In the UK we rarely experience extreme weather over prolonged periods of time. Our summers consist of several weeks of 22C degree heat with maybe the odd day at 35C, while our winters are mainly wet with an odd snow blizzard bringing the nation to a standstill in a matter of minutes, only to have melted 24 hours later! Generally speaking, our winters aren’t that harsh and while we are currently enjoying a relatively mild November, I for one, had not yet considered making sure my car was ready for the colder weather. To be honest the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind, the car isn’t that old, it’s fully road worthy (as far as the laws for keeping it that way are concerned- MOT etc), what else is there to do? I’ve got lots of other stuff to think about at the moment with three demanding children that keep growing out of their clothes (whole new winter wardrobes are currently needed!) and with Christmas looming, the car hasn’t had a look in!
Luckily for me, my car is one of around half the cars on the road that lets you know if your tyre pressure has dropped below a safe level. The warning light prompted me to make some checks and made me realise how easily I could have missed it without the warning, as none of the tyres looked flat. Not only would my already expensive-to-run 4×4, be even less economical with under-inflated tyres, but they are also more likely to wear unevenly causing a need to replace sooner and worse still, will not be working effectively, increasing stopping distances and leading to possible accidents. Though only one of my tyres had triggered the warning light, on inspection, all of them were heading that way- instant relief that I didn’t have a puncture, but shock at how much pressure they can lose through temperature change alone. They were filled to 42 PSI during the summer and had dropped to around 26PSI!!
Here are 5 simple, quick checks that we should all be doing now, to ensure our cars will be safe on the road this winter:
Check all tyre pressures
- Takes around 5 minutes at the petrol station
- Basic physics explains that tyre pressure decreases in the cold
- Low pressure doesn’t necessarily mean leaks
- If one is low, it’s likely the others are too
Check tyre tread depth
- Takes less than 5 minutes
- Though the legal limit is 1.6mm, anything less than 3mm could effect the performance of your tyres
- Remember to check the inner, outer and middle part of the tread
- Many tyres have a Tread Wear Indicator which is basically another mark indicating 1.6-2mm above the base of the grove
Check overall condition of tyres
- Takes less than 5 minutes and can be done while doing points 1 & 2
- Check the other areas of the tyre, looking for bulges or gouges
Check signs of irregular wear
- Will have become apparent during the previous checks
- This can indicate another issue with the car such as alignment or suspension
Check and examine the spare tyre
- Another 5 minutes depending on where your spare is located
- Don’t forget to do all of the above checks with your spare tyre too!
I was shocked to learn that over 40% of cars are driving around right now with under-inflated or illegal tyres, with most of those drivers being completely unaware of the risk they are taking. We all see and hear of accidents on the road every day and though I realise that there are many causes for concern on the roads, if everyone made these few simple checks, at least some of those accidents could be avoided.
If you would like further information or discover that your tyres need replacing, take a look at the Point S website. There are multiple Point S trye dealers throughout the UK, as well as having over 3000 depots across 28 countries. The best thing is that you don’t even need to find out what size tyre you need -yes they come in different sizes ladies ;), you simply type in your registration and they work it out for you!
Please like and share this post to help raise awareness and remind all road users to check their tyres. Let’s all stay safe on the road this winter.
This is a paid collaborative post with Point S. All thoughts and opinions are my own.