Most cars will not have been driven much recently, and those that have are likely to have only been used for short trips. As a result, some drivers might have put regular car maintenance checks on hold, so the campaign group TyreSafe is advising drivers to remember to check their vehicle tyres to reduce the risk of a tyre-related accident when they do venture back onto UK roads and start making longer trips again.
Most drivers will know that their tyre tread will slowly wear down as the miles add up, however many may ignore other important checks if they aren't regularly taking their vehicle out on the road.
In fact, a tyre is likely to harden and potentially crack more quickly when it has not been moved much. Without the heat and movement from regular use, cracking of the tyres can occur more quickly.
While the effect of tyre hardening usually takes months to have a noticeable impact, drivers whose vehicles have had the same set of tyres fitted for many years should be aware that cracking can appear at any time.
The full weight of the car sitting on one section of each tyre can also present long-term problems if a vehicle has been stationary for a long time. It can lead to the tyres becoming misshapen, which can in turn create weak spots within the tyre. When driven at higher speeds, these weak spots can create extreme heat that can result in a potential blowout of the tyre.
TyreSafe recommend that vehicles should be moved regularly to ensure that the tyres don't rest on the same point for too long.
The air pressure in your tyres should also be regularly topped up at home or a local garage to the manufacturer's recommended settings. The right air pressure for your vehicle (displayed as PSI or Bar) can always be found in the owner's manual and is often printed on the inside of the fuel filler cap and door opening. Use an accurate pressure gauge to check that all the tyres are properly inflated, including the spare wheel (if your car has one).
Underinflated tyres mean that your vehicle will use more fuel than is necessary, so check those tyre pressures and keep your fuel costs down to a minimum.
Tyre tread depth has a huge impact on vehicle safety, especially in poor weather conditions. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm (on 75% of the contact surface) so it’s important to check to make sure your tyres don't drop below this.
You can use a tread depth indicator to accurately check the remaining tread on your tyres, but many people choose to use a 20p piece. Simply place the 20p inside the main tread groove, and if the outer band of the 20p is obscured by the tyre then there's enough tread. If you can see the outer band of the 20p, your tyres are probably getting close to the legal limit. If this is the case, we recommend that you get your tyres checked out at a garage or tyre centre as soon as you can.
If you're currently driving a vehicle leased through the Motability Scheme, tyre repair and replacement cover is included as part of your agreement through the scheme partner Kwik Fit.
If you have a problem with your tyres, one call to Kwik Fit can get you back on the road quickly and safely. The service includes the replacement of damaged and worn tyres, puncture repairs, wheel balancing and new tyres if yours have been stolen or vandalised. There are hundreds of Kwik Fit centres located right across the UK
If you're a Motability Scheme customer and would like to book a tyre appointment, visitKwik-Fit.co.uk .