, and you will feel the benefits immediately.