Drivers could face ‘£2,500 fines’ if they don’t check tyre function – 4 steps to follow
Halfords demonstrate how to check and inflate your car tyres
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Soaring temperatures earlier this month forced experts to issue an urgent warning over tyres, with some motorists met with exploding wheels as the result of overheating rubber and too much air pressure. However, tyre pressure is a legal requirement which should be followed year-round, regardless of the weather outside.
According to recent data from National Highways, more than a fifth of all breakdowns on English motorways and major A-roads last year were caused by tyre issues.
Over 41,500 breakdowns in 2021 were caused by tyre problems alone.
Motorists could also face huge financial repercussions if they are caught driving with incorrect or dangerous tyres.
Allan Weir, Manager at GoodBye Car explained: “Drivers must remember if your tyres don’t meet legal requirements, you could face a fine of £2,500 per tyre and three penalty points on your licence.”
According to Kwik Fit, under-inflated tyres are the most common problem motorists face, and it’s one that can land them in legal trouble.
This is also true for driving on over-inflated tyres, though for slightly different reasons.
Kwik Fit explained: “With under-inflated tyres, they grip the road much more than they’re intended to and are less responsive to directional changes, which reduces your handling when going around bends or driving at higher speeds.
“Overinflated tyres, on the other hand, could lead to blowouts and skidding.
“The more pressurised a tyre is, the less it’s able to grip a road, so the more likely your tyres spin or skid when braking.”
However, it isn’t just legal implications that can come from incorrectly inflated tyres.
Mr Weir said: “Maintaining the right tyre pressure can save you fuel.
“For example, if your tyres are over- or under-inflated, it could have an impact on your vehicle’s fuel usage as well as its safety.
“If your tyres are under-inflated by six PSI of its recommended inflation, then you will use three percent more fuel.”
Another aspect motorists should pay attention to is tyre cracks.
Small cracks on the tread of the tyre are a sign of normal wear and tear, however, deeper cracks could be a sign that the tyre needs replaced and may mean there’s a risk of the tread separating from the rest of the tyre.
Mr Weir said: “If you spot any unusual cracks on your tyres you should visit your local garage for further inspection.
“Not checking your tyre health can cause tyre blowouts.”
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Four tips to check tyre health
Where to find your tyre pressure
The experts from Goodbye Car explained: “Tyre pressures can be found in your vehicle’s handbook, are usually stamped on the sill of the driver’s door, and can sometimes be found inside your fuel cap.”
Check the load of your vehicle
Settings for your tyres can vary if you are driving with a heavily loaded vehicle, therefore the experts urge motorists to check these in your vehicle handbook.
Additional weight can come from a boot full of goods or transporting furniture.
Check your tyres’ PSI or Bar
Goodbye Car said: “Your tyres PSI (pound-force per square inch) or Bar (one bar is equal to 14.5038 PSI) can be checked using a tyre pressure gauge.
“These can be bought to keep in your car at all times, or can be used at petrol stations.”
Set your tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
In November 2014 it became law for every new passenger vehicle to have a TPMS before being sold.
Goodbye Car explained: “Some vehicles manufactured in 2015 have a built-in TPMS, where the owner can set the tyre pressure for their vehicle.
“If your tyre pressure falls below the setting, you will be notified to add more pressure.”
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