Tyres are what keep you connected to the road. If you have any issues with your tyres, it’s going to manifest itself as other problems as you drive. In this blog, we’re going to look at why it’s important to have your tyres correctly inflated.
Under Inflated Tyres
Tyres lose air naturally so if you don’t regularly check your tyre pressures you run the risk of having underinflated tyres. Underinflated tyres have uneven contact with the road, meaning that they will wear out on the inside and outside of the tread. You will also experience increased rolling resistance, which means you will use more fuel which means more petrol which means a higher cost to you.
If you have underinflated tyres at the front, you will experience understeer and if you have them at the back you will experience oversteer. If all of your tyres are under-inflated you will increase your chances of having a blow out by 400%.
Over Inflated Tyres
When you over-inflate a tyre, the tyre has less contact with the road, meaning you have less contact with the road, meaning less traction and grip and more importantly, increased braking distances. When a tyre is overinflated it only makes contact with the road with the centre of the tyre. This means that the tyre will wear heavily and unevenly on the centre portion. This severely reduces the lifespan of a tyre.
In the UK you have to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the whole tyre. Over or under inflated tyres will wear quicker in some places, meaning you could be illegal. This could result in a fine or even penalty points on your licence.
Check your pressure
Most garages offer air for free or for a small fee (It’s 50p at my local garage), so there is no excuse for having incorrectly inflated tyres. Before you inflate your tyres check your manufacturer’s handbook to check the tyre pressures. There will usually be two ratings, one for normal use and one for having a full load. This rating will be given in bar or PSI and the machine at the garage should be able to show you both. The machines will have a limited amount of time (usually 4-5 minutes) of air for your money so I’d recommend removing all the dust caps from your tyre’s valves before starting to inflate, to save you time (and money) when you’re inflating.
If you notice anything unusual on your tyre, then you should get the tyre replaced straight away. This would include foreign objects (a nail or screw in the tread for example) or any bulges and bumps. If you have any bulges or bumps get your tyre changed immediately as this indicates a problem with the internal structure of the tyre. This means it could explode at any time and you really don’t want that happening on the motorway.