Before the nights draw in and the weather deteriorates, drivers need to check their vehicles are safe for the change in season.
As October is Tyre Safety Month, it’s an ideal reminder to get your vehicles ready by ensuring that your tyres are roadworthy – and legal.
Follow these three top tips from Hankook Tyre UK, to make sure you and your car can take to the road safely, no matter what the weather.
CHECK THE TYRE CONDITION & REMAINING TREAD
Take a good look at each tyre to check the condition and examine the spare one too (if you have one). Any damage such as cuts, cracks or bulges puts you at risk of blowouts which can cause serious accidents, so damaged tyres must be replaced urgently.
Check the tread of your tyres. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm. To carry out a test, try the 20p test. Simply place a 20 pence coin in the main tread channels at various points around the tyre. If any part of the outer band of the coin face is visible, it means the tyre tread is too shallow and needs to be replaced. If you are uncertain about this, it is advised to visit a professional tyre centre where they will be happy to help you.
DON’T BE UNDER PRESSURE!
There are several issues that can occur if you drive on tyres that are over or under inflated. Over inflated tyres will push the centre of the tyre out and cause uneven wear. The ride will be less comfortable and you will require new tyres sooner than you think!
With underinflated tyres, the tyre cannot maintain its shape as efficiently compared to the correct pressure, and more of the tyre makes contact with the road than it needs to. This leads to friction and overheating and will also result in premature wear. Both over and underinflated tyres can lead to blowouts, which can cause loss of control of the vehicle, and potential danger to other road users.
Hankook recommends that you check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before long journeys. You can usually find the correct air pressure level for your tyres on the inner side of the car door, inside of the petrol cap door, or in the car manual. There may be more than one pressure given for each tyre. This is because the optimum pressure of the tyre differs when your car is fully laden – for example the pressure when you go on holiday with parents, children and suitcases, will be different from when you are alone in the car, going to and from work.
To check the pressure of your tyre, use a certified pressure gauge to see if the reading matches the correct pressure level for the load. Rectify the problem if it doesn’t.
CONSIDER SWITCHING TO WINTER OR ALL-SEASON TYRES
In the winter, it is safer to drive on tyres which are designed for colder temperatures and conditions.
Motorists who live in areas that are prone to snow and severe weather conditions should consider switching to winter tyres. Hankook’s new winter i*cept evo3 tyre has excellent control in the snow, outstanding advanced ice grip and traction even in low temperatures.
Alternatively, all-season tyres have a superior performance all year round. A great performing all-season tyre from Hankook is the Kinergy 4S2. These tyres are made with a superior rubber compound that has better grip, wide grooves to disperse water and slush, and offers excellent braking performance.
Zoe Baldwin, Marketing Manager at Hankook Tyre UK, says: “Winter is setting in and preparing for the change in driving conditions is vital. There are many challenges when the weather deteriorates, therefore we all need to prepare to stay safe on the roads.
“During Tyre Safety Month, we want to remind motorists to make sure their tyres are fit for purpose to reduce the risk of accidents and make winter driving a safer experience for all.”
For more information on tyre safety, please visit hankooktire.com/uk