Tyre Checks Could Be Crucial
by Becky Harrison |
posted 02 April 2021
Tyre maker Michelin is urging motorists to complete essential safety checks before dusting off cars that may have had very little use over the past 12 months. Being parked in one place for a significant period can affect handling, performance and safety, while drivers may also have neglected tyre maintenance during lockdown.
And longer-term changes to annual mileage due to post-pandemic commuting patterns underline the need for regular tyre checks, Michelin says. Even if vehicles have not been used, tyres will have lost pressure, and driving on underinflated tyres increases fuel consumption at the same time as compromising handling, grip, braking and durability.
In addition, prolonged storage can create flat patches on the tyre, while being parked in oil or water for long periods – or on an object such as a stone – can also damage tyres. On top of that, minor existing damage to the tyre may have worsened during storage, and cracking and hardening may be an issue.
As lockdowns start to ease across the UK, and work and leisure mileage increases, Michelin has outlined what drivers should be doing before setting out.
Set tyre pressures to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations
Visually check all tyres for bulges, cuts, excessive cracking or other damage or unusual signs
Move the vehicle to expose the part of the tyre that has been in contact with the ground and carry out the same visual checks. Flat patches can create internal weakness, which can lead to failure in use
Check tread depth. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm around the entire circumference of the tyre in a band making up 75 per cent of the tyre’s breadth