When was the last time you checked your tyres? With so much going on in the world right now, it’s so easy to let little things like the condition of your tyres slip down the list of priorities. But if you’re still regularly driving at the moment, whether that’s to work or just a few trips to the shops – it’s important to pay extra attention to your tyres right now.
Tyre failure rates increasing
According to a recent GarageWire article, tyre failure rates increased by up to 3% between 2019 and 2020 despite fewer journeys being made on Britain’s locked down roads. The data comes from Evans Halshaw who found that up to 8.5 million motorists could be driving with illegal tyres.
Winter tyre pressure tips
Tyre care is something to consider year round – but it’s especially important in winter. Checking your tyre pressure is a good place to start as tyre pressure can drop in winter, particularly as freezing temperatures set in. Under-inflated tyres are serious hazard because they increase stopping distances when you’re driving. So, if your car has been sat outside unused for a while (like many cars during lockdown) – please check your tyre pressure before you set off.
Checking your tyre pressure
The first step is find out what pressure your tyres should be at. You’ll find the correct tyre pressure for your front and rear tyres in the vehicle handbook or sometimes on the inside of the driver side door or the petrol cap. Once you’ve got this information, you need to check the pressure. There are several tools that can help you do this. The Draper Digital Tyre Pressure Reader is great option with and LCD display capable of displaying PSI, BAR, KPA between the ranges 2-100psi (±1%), 0.15-7.00bar and 15-700KPA. There is also the Draper Tyre Pressure Gauge to consider, which has a handy feature allowing for access to awkwardly positioned tyre valves.
Tools for tyres in need of inflation
Should your tyres need some extra inflation there are plenty of options to help you do this. The Draper 12V Mini Analogue Air Compressor can both check tyre pressure and inflate your tyres. It’s powered by your vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket, making it a handy bit of kit to keep in the car year round. The Draper 12V Cordless Air Compressor is also a great tool for keeping tyres in tip top condition. It features a digital display, which provides psi, kPa and BAR settings, allowing you to fix your desired air pressure. Once this pressure is reached the compressor automatically stops, giving you complete peace of mind that your tyre pressure is correct.
Winter tyre tread depth tips
In the UK the legal minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, however did you know that many experts believe that this is too low? They recommend a minimum of 4 mm as a winter tyre tread depth. The lower the tread depth the more breaking distances will increase – so it can really make sense to check your tread depth is safe at this time of year. You can measure your tread depth with precision and ease using the Draper Expert Tyre Tread Gauge, which is accepted by the Department of Transport for MOT Testing and includes a 1.6mm graduation to comply with MOT minimum tyre tread depth requirement. For a digital reading, there is also the Draper Digital Tyre Tread Depth Gauge which offers metric and imperial calibration and conversion between the two. The clear LCD screen is simple to read and the zero setting function allows for comparative measurement.
More advice on winter motoring
You could also consider winter tyres, especially once the temperature starts to go below 7 degrees. These specialist tyres will further help reduce stopping distances.