Christmas is almost upon us and the temperature has finally dropped after our long summer. On a festive day in December, we spoke again with our Head of Training and Development, Nev Pooley, about his essential tyre tips for winter.
“Autumn and winter are the seasons when tyres have to work their hardest, therefore, it’s important to keep on top of tyre maintenance. So let’s clarify a few key points regarding what and why you should be taking a close look at your tyres, especially at this time of year.”
Minimum Depth of Tread
Nev points out that the legal limit if 1.6mm, but he changes his own at 3mm. Why?
“As part of many of our road safety presentations here at ADT, we often show a short video that demonstrates the difference between various cars carrying out an emergency stop at 70mph on a wet road. Firstly, we show cars with 3mm tread followed by the same with just 1.6mm. The results are alarming. Most of the vehicles with 1.6mm tread took between 6 to 9 car lengths more than those with 3mm to stop.”
Don’t gamble on tyre depth. It’s dangerous.
The Michelin website contains lots of useful information, including the below on replacing two of your tyres.
For Complete Control, Fit Your New Tyre To The Rear Axle
Rear wheels are not connected to your steering wheel, which makes it extremely difficult to judge their grip while driving. Michelin recommends that your new or the least worn tyres are fitted to the rear wheels to ensure:
- Better control in emergency braking or tight corners when the roads are slippery.
- Less risk of losing control of your vehicle, especially on wet surfaces.
- Better road holding, particularly in difficult situations, whether your car is front or rear wheel drive.
The Obvious One Is Ensuring Your Tyres Have The Correct Pressure
The correct pressure readings can often be found either on the inside door frame of the car or the fuel filler flap. Failing this, try your car manual. There are also apps you can download which will tell you the correct pressure when you enter your car’s registration plate.
Winter Tyres, Wet Tyres or All Season?
This is a hotly debated topic within the industry. To keep things simple, why not check out what is on offer by going onto blackcircles.com. Simply put in your car reg and look at all the various tyre makes available. Just choose a set that suits your situation and your pocket!
Car tyres are rated by letters A to G within three key categories. (A is the best!)
1. Wet Grip – It’s worth getting ‘A’ with these if you can.
2. Fuel Economy – Nev says he doesn’t tend to worry about this one as the difference is very small. You need to be doing many thousands of miles a year to see any savings.
3. Noise Emission – You will only really notice this one with a top-end car.
The amazing thing is that many of the cheaper tyres have very good ratings. You don’t always need to spend a great amount of money to get a great amount of grip!
“And for those of you wondering if you can drive on winter tyres all year round…Yes, you can! They are designed to dispel the snow as they rotate. They are made of a different silica material but work just as well on dry roads.”
One final piece of advice from Nev: Remember… your car tyres make contact with the road with the same surface area as four pairs of shoes. That’s not very much. Make sure they’re good pairs!
Check back soon for more handy tips from Nev.