Poorly-maintained tyres could affect your car’s efficiency and performance, as well as having serious safety implications too. With a range of things to consider we have created this guide of need-to-know tyre maintenance information to ensure you get the best performance and get the most from your tyres.
How Long Do Tyres Last?
It’s impossible to put an exact figure on the shelf life for a tyre. The amount of time it will last depends upon a whole list of factors, chiefly:
- The quality of the tyre itself
- The road conditions it’s used on
- How well it’s looked after (both from a maintenance and careful driving perspective)
Is it Worth Buying Expensive Tyres?
If you have a high mileage and drive on a lot of high speed roads such as motorways then you might well benefit from the added grip and performance of a premium tyre. Mid range brands are a good compromise for those with a more modest mileage, while budget brands are probably fine for runarounds. People who drive a lot, use motorways often and are prepared to look after their cars might well get good value from investing in the more expensive tyres on the market. There are many questions that surround the debate of which tyres to buy, however, this again depends on how much you drive, where you drive and how well you look after your tyres.
If your tyres are under-inflated then their ‘rolling resistance’ increases, which means that you need more fuel and energy to push your car along and therefore spend more money on petrol or diesel. Under-inflated tyres are more likely to blowout, causing you to breakdown, while they can also reduce the performance when braking, cornering or accelerating – especially in wet conditions.
Tread and Balance
Your tyres are the only contact between your vehicle and the road surface, so when they wear down you put this at risk. It’s worth noting that it is also illegal to be driving with tyres that have a ‘tread’ below the legal limit. The punishment for this is £2,500 per tyre and three penalty points on your driving licence. The tread of a tyre is the bit of rubber that actually makes contact with the road. The legal minimum depth for this rubber is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and it must meet this measurement all the way around the circumference. However, it’s worth knowing that the performance of the tyre will deteriorate once this gets below 3mm. Keeping on top of this potential issue will ensure you get the most from your tyres.
You might feel your tyres ‘wobble’ a little once you travel above 40 or 50mph and this (along with uneven wear and tear) can be a sign that your wheels need to be re-balanced. This can be fairly simply fixed fix by a tyre specialist and prevent further deterioration of your tyres.
When it comes to your vehicle the upkeep is important but so too is the way that you drive. Avoiding driving too fast or heavy braking and abrupt cornering will be better for your tyres in the long run. By making sure you are calm when behind the wheel and drive smoothly at all times, you’ll be maximising your chances of getting the most from your tyres.