When you are travelling around the beautiful Wales or even Scottish landscape, it can be all too easy to be overwhelmed by the grandeur of the landscape and ignore warning signs from your car that something – like your tyres – might be about to fail. Make sure your trip, whether it is for leisure or for business, goes smoothly by making sure you follow these five tyre safety tips for your family car.
Check Before You Drive
It is a good idea to regularly check your tyres anyway, and it is even more important to do so when you are heading off – for example, from Wales to Scotland, on a family trip. Apart from the inconvenience a breakdown or puncture would cause, tyre issues can be more serious, causing accidents in which you and your family, as well as other road users, may be injured or worse. Therefore properly inspecting your car tyres before heading for a long road trip will help you in achieving a pleasant drive.
Check Your Tread Depth
Bald tyres do not work effectively and it is the law that your tyres must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth over the contact surface of the tyre for correct operation. There is a very easy, low-tech way to check your tread depth: all you need is a 20-pence piece! Stand the coin up in the deepest part of the tyre’s grooves and see if you can see the wide band that runs around the circumference of the coin on both sides. If it is entirely inside the tread, your tyres have sufficient tread depth for safe and legally compliant driving. If you can see the edge of the band, it is time to replace your tyres as soon as you can.
Inflation has been in the news of late, but this type of inflation is a good one! Having your tyres at the correct range of inflation, as recommended by the tyre manufacturer is not only a legal requirement (per the amendment to the MOT checklist as of 2018) but it is a good way to ensure the effective operation of the tyres. Modern tyres are precision engineered for optimal performance and safety – but for them to work at their most efficient levels, they do need to be correctly inflated.
Check Your Tyres
Every driver should get into a routine with their car by inspecting it for problems and issues that might have arisen since the last time. This habit is excellent as it will teach you what your tyres should look like so that you will be easily able to spot issues when they begin to arise. This is helpful as the early signs of tyre damage can be very subtle, and might be overlooked if you are not sure what the tyre should look like under ‘normal’ conditions. In case you are visiting Scotland and experience a tyre cut or bulge, you can order new tyres online in Stirling with Fife-Autocentre, your local tyre fitter.
Keep Them Clean
Further to the last point, keeping your tyres – in fact, your whole car – clean and tidy is a good way to practice basic maintenance, almost effortlessly. It is even more effective if you clean your car by yourself, getting – quite literally – hands-on with the vehicle, but this is not always possible or practical. If you need to use a valeting service or to hire a private car washer, you had add a couple of pounds to their fees in exchange for a detailed examination of the tyres on your behalf, raising any potential concerns with you so that you can then go on to consult a mechanic – for peace of mind, if nothing else!