Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Simple Tyre Checks Anyone Can Do

There are lots of reasons why someone might want to do the servicing on their vehicle themselves. But it's perhaps price which is the reason why many people decide to try their hand at a little vehicle DIY.
Most service jobs on a car are quite simple with many who are fairly competent at DIY able to have a go, but even those who aren't familiar with some of the basic car maintenance tasks should be able to change a wiper blade or check the depth of the tread on their car tyres.
Some simple car maintenance tasks you should be able to do yourself:
Checking tyre tread depth
The tyres on your car are the one part which is in contact with the road surface so it's imperative that they are in a good condition. And this doesn't just mean that they have a sufficient amount of tread left.
The legal minimum tread depth for a car tyre in the UK is 1.6mm but a car will fail an MOT if the tread depth is less than 2mm. It's also important to bear in mind that the tread depth should be consistent across the full width of the tyre and at a minimum the depth across ¾ of its surface. When checking tyre tread also make sure that the wear is equal across the tyre. If the tracking on the vehicle is out you night notice that one side of the tyres are heavily worn while the other sides of the tyres still have lots of tread. If you suspect this is the case you'll need to get your tracking checked.
It's also important when checking the tyres to look at the condition of the side wall. Things to look out for include bulges and cracking of the surface. If you don't use your car often and the tyres are quite old small cracks may appear in the side walls of the tyres which will after time widen and could cause a puncture. If cracks on the tyre's sidewalls are noticed on your MOT the car will fail. But more importantly it's unsafe to drive a vehicle if the tyres are showing such drastic wear problems.
Other sidewall problems which you'll need to look for when checking your tyres include bulges. A bulge in the sidewall of the tyre indicates that the wheel may have suffered damage internally due to striking an object such as the kerb or a breakdown in the structure caused by age. A weakness in the tyre wall is shown up by the increase in internal air pressure at the point of weakness hence the bulge. Tyres which have bulges should be replaced immediately as you may be in danger of a tyre blowout.
Lastly you need to check the tyre pressures. It's good to have a handy digital gauge which can be kept in the car to check these on a regular basis, but if you've not got one just about every garage will have a tyre air compressor which can be used to top up the pressure.

John Hart uses Car Parts 4 Less for all the service parts for his 2006 Ford Focus. He finds that as well as being really competitive on price there's also a wide range of parts to choose from, making the ordering and buying easy.


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