Car Tyre Tips You Need To Know For Summer

The news is full of heatwave alerts and although it's lovely to lounge about it, hot weather can play havoc with cars as anyone who has spent an uncomfortable couple of hours broken down on the motorway in blazing sunshine can attest!

vintage car broken down

 It's easy to forget about car care with modern vehicles being mostly computer-run but there are still measures you can take at home to cut the risk of ending up on the side of the road hoping you actually have renewed your breakdown cover,

Prevention is better than cure they say and it's certainly worth taking a few minutes regularly to give your vehicle the once over looking for basic issues which can be easily fixed.

Take tyres for instance.

old tyre

Tyre care simply involves checking the grip, pressure and general condition of your tyres.

Wondering whether the tyre is worn? Try the simple 20p test.

Take a 20p piece and insert into three different areas of each tyre into the main grooves. If you can't see the outer banding of the coin your tyres are fine. If you can see that band it's time to replace that tyre.

Checking the pressure can be done at most petrol stations or you can buy gadgets to sue at home which check pressure and can re-inflate for very little money. Make sure you know the correct pressure for your vehicle and if it needs to be adjusting if you are loaded up with people and suitcases going on holiday.

Believe me you don't want to risk a tyre blowing at speed so this is something you definitely want to keep a close eye on.

Other things to look for are any bulges, splits or flaps of rubber. Take the car along to a tyre expert for them to check if you spot any.

modern tyre

You might notice your tyres are worn in patches or your car isn't performing as well with fuel as normal. Maybe you can feel some shake in the steering wheel or even feel the car pulling to one side.

These issues are often caused by misalignment of wheels which is quickly and easily sorted but may save your life.

Even a slight misalignment, possibly caused by hitting a kerb or a pothole, can cause serious issues and the car may not handle correctly in an emergency.

Left uncorrected, the issue can damage suspension and other car parts leading to a big bill.

During an alignment check, the car’s suspension geometry settings will be measured against the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. If the car’s actual settings are outside of the recommendations, your alignment specialist will carry out some adjustment work and return the vehicle to its original settings, ensuring maximum safety and driver comfort.

Most garages specialising in tyres will offer alignment -  check out DAT Tyres who have a number of garages in London.

Tyres checked it's time to check the other vital parts of your car. If you don't know vital parts are you should take some time to properly read your car manual. It's all very well knowing how to make the radio work but that won't help you if the power steering fluid runs low and you don't know where the container storing it is located.

Find out how to check the water containers which supply the engine, windscreen wipers and battery. Makes sure to use distilled water in your battery and use the correct additives in the correct quantities for the engine (antifreeze) and windscreen wipers (wiper fluid). Some fluids come premixed now so you don't have to work out the fluid to water ratio.

You would not believe how many people fail to check water levels only to find themselves stranded in hot weather.
Lean how to check your oil correctly - this should always be done when the car is cold. Make sure you screw the cap carefully back on after checking to avoid any potentially catastrophic spills on your engine.

If you feel unsure about carrying out these essential car chores head to any garage offering free summer car checks or get someone who is confident to show you how to do them.

Parents - make sure you teach your newly qualified drivers all these steps before letting them drive away alone. My dad marked each cap and drilled it into me that If I was a driver I had to take responsibility for my car. He showed me how to change a tyre too although I've never had to do it!

Hopefully by taking a little time to keep an eye on your car you will avoid missing your ferry or plane (or wedding?) or spending hours stranded in hot weather.

wedding couple broken down