'Why should I regularly check my tyre pressures, they look ok, so I'm sure they are fine?'
First impressions can be deceiving, so check your tyres regularly, Michelin recommend once a month, but more regularly can never do any harm!
Under inflated tyres can have the following impacts to your driving
- Under-inflation is one of the leading causes of tyre failure.
- If the tyre pressure is too low, too much of the tyre's surface area touches the road, which increases friction. Increased friction can cause the tyres to overheat, which can lead to premature wear, tread separation and blowouts
- Under inflation will increase stopping distances
- Under inflation over time can affect your tracking and steering control
- Under inflation will lead to increased fuel consumption
- Under inflated tyres increase the risk of skidding
The impact of over inflating your tyres
It is a common misconception that over inflating your tyres will provide more responsive handling and greater fuel efficiency. In fact, over-inflation is detrimental to the tyres and can be dangerous.
For the best handling and fuel efficiency, adhere to the manufacturer's optimum tyre pressure - this can often be found in your handbook, or on the edge of your car door(see Ford Focus Image above). Your tyre’s optimum pressure is specified by your car’s manufacturer. It is determined by a series of tests and analyses for each model, and takes into account several factors:
- Tyre wear and tread life
- Driving comfort
- Fuel efficiency
Exceeding the manufacturer's optimum tire pressure is not recommended for the following reasons:
- Tyres will wear out prematurely. When overinflated, tyres round out on the tread section, causing the centre to wear significantly faster than the outer edges. Your tyres might only last half the life they normally would.
- Over inflation can cause loss of traction. Even in normal conditions, you are more susceptible to losing traction, spinning out or crashing. This is especially noticeable in winter weather.
- Over inflation creates a harsher ride. Over inflated tyres provide a bumpier ride, so you will feel every dip in the road.
For safety reasons, never exceed the maximum tyre pressure embossed on the sidewall of the tyre. To get the best performance and longest life from your tyres, regularly check your tyre pressures and maintain the exact required pressure, not higher or lower, but the recommended tyre pressure.
As well as checking tyre pressures, always check your tread depth to ensure you have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth across 3/4 of the circumference of the tyre, and the outside and inside walls are free from cuts or bulges.
Safe driving everyone