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A maintenance guide for your tyres.

Blog - Used Cars of Bristol

Tyres are a key element of a car, that’s why you should maintain them.
Tyres are your car’s only point of contact with the road, therefore you should really take care of them. Here are our top tips to do so.

Stopping a mid-sized car driving at 40mph down to zero in 5 seconds requires roughly 550kg of force, this exposes your tyres to a lot of stress which is why you should never neglect them.

Tyre Pressure

Air pressure in your tyres has a strong importance, from fuel consumption to braking capacity it influences a wide array of elements. Also an improperly inflated tyre can reduce the lifespan of your tyres by causing premature wear and tear. Another key element is that it can alter the car’s handling. Remember if you are checking your car pressure after a long drive, consider adding 4 to 5 PSI (additional to maker’s recommendation) to cope with the heat-induced pressure inside your tyre.

Checking Tire Pressure - Used Cars of Bristol
Close-up of manometer and man hands checking tyre pressure with gauge.

If you drive to continental Europe remember that no one knows about PSI – they use the bar, so we’ve included this little conversion table below, just in case:

Conversion - Used Cars of Bristol

Remember that front and rear tyres often come with different pressures, check the requirements if needed.

Tyre Speed Rating

All tyres come with speed rating on the sidewall (this code is used to specify the type you need), it usually appears as a code such as 165/65 R14 79T, see below on how to read this code

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Tyre tread, depth and wear

In the UK the minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, however in countries like Germany it is 3.0mm so if you have to drive abroad, make sure your tyres are compliant with local legislation.

A good tip to measure it is to insert a 20p coin into the lowest tread depth and see if the outer edges of the rim cover the edge of the coin, if so the tyre should be legal. Remember each illegal tyre can carry a fine up to £2,500 and serve you 3 penalty points.

Alignment and balancing

Alignment and balancing are crucial when you replace tyres as they will influence the ageing and use of these, as well as improving your handling. If your car starts shaking without any reason when you reach a certain speed you should definitely visit a garage to check this.

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Tyre products

Tyre shines are not only cosmetic products for your cars, they are also used to help the rubber to endure the damaging effects of UV rays, also it helps keep the rubber supple which will help avoid cracks and failure. In case you need to apply a tyre sealant make sure you know which sealants and chemicals are recommended by your tyre manufacturer. It is quite common that people using the wrong chemical end up getting cracks on the sidewalls of their tyres.

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