Basic tyre maintenance
If your tyres are worn it can affect the cars performance in both wet and dry conditions.
Tyres are designed to channel water away from the road surface beneath them. This obviously improves grip on the road and means you are less likely to skid in wet conditions. If they are worn, this function becomes less and less efficient, and so your chances of skidding or aquaplaning (total loss of grip) through a puddle increase.
In dry conditions, the tyre tread needs to have a certain depth in order to grip the road. The height of the tread allows the rubber sections to move fractionally whenever it is pushed in any particular direction. This movement absorbs the vehicles tendency to want to move sideways on a bend for example, thus providing 'grip'.
In the UK it is illegal to drive on tyres that have a tread depth of less than 1.6mm. Check your tyre tread depth regularly, it is for your own safety.
Tyre wear in specific areas can be an indication of incorrect tyre pressure, poor tracking, unbalanced wheels or suspension problems. If you notice uneven wear on your tyres, you should get your car checked out at a garage.
Always check your tyre pressures at least once a month to ensure they are correct. Tyre pressures are often written on the inside of the fuel filler hatch for your convenience.
Under inflated tyres will reduce your grip in all weather conditions, damage the tyres, and reduce your fuel efficiency.
Under normal conditions, a tyre will always lose small amounts of air even when they are in good condition. However if you notice that air is being lost at a much higher rate, this could be an indication of a small puncture or perhaps a faulty valve, and should be investigated by a garage or tyre centre with a simple pressure check.
Remember the recommended tyre pressure is NOT written on the wall of the tyre - this is actually the MAXIMUM tyre pressure!
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