Now that the temperature is beginning to drop towards the freezing mark it’s time to fit winter tyres to your vehicle, as they are vital to helping you stop your vehicle quickly and safely and preventing a possible collision.
As with standard or summer tyres, it is vital that you monitor, check and maintain your winter tyres once they are fitted. If you have used them for a number of years, it could be time to buy a new set.
So, how do you check your winter tyres and what signs should you look out for?
Monitoring the tread depth on your tyres is vital and you should make sure that your car has the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across three-quarters of each tyre.
However, this is the minimum amount of tread and if your tyres are nearing this limit it may be time to think about replacing your winter tyres.
In the winter though, your vehicle should be fitted with tyres with additional tread in order to cope with the extra water and snow on the roads at this time of year. Around 4mm of tread provides a high level of grip on snow and winter tyres should be replaced if this is no longer the case.
As with any component on a vehicle, tyres only have a certain lifespan and you should keep an eye on the age of your tyres and consider replacing them when they have been on your vehicle for a long period of time.
Winter tyres are used sparingly, but even when they are not fitted to your car they are ageing and there are a wide range of factors that affect the life of a tyre, such as the conditions they are stored in, the driving style they are subjected to and the temperature.
Paying attention to the appearance of the tyre is vital and should you spot any cracking or deformation of the tyre you should think about replacing them as they will not provide the grip they were designed to.
If you have had your tyres for more than five years, it is important to thoroughly inspect them at least once a year and think about replacing them.
Look for damage
Over the winter period the likelihood of you damaging your vehicle’s tyres increases as slippery conditions can lead to minor collisions with kerbs or potholes hidden by standing water or snow.
If you spot a cut, deformation or perforation on any of your car’s tyres you should consult a trained technician to see if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced entirely.
Inspection by a professional is absolutely necessary because internal damage is not visible while the tyre is mounted and you can access these trained technicians at your local ATS Euromaster.
Abnormal wear patterns
Another area to look out for with winter tyres is abnormal wear, as patchy wear across different parts of your tyres can indicate a wider mechanical issue, such as improper wheel alignment, and should be checked immediately.
Wheel balance, transmission issues or suspension problems could also be the reason behind the abnormal wear and you should consult a tyre professional who can diagnose the issue and advise on the next steps to take.
In the run up to Christmas it’s unlikely you will want to spend a fortune, so cheap tyres will most likely be a must.