Never Go Flat, 3 Things You Should Know About You Tyres
The tyres on your car play a crucial role in keep you out of danger on the roads, but how much do you really know about them?
In a bid to raise awareness of tyre safety, vehicle servicing and repair specialist Kwik Fit recently launched an interactive #TyreChallenge quiz on its website. If you want to brush up on your tyre knowledge to take the quiz, or simply to become safer behind the wheel, here are three facts you should know.
Runflats don’t run for long on a puncture
Runflats are undoubtedly a welcome innovation for motorists. Thanks to their robust design and reinforced sidewalls, these tyres are less likely to blow when punctured, and because they allow you to continue driving until you reach a garage, they ensure you don’t have to get your hands dirty replacing a punctured tyre by the side of the road.
However, it’s really important to be aware that runflats aren’t designed to continue functioning indefinitely and at full performance following a puncture. In fact, they’re only designed to be safe for 50 miles, and you shouldn’t exceed 50mph. If you go too fast or drive too far after sustaining a puncture, you risk doing damage to the wheel – and fixing this is far more costly than simply replacing the tyre. So, if you use runflats and you pick up a puncture, make sure you drive at a safe speed to your nearest tyre replacement centre.
Your tread depth can’t fall below 1.6mm
The legal minimum tread depth for tyres in the UK is 1.6mm. If you’re found to be driving on tyres that don’t meet this standard, you could be fined £2,500 and receive three penalty points on your licence (and this is per tyre). This means it’s essential to pay attention to tread depth. You can check it with a depth gauge or, if you don’t have one of these specialist pieces of equipment, a 20p coin. Simply slot the coin into the grooves on your tyre. If the outer band is visible, it’s time to buy a new tyre.
If you want to be as safe as possible on the roads, you might want to replace your tyres well before they get down to the minimum required under the law. To keep high levels of grip, safety experts suggest it’s best to get new tyres once the tread wears down below 3mm.
Failing to pay attention to tyre pressure can be dangerous
Tyres that are either under or over-inflated can pose a danger on the roads, so it’s vital that you keep tabs on your tyre pressure. When your tyres have too much or too little air in them, you can experience reduced grip and poorer handling, and you may be at an increased chance of blowouts.
Bear in mind that when you’re testing your tyres, they should be cold (meaning you haven’t driven on them for at least two hours). This will ensure you get an accurate reading.
Being aware of tyre safety issues like these can help you to reduce risks on the road and drive with added confidence, so it’s well worth making the effort to get clued up.