Most of us have plenty of great excuses for the boss when we turn up late for work. But what about all those genuine reasons for getting in well past the hour? Surprisingly, many of those reasons might be caused by the same underlying problem – tyres! The blowout and the flat are the most common causes of delay (after the obligatory traffic jam.) The skid that caused the prang, that lack of grip in the rain, and that general sluggish feeling in the drive can all be down to poor tyres. How many of those things might have caused that jam you’re stuck in?
Tyres are simple, right? Grooved pieces of rubber that go around the wheels of your car shouldn’t be complicated. Of course, they may be simple in terms of idea, but their affect your car is enormous. Tyres wear and lose their grip, becoming dangerous and less efficient. Did you know that incorrect tyre pressure can have a detrimental effect on your fuel economy? It’s thought underinflated tyres could also affect the lifetime of your tyre. They’re not cheap to replace these days!
As for your petrol or diesel costs, you might want to check your tyre pressure before you refuel. You can use a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) to check if you’re good to go. When you’re happy the tyres are correct, you can rest assured you’re driving economically. You’re also reducing the risk of an accident, and improving your braking distance. The article titled Why Everyone Needs a TPMS gives you some more facts and figures about using monitors like this. What would you do if you had a blowout hundreds of miles from home?
It might be a good idea to check your pressures, but how can you tell what pressure you should inflate (or deflate) your tyres to? The owner manual for the car is a good place to start. There will be a section all about your tyres in there, detailing the type, size, and pressure you need. So what do all those figures mean?
When you look at your tyre, you can check they match your vehicle requirements quite easily. Start with the numbers on the side closest to your caps or alloys. It might say something like 225/55 R17. The 225 refers to the width of the tyres. If your car is used, it could be a good idea to check all of these numbers match your vehicle manual. The wrong tyre can mislead the odometer and speedometer and can be quite dangerous. It’s rare, but it can happen!
The 55 refers to the aspect ratio of your tyre. Other numbers on the side can indicate the diameter (often 15, 17 or 19,) and even the date of manufacture. As tyres have a limited lifespan, this one can be quite important to check. It might read 3214. The 32 is week 32, and 14 is the year 2014.
If you’re looking for a safe, comfortable ride, then check your tyres and the pressures are right before you go. It could save your fuel, and it might just help you get where you’re going on time without any nasty incidents!
** This is a collaborative post