Now more than ever, we are all trying to think of ways to save money – but how can you save without cutting corners when it comes to car safety?
In this article, we list our top ten tips for taking care of your tyres on a budget. Read on if you want to know how you can maintain your tyres and make them last.
Invest in Quality Tyres
It stands to reason that the better quality your tyres are, the more durable they will be. Whilst you may need to spend a bit more on higher quality tyres initially, they can last a lot longer than cheaper tyres, and can reduce your vehicle’s overall fuel-consumption.
You can purchase used tyres for your vehicle if you really are looking to save, but you should be wary if you are planning to do so. You should only purchase used or part worn tyres from a professional UK garage, and only buy if they meet certain legal standards. Sellers should only be offering used tyres if:
- The tyres don’t have any bulges in the sidewall
- The tyres don’t have any noticeable cuts in the tyre tread
- The structure of the tyre – including any cords and the carcass inside – is hidden
If you aren’t convinced that the tyres meet this standard, then do not buy them. Always buy from a trusted seller and learn as much about the history of the tyres as possible before you make a decision.
Though part-worn tyres can help you save in theory, if you invest in the best quality tyres that you can afford, you are less likely to fail your MOT due to uneven tread wear. When buying used or part worn tyres, try and buy tyres made by a brand you recognise, and always remember to fit tyres in pairs – you might find it difficult to find four matching tyres with the same level of tread wear.
For your safety, invest in quality tyres now, and save on expensive repair and replacement costs that cheaper tyres could lead to in the future. This is particularly true if you tend to drive at high speeds, as your vehicle may be in need of the grip of a high-quality tyre on the motorway.
Manage Your Driving Style
We’ve all been frustrated by the sound of an engine rev when we’re trying to relax, but how often do we question our own driving habits? One of the most effective ways of making your tyres last is to take stock of how you handle your own vehicle. Do you have a tendency to hit speed bumps and potholes? Do you repeatedly force acceleration and speed round corners? You could be putting unnecessary strain on your tyres and wearing them out way sooner than needed. Ease up on these habits, and you could lengthen the lifespan of your tyres.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
If you regularly check your tyre pressure, this can make a big difference to your tyre lifespan. When your tyre pressure is at the correct level, this can make sure that the weight of your vehicle is distributed evenly. If under-inflated or over-inflated, your tyres can pose certain safety risks.
An under-inflated tyre can crack due to the heat being generated as too much of your tyre comes in contact with the road. This can also cause uneven tread wear, and your tyre sidewall can lose its shape due to subpar air pressure levels. You will use up more fuel as a result of under-inflated tyres, your steering will be harder to control, and your rolling resistance will increase.
An over-inflated tyre has less contact with the road, which can wear out the centre tyre tread much faster. You will find it harder to handle your vehicle, with breaking being less easy and your journey feeling bumpier.
By regularly checking your tyre pressure, you can prevent the need for a premature replacement - incorrect air pressure can cause tyre blowout! When you inflate your tyres to the correct air pressure, this can also help you to avoid further damage being caused to related parts of your vehicle – which could prove costly to fix – and you will enhance your car’s overall performance.
Check Your Wheel Alignment
Similarly, you should prioritise checking your wheel alignment on a regular basis. When your wheels are out of alignment, this means that your tyres will each come into contact with the road differently, leading to an increased likelihood of uneven tyre wear.
If you notice that your tyres are worn, then this could be a sign that your wheels are misaligned. If this is the case, then it is a good idea to have your car looked at by a professional garage. You may recognise that your wheels are out of alignment if you feel a stiffness or vibration in the steering wheel. To avoid this, you should take care to avoid hitting kerbs or driving over potholes.
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Store Your Tyres Properly
Your current tyres are obviously important, but what about your spares? You don’t want to have to fork out for new tyres after finding out your spare tyres aren’t roadworthy. Ideally, you would store your tyres on a tyre rack, in a cool dry space.
Avoid storing your tyres near any heating systems. When you next go to use a tyre that you have been storing away, make sure to inspect it before you fit it to your car – cracks and other damage can occur due to lack of use, and you don’t want to put yourself in danger by fitting damaged tyres to your vehicle.
Lighten the Load
Packing up the car to go on holiday? Whilst your vehicle is designed to be able to carry a certain load, the more that you put into it, the more pressure you put on your tyres to be able to cope.
You can consult your vehicle handbook if you want to know the exact weight your car is able to transport. Leave that extra suitcase at home, and you could ease the strain on your tyres.
Take Note of Your Tyre Tread
As alluded to throughout this article, when your tyre tread wears away, your tyres will lose traction as they travel on the road. This can be dangerous for drivers, as you will have less control over your vehicle’s movements.
If you are driving in wet weather, then your worn tyres will put you at a higher risk for aquaplaning as the tread will not disperse the water-build up beneath the tyres as easily. Manage your driving style and be vigilant about changes in your tyre tread, and you can help to prevent the need for a costly replacement.
Don’t Hit the Kerb
As part of managing your driving style, take care to avoid hitting the kerb. It is important to note that the slightest bump can cause serious damage to your tyres - damage that may not even be visible. Hitting the kerb can impact your sidewall, wear your tyres out faster, and bend your wheel rims.
Even if you hit the kerb whilst driving slowly, you can still put your wheels out of alignment. If you are concerned about your vehicle after hitting a kerb, you should absolutely have your car looked at by a professional garage.
Use the Same Tyres
When you use different tyres on your car, you run the risk of wearing out your tyres at different rates. Generally speaking you should use the same size, brand, and tyre type on each wheel, as it can be dangerous to mix and match across axles. This can make it harder for your tyres to grip the road. Make sure you use the correct size of tyres for your car, with the correct tyre speed ratings too.
Change With the Seasons
Make sure that whatever tyres you use, they are suited to the current season. You may need summer, winter, or all season tyres depending on the climate. All season tyres can be a good alternative to changing between your summer and winter tyres.
Though, fittingly they do not perform as well as summer tyres do in summer, or winter tyres do in winter. Winter tyres struggle in the heat of summer, whilst summer tyres cannot grip the ground as well in colder temperatures.
Use the right tyres, and you can stay safe and save money on unnecessary replacement costs.
Clean Your Tyres
Our tenth and final tip may sound like it won’t have a noticeable impact, but giving your tyres a good clean can actually make a big difference. When you clean your tyres with soap and water, you can help get rid of any stones or debris that have embedded themselves into the tyre treads. By getting up close, you may also be able to spot any additional tyre wear that you otherwise might have missed. Not to mention the added bonus of a cleaner looking car!
With these ten tips at your disposal, you can make your tyres last longer, and could save yourself money in the long run. Depending on the quality of your tyres and how you maintain them, your tyres can last five years or more with the right kind of care, at which time they should be checked once a year by a professional mechanic. Make sure to replace your tyres after ten years to be on the safe side.
Treat your tyres with care and make them last longer when you trust a professional garage to help you today.
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