Your tyres are, arguably, one of the most important parts of your car, deciding whether your ride is smooth or rough amongst other things, but few of us know much more about our tyres than the fact that they are made from rubber and filled with air. Let us have a quick look at modern tyres and make sure you know everything you need to know about your tyres.
Parts of a Tyre
Tyres are disc-shaped, with the contact surface running in a wide band around the outer perimeter. The contact surface is covered with tread: that is to say grooves designed to whisk water away from the minuscule space between the ground and the contact surface, which allows the tyres to grip the road securely. The two circle sides, punctuated as they are with the hub, which is the point where the tyres slide onto the axle in order to be driven along, are known as the sidewalls, which is quite self-explanatory really. Inside the tyres are the results of all sorts of research, experimentation and development, which will be examined further in a future paragraph.
Point of Contact with Road
Tyres are your car’s only point of contact with the road, and if they are in poor condition, you are unlikely to travel fast or well, no matter how fancy or well-maintained the rest of the vehicle is! Get into the habit of checking your tyres: once a week if you drive daily, monthly if you are a less frequent commuter. Look for signs of dimpling, cracks and bulges, all of which can mean internal flaws in the rubber sidewall
They are Miracles of Design
As mentioned above, tyres are packed with the results of endless thought and trial, and now can be found in various varieties: mud and ice tyres that work well in slippery conditions and double up well as winter or cold weather tyre. There are all-purpose tyres that work reasonably well in all conditions, and summer tyres for warmer weather. The secret to these different types of tyre comes from the differing hardnesses of rubber that can be achieved. Winter and mud and snow tyres are soft and grippy, making them perfect to use in colder conditions, while summer tyres are harder, and therefore much more durable and longer-lasting than the soft cold weather offerings.
Tread Depth Requirement
In the UK, your tyres must, by law, have at least 1.6mm of tread measured uniformly over the middle three-quarters of the width of the contact surface. However, most garages – and canny drivers – don’t let their tyres wear down quite so much, beginning their tyre hunt when the tread depth is down to 3mm. This ensures an extra measure of safety, while also ensuring that the car is legally compliant, even on the drive to have the new tyres fitted. car tire shop and service
Buy the Right Ones Locally
Always buy the best quality tyres you can afford, in the right specifications for your car. Again, your owner’s manual or the existing tyres can help you to choose the perfect tyres for your make and model of vehicle. Once you decide to invest in new tyres, it might seem overwhelming. However, a local garage with skilled staff can really help you out. For example, Scotland has many different tyre fitters present in the area. You can choose after looking at factors like customer reviews, fitting options etc. Fife Autocentre offers tyres in Stirling for all budgets and driving styles. They also offer both branch fitting and mobile fitting at local prices.
Bald is Bad!
When the tread depth is worn completely away, this is referred to as the tyre being bald. Tyres can legally get away with a little baldness, as long as it is not in very large patches. As a rule of thumb, your tyres should be well-treated over the central three-quarters of the contact surface, to the above-stated depth of at least 1.6mm, before you would get into any trouble at a police check-point. However, any baldness can make your tyres a little less safe on the roads, and you should take the first signs of baldness as the sign to start thinking about a new set of tyres!
Modern tyres, with all their steel radials, belts and precision engineering, need a pre-set level of inflation in order to work at their best. This range is often marked clearly on the tyres’ sidewall, along with some other information that you might find useful. If your tyres are dirty or too old to clearly make out the markings, you can find the recommended tyres in your car owner’s manual or online.
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