Safety tips for tyres

Tyres and their single handprint of tread are what connect you to the road, making them one of the most important safety features. It’s important to keep them in top condition to ensure safety for everyone on the road. 

The importance of tyres
Tyres are one of the most important safety features on your vehicle so it’s vital to check them regularly – they are literally connecting you to the road and have a direct link to your general safety.  Worn out or defective tyres can mean losing control of your car and increased braking distance which is a huge risk. If reducing tyre-related risks is something you’re interested in, read on to find out our recommendations for upkeeping tyre safety.

 
Checking for treadwear, tears and objects
Checking for physical signs of wear is something you can easily do yourself at home. You should do this regularly so you notice any issues as soon as possible and can prevent any further damage from occurring. Inspect your tyres for tears, punctures and embedded objects regularly so you can get them repaired quickly when a problem does occur. Even small cuts can cause a slow leak in your tyres so it’s important to check them regularly. You should also check the tread of your tyres for wear. If the tread is worn down on any part of your tyre it needs to be immediately replaced as it is unroadworthy. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.5mm but handling and braking begin to suffer from less than 3mm of tread depth. You also need to regularly check your spare tyre for cracking and wear due to age. It’s easy to forget about the spare but it needs to be functional in case of an emergency.

Checking tyre pressure
One of the easiest ways to keep your tyres in safe, working condition is to check your tyre pressure regularly. Most petrol stations have air hoses that you can use for free, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking it every 2-3 weeks. The correct tyre pressure for your car will be written either inside your door somewhere or in your owner’s manual. The pressure will often be different for front and back tyres and you should fill them to the recommended level, not the maximum. You should always check your tyre pressure when they are cold as when they are hot the air expands and gives an incorrect reading.

Tyre Rotations
Regularly rotating your tyres helps to ensure even wear across all four of them and make them last longer. How often you rotate them depends on your car so check the owner’s manual. Without doing this you can worsen uneven wear and cause misalignment.

Wheel balancing & Alignment
Wheel balancing improves your car’s handling in the rain and overall safety by adjusting the weights on each wheel to ensure they have equal contact to the road. If you can feel vibrations on the steering wheel or there is premature wear on your suspension system, it’s very likely your wheels are unbalanced. We have the highest quality wheel balancing equipment from Corghi which we use to get wheel balancing perfect every time. A wheel alignment should also be done regularly to make sure your vehicle handles correctly and doesn’t pull to the side as you drive. This involves ensuring all wheels line up with your vehicle’s centre line.
Changing a flat tyre

When an unexpected incident occurs on the road leaving you with a flat tyre, the most important safety feature is to know how to replace it! Here is how to change a tyre:

  1. Pull over safely onto a hard, flat surface and put your hand break on firmly.
  2. Get your spare tyre – it’s often located under your boot but check your owner’s manual if you’re unsure.
  3. Find the jack (the device for lifting the car) and the tools for removing the wheel (like a spanner or wheel brace). Your owner’s manual should explain each step and your car’s recommended jacking points. The wheel nuts can be very tight so use the spanner or wheel brace to loosen them slightly (you might have to use a lot of force).
  4. Chock the diagonally opposite wheel with something before you lift the car. Then, jack the corner of the car nearest to the punctured wheel so the wheel is just high enough to be taken off.
  5. Fully take off the wheel nuts and then remove the flat wheel from your car.
  6. Place the spare wheel or space saver on the car and fasten the wheel nuts. You can do this initially with your fingers, only use the wheel brace or spanner once the wheel nuts are finger tight and the wheel is centred in place.
  7. Lower the jack slowly until the wheel is resting on the ground but no further. There will now be enough weight on the wheel to let you completely tighten the nuts without the when spinning.
  8. Tighten the nuts in the sequence recommended in the owner’s manual to ensure it doesn’t wobble. This usually means tightening one, missing one, then doing the next until they’re all tightened.
  9. Now you can lower the jack completely and place everything back in the car.
  10. You should get the tyre replaced or repaired ASAP as you never know when you’ll need the spare again.

It’s a good idea to practice this at home so you are prepared in case of an emergency.

 

Now you will be ready to keep your tyres in safe, working order. Call into Radke’s Tyre & Auto Heatherbrae for help with:

  • New tyres
  • Puncture repairs
  • Tyre rotations
  • Wheel balancing
  • Wheel alignments
  • General advice.
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heatherbrae , newcastle , tyre and auto , tyre care , tyre safety , tyre tips , tyres , tyres heatherbrae , tyres raymond terrace

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