The festive season is a time to relax and have fun, but if you do not make sure your tyres are safe and legal you could end up starring in your own version of the Nightmare Before Christmas.
If one of your tyres blows out at high speed or you suddenly discover your tyres are bald and are offering you very little grip on roads made hazardous by snow, ice or torrential rain, it could put a real dampener on your Christmas cheer.
However, a few minutes spent making sure your tyres are in tip-top condition could save you hours of hassle and reduce the risk of your tyres letting you down.
If you are considering fitting winter tyres to your vehicle, now is the time to act, before stock levels dwindle and while you can get the maximum benefit from driving on winter tyres.
However, even if you do not fit winter tyres, there are a few safety checks you can carry out to make sure your regular tyres are in good condition:
Make sure your tyres have plenty of grip. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm in a continuous band across the central three-quarters of the width of the tyre. However, 3mm is widely considered to be a safer minimum, especially during the winter.
The easiest way to check this is to follow the TyreSafe 20p test – simply insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of their car’s tyres. If the outer rim of the coin is covered by the tread, this indicates sufficient tread depth to be safe and legal. If the outer rim of the coin is visible, it is likely the tyres need to be replaced.
Check your tyre pressure against your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended level. This can be found in the vehicle handbook or on a plate usually located inside the fuel cap or on the driver’s door sill. Check the pressure when the tyres are cold (that is when you have travelled less than two miles).
Many families will need to have their tyres inflated to a higher pressure than normal, with the extra weight of passengers, luggage and presents.
While checking the pressure, give your tyres a thorough visual inspection. Look out for signs of damage, including cuts and bulges and remove any stones or other objects embedded in the tread. These could all lead to blow outs at high speed or slow punctures.
If it is a puncture our etyres fitters can repair it for a fraction of the cost of a new replacement.
But the fact remains that if you planning on doing a lot of driving, winter tyres really offer the best performance of any tyre at this time of year. If you are considering fitting winter tyres, we supply and fit an extensive range to suit all budgets, including Bridgestone, Hankook, Continental and Michelin. Call our National Sales Team on 0800 028 9000 to find out about the benefits of winter tyres and let us find the best deal for you.
Denna Bowman, Head Office