When Should Tyre Pressure Be Checked?
You need to regularly check your tyre pressure. It will save you money, and it could even save your life.
Studies by Michelin show that up to 75% of UK drivers regularly drive with under-inflated tyres, and more than 50% of drivers are driving with tyres that could be categorised as dangerously under-inflated.
How Often Should Tyre Pressure Be Checked?
At least once a month, and before any long journey.
If you ensure you have the correct pressure for each of your tyres, you won’t just get the best possible performance. You’ll also maximise your personal safety.
If you don’t have the correct inflation for your tyres, you could have:
- Decreased grip
- Increased braking distance
- Boost the risk of aquaplaning
- Severely reduce the precision of your steering
It’s without a doubt that optimum tyre pressure really can help to prevent accidents.
The wrong tyre pressure can also cost you money. You could damage your tyres, or reduce their lifespan, and tyres don’t come cheap! The wrong tyre pressure can also increase your fuel consumption.
What’s more, if you’re caught with over or under inflated tyres, you could receive a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre.
So, in more ways than one, regularly checking your tyre pressure will save you money in the long run.
What’s the Optimum Tyre Pressure?
It’s different for each car, and the recommended pressure levels may be different for the front and rear tyres.
To find the optimum tyre pressure for your car, just check your owner’s manual. This information may also be written in the driver’s door pillar of your car, or on the inside of the petrol cap.
Usually, two different optimum tyre pressures will be recommended. One is for normal driving conditions, the other is for a loaded vehicle. You’ll need to adjust your tyre pressure if you’re carrying more people than usual or transporting some heavy items.
How to Check Tyre Pressure
You can do it yourself with a tyre pressure gauge. They’re available from all good automotive stores, and they can cost as little as £12.99.
Most garages and petrol stations have inflation equipment. Some places may charge around 50p to use them, but in certain locations they’re free to use. This equipment will always come with a gauge to let you measure your tyre pressure.
So When Did You Last Check Your Tyre Pressure?
Earlier today? Yesterday? Last week? Last month? Can’t remember?
Get into the habit of checking your tyre pressure at least once a month. It will probably save you money, and it really could help prevent an accident.
Tyre Safety – Other Things You Should Check as Often as Possible
Have you got the right tyres?
When it comes to tyres, it’s not exactly a “one size fits all” situation. Depending on where you live, you may need different tyres for different times of the year. For example, if you live in a colder climate, you’ll need superior grip and better stopping distances throughout the winter months. And on top of all this, tyres don’t last forever. They need to be changed fairly regularly.
What is the legal tyre tread level?
Finally, there’s the issue of tyre tread depth. The legal minimal tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm in a continuous band around the middle three quarters of each tyre. You can check your tyre tread depth in a matter of seconds with a 20p piece.
By now it should be obvious that there are many reasons why you should regularly check the state of your tyres: Better performance, better safety, and less risk of incurring a hefty fine.
But if you want one more reason? If you’re involved in an accident and it’s found that your tyre treads are worn beyond the legal limit, or that your tyres were over or under-inflated at the time of the incident, it could invalidate your car insurance claim.
Don’t take any risks! Check your tyres at least once a month.