My husband is a car nut. Why would I need to know anything about cars, I leave everything to him. Small sticking point is that he is away every week at work and I think I should become more educated in the world of car safety. So with a
lot little help from him and Point S – an independent tyre dealer network I am going to share some of this newly learnt information with any of you that might be in the same boat as me.
One of the most over looked subjects is tyres. Tread, pressure, bulges, Continental, Vredestein, and Dunlop are all words that are thrown about in our house when it comes to tyres.
So how do we know our tyres are safe? Start by checking these 3 things.
Tread depth – The law says this must be a minimum of 1.6mm, well that doesn’t mean much to me. So this is how we work it out. The tyre has depth indicators built in. Have a look at your tyre and within the tread (the bit that touches the road) there are lumps that stick up. When these lumps are level with the rest of the tyre, it is illegal. Eek!
Tyre pressure – If tyres are not kept at the correct pressure they will wear far quicker than they should. Most petrol stations now have digital machines that will take the hard work out of it – set the pressure, put the pipe on the tyre valve and wait for the beep. The tyre pressures for your car will be written on it somewhere; usually the inside of the petrol filler cap like on my Seat Ibiza or inside one of the door shuts.
Checking for damage – Worn tread is not the only reason you may need to change a tyre. Damage to the sidewalls (bit between the road and the wheel…I may be stating the obvious but I did not know this!) can make the tyre unsafe too. Most common damage is a bulge, where the tyre has a visible lump on the side, or a cut, where a chunk of rubber has been ripped out. Old tyres can also start to perish, where the rubber has lots of fine cracks in it. At speed any of these could cause a blow out resulting in loss of control.
Right, are you still with me?! Keep at it, it’s worth knowing this, I promise! So you need to buy new tyres, what next?
Start by visiting a website that can help you, one that can guide you through it. Point S are a one stop shop for choosing tyres, buying them and fitting them. Their website helps you make an informed decision about which tyres are best for your car and your budget. All you have to do is put in your registration number and it will show you which tyres will fit your car. You can then make the decision based on budget and quality. Once you have chosen your tyres you can book a fitting appointment at a local, independent tyre fitter at a convenient time and all will be ready for you when you arrive. Perfect.
Over to a little Q & A with my husband for a few extra bits of information which might help when you are choosing.
How do you know what tyre size you need?
Those numbers on the side of the tyre mean something and your new tyre must have the same numbers on it. The website at Point S does a great job of explaining what they all mean on their Find My Tyres page.
How do you choose out of all the brands?
Thankfully there are websites out there that have boring people like me writing reviews. A quick search for tyre reviews will give you all the information you need to choose. I use tyretest.com myself.
What are tyre labels?
Nowadays tyres have an eco-label on them, just like a washing machine or a fridge. There are 2 scales, one for wear (an A-rated tyre will last longer than a F-rated tyre) and one for wet grip (an A-rated tyre will stop quicker than a F-rated tyre). The Point S website displays this information next to each tyre.
How much is enough to spend on tyres?
Personally I will always buy the best tyres I can afford. Not the most expensive ones, but the best ones for my budget. It pays to shop around and after playing around with the Point S website I am pleasantly surprised as their prices are some of the most competitive I have seen. And I research this subject a lot.
So there we are, all the information you will ever need to know about tyres and how to choose them. I always thought this was a really boring subject and although G has talked about it more than I ever needed him to tonight I have realised how important it is. We put our most treasured little people in our cars every day, we need to know that we are keeping them safe within that car.
If anyone else has any good tyre tips I would love to hear them and you can of course visit Point S here.
This post was written in collaboration with Point S.