Most of us won’t think about our car’s tyres until something bad happens, such as a puncture, warning light or MoT failure. But these bands of rubber are vital to your safety. Looking after them will ensure that your car will drive properly, prevent the inconvenience of a puncture, keep you on the right side of the law and save you money.
Checking the structure, wear and pressures of your tyres is a key part of any servicing you’ll receive from the experts at Eden, but as damage can happen at any time while you are driving it is important to familiarise yourself with the best ways to check your tyres.
Most modern cars will have a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) which will automatically sense if a tyre has a loss of pressure. Some will also let you know which wheel is having the issue. It might just be a slight loss of air, but if you see the light while driving it is best to prepare yourself for a puncture which could mean you can’t continue your journey.
You should slow down and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are on a motorway, move over to the left, but do not stop unless you can feel the change in the way the car is driving – for example it starts pulling strongly to one side or there is a drumming sound.
Once you are stopped, visually check the tyre and see if there is an obvious problem or you can hear air escaping. If there is an issue, it’s best to call a breakdown service provider unless you are confident tackling the problem yourself.
If there is no apparent issue, you might want to try and make it to an air pump, such as those at fuel stations. These will have a sensor which will give you a pressure reading for your tyres. The correct figure for your car can be found on a sticker, with is usually inside the frame of one of the front doors. Some cars may have it inside the petrol cap instead.
Some cars may automatically reset the TPMS once the pressures are balanced between the wheels, while others may need to have a manual reset in the car’s menus. Check the owner’s manual if you are in doubt.
Either way it is best to keep an eye on the tyre which triggered the fault or you could be left with a flat tyre at an inconvenient time.
It’s not just punctures which can cause issues. If you hit a kerb or pothole, it can lead to sidewall damage which is likely to be visible as a bulge or cut. It’s important that you get this seen too quickly, as it can lead to the tyre failing suddenly.
It’s a good idea to check all of your tyres occasionally, and certainly if you have struck a wheel.
Damage can also occur on the inside sidewall where it may not be immediately obvious – that’s why it is crucial to have regular servicing and MoT checks with Eden’s experts. We will also be happy to check over your tyres if you are concerned.