A few years ago we experienced a moment that meant I could say ”I told you so”. Being a woman, my ever regretful man thought I knew nothing about tyre safety. I used to check our tyres regularly, mainly for any flats. But tyre safety was ‘his thing’, I had to ‘let him deal with it’.
One morning while I was loading our fresh-out-the-wrapper baby into the car, I noticed a little sagging in one of our tyres. I had a thorough look and confirmed, to my month old son, we had a flat tyre, our tread was also very worn.
Mr Firstooth examined the tyres that evening and confidently said ”they’re fine”. They weren’t fine. Because, the next day we got stuck in a shopping centre carpark, because, you guessed it, our tyre was flat. How we even drove there safely was pure luck. We spent hours trying to find some help to change it to our spare. We wouldn’t have needed to spend hours, if we had switched the breakdown cover over to our new car, but that’s another ”told you so”.
The next day we took it in to our trusted Garage for a service, which also confirmed, the tread on our tyres were really worn. So, it turns out I knew enough about car safety after-all. Next time I will take the situation into my own hands, or maybe next time he will give me the benefit of the doubt.
Tyre safety is incredibly important when you’re driving, it’s even more important when you have your little ones in the car with you. Checking them regularly is advisable by all garages, but it’s important to know a little about tyre safety beforehand. Here is a little guide to your own tyre safety:
- New Tyres: a new tyre should be ready to offer you maximum grip and optimum performance. All new tyres (especially mud & snow tyres) should be run in for the first 150 to 200 miles at medium speed on dry roads, in order to abrade the tread surface.
- Tyre Tread: More tread means more grip. Be aware that even though the legal limit is 1.6mm, anything under 3mm can seriously compromise performance and safety.
2. Use your Tread Wear Indicator – premium tyre manufacturers, such as Bridgestone, mould Tread Wear Indicators into the tyres’ tread pattern. It’s made up of six or more small rubs across the bottom of the main tread grooves. Which are usually 1.6mm to 2mm above the base of the groove. The legal limit of 1.6mm is reached when the tyre is worn to the level of the tread wear indicators in the main groove – as soon as this happens, the tyre should be replaced.
- Tyre Pressure – Correct tyre pressure helps extend the life of your tyres, improve vehicle safety and maintain optimum fuel efficiency. Which not only saves you money, but is also better for the environment. Tyres that are under inflated can overheat. And over inflated tyres can lead to poor vehicle handling. An under inflated tyre also creates more rolling resistance and therefore consumes more fuel to maintain the same speed. Over or under inflated tyres need to be replaced more regularly as they suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure. You should check your tyre pressure when the tyre is cold. Pressure increases when the tyre becomes hot. Take the cold tyre readings and check them against the recommended tyre pressures from your placard.
- Tyre Wear: To ensure even tyre wear, it’s advisable to rotate your tyre positions on a regular basis. Even tyre wear maintains consistent performance and extends the life of your tyres. Some tyres aren’t reccomended for rotation, you can find out more here.
If you’re looking for more information about your car tyre, you can enter your registration at Point S Tyres and all the information will be visible to you. How handy is that!
Here is your How To Change A Tyre Guide:
- Get all the tools you’ll need from your car:
Spare tyre (properly inflated), Car Jack, Wheel Nut Wrench, gloves and a torch will always be handy.
- Remove the hubcap and turning the wrench anti-clockwise, loosen the wheel nuts, but DO NOT remove them. It can take quite a lot of force to break the wheel nuts free.
- If your car has molded plastic along the bottom, it’ll crack when if the jack is not put in the right place. Modern cars have a small mark or notch behind the front wheel wells. Or, in front of the rear wheel wells where the jack is intended for be placed. Place the jack under the frame near the tyre you are changing, making sure you put it where it’ll meet the metal of the frame.
- Pump or crank the jack until the tyre lifts off the ground. You need to lift it high enough to remove the flat tire and enough to put the spare, fully inflated tyre on. As you lift the car, make sure it is stable. If the car seems unstable then lower the jack and fix the problem before fully lifting the car.
- Remove the wheel nuts completely and then remove the tyre. Placing the flat tyre under the car will prevent damage if the jack should fail.
- Place the spare tyre on, taking care to align its rim with the wheel bolts, then put the wheel nuts on and tighten by hand. Then using the wrench, tighten the nuts as much as possible. To ensure the tyre is balanced, don’t completely tighten the nuts one at a time. Go in a star pattern around the tyre, one nut across from another, giving each one a full turn until they are equally tight. Don’t use too much force as you could risk upsetting the jack.
- Lower the car to the ground fully and remove the jack. Tighten the nuts again and replace the hubcap. Put the old tyre in your boot and take it to a mechanic for them to repair or replace.
Our trusty Ford is our lifeline for many things, taking care of it is a priority. Check your tyres regularly and you’ll never end up stranded in a shopping centre, like us.
This is a colloborative post, featuring information from Point S Tyres. They not only supply and fit tyres, but are also incredibly informative about tyre safety. And, like I said before, you can find helpful information about your car tyres on their website.