With extreme weather just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to do some tire care to make sure your tyes are in tip-top condition.
We’ve teamed up with Goodyear to help you stay safe on the roads over the winter with these five tips.
1) Check your pressures regularly
It’s important to check your tire pressures throughout the winter regularly. Lower temperatures can cause tire pressures to drop, meaning the contact patch will be larger and make it more difficult to gain traction on snow and ice. Always run your tires to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI or BAR. If you lack the tools to check the tire pressure, you can click here.
2) Tread carefully
Having adequate tread depth is essential, whatever the weather. However, when your tires are trying to grip wet and icy roads, it’s even more important that they have suitable tread. The legal limit for minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, across three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tire. So as well as helping your tires grip the road more effectively throughout the winter months, regular checks to keep your tread above the legal limit can help to avoid three penalty points and a hefty fine.
3) Consider fitting winter or all-season tires
Most cars are fitted with summer tires as standard instead of winter or all-season tires like Goodyear’s Vector 4Seasons Gen-3. However, the compound on summer tires remains hard in cold temperatures, whereas a winter or all-season tire retains its flexibility and molds to the shape of the road to retain grip. As a result, the sipes in the tread design of winter or all-season tires will grip snowy and icy roads much more effectively. As a result, most manufacturers will recommend using winter tires in temperatures below 7°C.
4) Know your braking distances
If you’re using summer tires in winter conditions, you will need to re-evaluate your braking distances. Research from the British tire Manufacturers Association (BTMA) shows that when braking on icy roads at 20mph, a car fitted with winter tires will come to rest after 57m, while summer tires will keep going for as far as 68m. Regardless of what kind of tires they’re using, drivers must keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
5) How does the tire look?
While you should carry out proven checks on your tire pressures and tread, it’s also important to look for cosmetic damage. Look for rips, tears or bulges before setting off and make sure to check your pressure, especially if your car hasn’t moved for a few days.