Feeling the Pressure of Christmas?
As we all know, Christmas is a busy time of the year when we all have lots to think about and lists of things to do! One thing that should be on your list every December is checking your tyre pressures are going to be up to the extra pressure of Christmas.
Well at Christmas, our cars are often fully loaded with both presents and passengers. The extra weight this brings may mean that your tyre pressures need adjusting to cope. If you fail to do this, particularly if you have a long journey ahead of you, your safety could be at risk.
Why checking your tyre pressures is vital for road safety
Correct tyre pressures are an important aspect of keeping you safe on the road. In fact, it has been reported that around 40% of car-fault accidents can be attributed to under-inflated tyres. By keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure, your running costs are also reduced. Under-inflated tyres require a bigger force to make them turn, so your car uses more fuel.
Additionally, tyres which are not set to their correct pressure wear out more quickly. So, to benefit from lower fuel bills, longer tyre life, increased safety and reduced CO2 emissions, make sure you check your tyre pressures at least once a month and before a long journey.
Having the tyre pressures correct is important for several reasons:
Under-inflated tyres affect how you vehicle handles on the road. Under-inflation causes the side wall of the tyre to flex which compromises the structure of the tyre and leads to overheating, potentially causing a blow-out, especially on a high-speed motorway journey.
Over-inflated tyres will cause your vehicle to give you a harsh and jarring ride. Over-inflated tyres have less contact with the road surface, this affects how they grip and causes premature wear in the centre of the tyre.
- Tyre life – under or over inflation increases wear
- Fuel economy – under inflation increases fuel consumption
- Safety – under or over inflation will affect grip and braking performance
- Ride – over inflation can result in a harsh, uncomfortable and skittish ride
Call in for a FREE Tyre Pressure Check
Tyre pressure, like tread depth, can save lives. Not only that, but it can save fuel too. Even half a bar below the correct pressure can increase fuel consumption by up to 5% and too little pressure can reduce the life of the tyre as well as safety in braking. This is one area of tyre care that you should check every couple of weeks or so.
All our branches offer free pressure checks, they only take a few minutes and ensure that your tyre pressures are set exactly as they should be.
If you’d rather check your pressures yourself, here are a few tips:
- We recommend that you always check tyre pressure when the tyres are cold i.e. not after a long journey.
- You can find out the right tyre pressures for your car in the handbook or on a sticker inside the fuel filler flap or driver’s door. Remember that pressures are quoted for cold tyres and that you will probably have to increase pressures when you carry heavy loads.
- In general the handbook or stickers will show two figures, one for ‘normal’ use and a higher figure for full loads. Be sure to adjust the pressures to suit the conditions.
- If you can’t find details of the correct tyre pressures please try our tyre pressure calculator which can be found on our tyres page. You will need to make a note of the size of the tyres fitted – taken from the sidewalls – as well as the make/model to check.
- You should aim to check pressures once a month, with the tyres cold, using a reliable and accurate tyre pressure gauge.
A few things to keep in mind
You should always check the pressure when the tyres are cold, including the spare wheel
Don’t know the right level? You should find it in the handbook, on the driver’s door or inside the fuel cap. Always follow the manufacturer’s guide to pressure levels
Remember, incorrectly-inflated tyres can cause:
- Increased fuel consumption
- Impaired handling
- Increased braking distances
- Greater risk of blow-outs
- Reduced tyre life
Hardly any part of the car is given less attention than the spare wheel. It travels with us for years, often hidden under a cover in the floor of the boot, and is usually completely forgotten about.
And because you never really know when you’ll next get a flat tyre, you really should pay attention to the spare – especially the air pressure. It may have dropped as much as one bar simply through neglect. Therefore, pump up the wheel a good 0.5 bar more than the maximum pressure and continue to check at least once a year.
Running out of time?
Don’t worry if you’re running out of time this Christmas and perhaps aren’t sure exactly what pressure your tyre pressures should be, that’s what we’re here for. Call into your local branch and we’ll check your pressures for you free of any charge; if you’re planning on carrying extra weight just mention it to us and we’ll make sure your tyre pressures are set perfectly for the Christmas period.
Once Christmas is over and 2021 has arrived, don’t forget to call back into your local branch so we can reset your tyre pressures and, of course, wish you a very happy new year!