Why is it important to check your pressures regularly?
Correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tyres affect handling and grip, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour. They are also much more likely to suffer from a dangerous sudden rapid deflation, especially on high-speed motorway journeys.
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.
Enter your vehicle details on the following website to find your correct tyre pressure: Car tyre pressures
Are you looking for our caravan tyre pressure tool?
With a little planning and preparation, you should be able to reduce the risk of a breakdown and keep stress levels to a minimum.
High temperatures can aggravate cooling system problems too. Low coolant level, leaking hoses and broken electric cooling fans can all result in overheating and expensive damage.
If the fan is broken it will soon become apparent when you meet slow moving traffic and engine temperature soars.
- Check the coolant reservoir level regularly
- Look out for wet or white staining on coolant hoses
- Check the fan by running the car to normal temperature and allowing the engine to idle for five to 10 minutes – the cooling fan should cut in automatically.
High temperatures can aggravate any existing damage to tyres. Under-inflation adds to the problem causing friction and more heat which can prove too much for weak spots, causing punctures or blow-outs.
- Check tyre condition and tyre pressures, adjusting for extra load if appropriate.
- Check caravan tyres for cracking and renew damaged tyres before use.
Some further car checks you can make before you set off:
- Check all wiper blades for wear or splitting, check the windscreen washer fluid level.
- Check oil and coolant levels following the instructions in the owners handbook.
- Check the electric cooling fan (see above). Run the engine until it’s up to temperature and the cooling fan should cut in when the engine is hot.
- Have the cooling system checked – a leaking cooling system or inoperative cooling fan could cause the vehicle to overheat and cause extensive damage to the engine.
- Have all auxiliary belts and or fan belts checked on a regular basis by your local garage.
- Check the operation of all lights to ensure they comply with any legal requirements, especially if you’re traveling to Europe.
- Check the condition of the tyres including the spare for correct pressures and legal tread depth. The current minimum legal tread depth for cars and light commercial vehicles is 1.6mm
- Ensure all dashboard warning lights operate correctly. If not, consult your owners handbook or call your local Garage.
- Inspect the jack and wheel brace making sure they are in correct working order. If locking wheel nuts are fitted, ensure the locking key is safely stowed away in the vehicle. It may be useful to practice changing the spare wheel, following instructions from your owners handbook.
- Make sure you have a spare set of keys for your vehicle in a safe place.
- If you plan to take a caravan, check the tyre condition and the braking system.
- Never overload your vehicle or caravan beyond their designed carrying capacity.
Have A Great Summer From PTA Garages Services
Autonomous cars are just around the corner and this means that relevant problems and issues need to be tackled before they surface. Yes, that is the problem posed by new technologies; you have to be sure about the pros and cons and be ready to tackle anything that might hamper the development of new technology. Considering all this, at the 86th Geneva International Motor Show, Goodyear has unveiled two concept tyres that have been designed specifically for the autonomous cars of tomorrow. The two designs include one tyre that is capable of making the car move sideways while the other one is capable of sensing road conditions and then adapt to them. The Tyres Of Future For Autonomous Cars By Goodyear 2
The first concept that was unveiled is known as Eagle-360. Yes, the name says it all actually. This is the spherical tyre that connects to the car via magnetic levitation instead of axles and is thus capable of rotating on any axis in any direction. This allows the car to become highly maneuverable and renders it capable of navigating smaller car parks and become highly efficient in utilising the road space. The Tyres Of Future For Autonomous Cars By Goodyear also features sensors that allow it to gain information about local environment and is capable of carrying out communication with other vehicles or the local traffic control system. It also monitors the tread along with tyre pressure and rotates itself to maintain an even wearing out of surface and thus, provide longer mileage. The tread features a 3D printed biomimetic design that mimics the pattern of brain coral; it works like a natural sponge, stiffening in dry condition and softening in the wet for reduction pertaining to aquaplaning and subsequently improves handling.
The other concept tire revealed has been named as Intelligrip. This one sports the idea that is already being worked upon. Although it looks like a conventional tyre, it is capable of communicating with autonomous vehicle’s control system and can ascertain the road surface and weather conditions via advanced sensors. It monitors the wear of tyre and also the pressure and temperature of tire. It has been designed to work in collaboration with the anti-collision systems and is capable of automatically detecting and adapting to road conditions while also capable of adjusting the cornering, stopping distance and stability.The Tyres Of Future For Autonomous Cars By Goodyear Joseph Zekoski, Goodyear’s senior vice president and the chief technical officer says, “By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tyres will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road. Goodyear’s concept tyres play a dual role in that future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and testbeds for next-generation technologies.”
Source: Goodyear Unveils Spherical Tires That Will Allow Cars To Move Sideways
To meet the challenge of the weather conditions in Europe, Jean-Dominique Senard, Managing Partner of the Group, has today presented the new MICHELIN CrossClimate tyre. A major innovation intended for the European market, this very first tyre with official winter approval is a tangible illustration of MICHELIN Total Performance: combining across-the-board performance to meet a wide range of usage. With official approval for winter use, the MICHELIN CrossClimate tyre is a combination of summer and winter tyre technologies, incompatible until now.
During wet handling the Michelin CrossClimate equaled, if not bettered the summer tyre, and while it felt a little numb at the limit compared to the summer, it provided a more progressive nature and had more grip and feel than the all season and winter tyres, which felt weak and numb on the wet circle.
Source: Tyre Review
RAC are campaigning for better, safer roads Potholes are an increasing problem on Britain’s roads causing damage to vehicles and presenting a potential safety hazard. They are caused when moisture gets into the cracks in the road which expands when it freezes. The holes get bigger as vehicles drive over them damaging the structure of the road below its surface layer. Adverse weather conditions and repeated freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles make the pothole situation much worse.
However, it’s not just the weather that is to blame for the problem. The RAC believes the rise in potholes across the UK has stemmed from many cash-strapped councils’ reactive ‘patch and dash’ approach which means rather than resurfacing roads properly, potholes are repaired individually in a hurry, and sometimes in wet weather, leading to them quickly breaking down and reappearing. Planned preventative road maintenance would, in the longer-term, be a more efficient and cost-effective way of dealing with the issue.
Here you can find everything you will need to know about potholes including:advice on how to drive on roads with potholes how to report a pothole and how to make a claim for damage made by a pothole.
Potholes: the damage According to the RAC, hitting a pothole can cause a number of wheel and tyre problems. Initial impact on a vehicle can cause buckled wheels, cracks, lumps in the tyre, cracked alloys and it can knock out the tracking and wheel balancing.
A recent report found that a third of all recorded vehicle damage is as a result of potholes.
In more severe cases, it could lead to drivers losing control of their vehicles and being involved in an accident. Advice to drivers The following useful tips may help if you are driving on roads with potholes: Keep your eyes peeled – Protect yourself and your car by keeping an eye out for potholes and watching your speed, particularly in wet weather when deep potholes may be hidden beneath puddles. Maintain your distance – Leave plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle in front so you can see potholes in advance. Stay alert – Be aware of other traffic or pedestrians on the road before changing course to avoid a pothole. Watch your speed – Striking potholes at higher speeds can cause more damage to your vehicle. Avoid unnecessary braking – Try not to apply your brakes when driving over a pothole. When you brake you tilt the vehicle forward placing more stress on the front suspension. Drive over potholes with care – If you have to drive over a pothole, allow the wheel to roll freely into the hole. Hold the steering wheel correctly – Make sure you are holding the steering wheel properly – ‘10 to 2’ hands position – when driving on a road with potholes – failure to do so may mean you lose control of your vehicle. Recovering lost parts – If your vehicle sustains damage while travelling, such as a lost hubcap, ensure you stop in a safe location before attempting to recover it. Safety first – If you wish to inspect any damage to your car, ensure that you stop in a safe place. Get checked out – If you have hit a pothole and suspect your car has sustained damage, we recommend you get the vehicle checked out by your local garage. Ask them to verify if there could be any other issues such as problems with tracking and wheel alignment, tyres or suspension. Check tyre pressure regularly –checking your tyre pressure regularly to ensure safety as a line of defence against potholes. Recommended tyre pressures can be found in your vehicle’s handbook and on the label located inside the driver’s side door frame or doorpost.
Source: Potholes | RAC
High-pressure car washers are putting lives at risk by making tyres susceptible to blow- outs, safety experts have warned.Jets of water from the machines can damage and degrade the tyre wall if aimed directly at it for as little as five seconds, says the industry body TyreSafe.It is concerned that a growing army of car-wash teams using the high-pressure washers in car parks and at the roadside could be putting motorists at risk.It is also urging those who may have bought one of the machines for home use to check it is not too powerful and take care when aiming the jet at tyres.Tyresafe spokesman Chris Wakley said: “We received several calls and emails from people who had experienced low tyre pressure after having their cars washed by hand car-wash teams. Our own research indicated that industrial type pressure washers can damage the sidewall of a tyre and lead to a potentially dangerous situation where a tyre could burst when it is being driven.”TyreSafe, formerly known as the Tyre Industry Council, says that a light-to-medium duty pressure washer – with a maximum pressure of 110bar or less – should be used to clean tyres.It says motorists who have bought one of the machines should check to see if it is one of the more powerful varieties and, if so, consider changing it.The group fears that many small car-wash teams may be using heavy duty equipment carelessly.There are thought to be between 5,000 and 10,000 of the two or threeman teams in operation.There has been a particular boom in the South-East, where hosepipe bans have discouraged motorists from washing their own vehicles.Mr Wakely added: “Hand car-wash teams have sprung up all over the place and in many cases they do a great job.But motorists using them should indicate to the washer that they should not get too close when cleaning tyres with these high pressure machines.”German safety group Dekra has discovered that if a washer nozzle is held close to a tyre at very high pressure, serious damage can occur in five seconds.TyreSafe noted: “Even tyres that appear normal after being subjected to a pressure washer may have microscopic perforations, which can weaken the sidewall and cause a possible blow-out.”Other contributory factors to sidewall damage include the width of the water jet and the strength of any soaps or detergents used.Strong soap can remove protective chemicals that are embedded in the sidewall, usually resulting in brown watermarks.
Source: High-pressure washers ‘can turn a tyre into a killer’ | Daily Mail Online
Tyres specified by the a vehicle manufacturer also come with recommended tyre pressures, These tyres pressures permits safe operation within the specified load and speed rating. The information on the tyre sizes and pressures are usually located on a decal just inside the driver’s door, the fuel flap or if the vehicle has one, the vehicles handbook.
Tyres should not be inflated to the pressure that is stated on the sidewall of the tyre as this is the maximum pressure for that tyre, rather than the recommended pressure. It’s also very dangerous to allow tyre pressure’s to drop below the recommended pressure, should this happen the tyre wall will become more pliable than had it been of a higher pressure, and thus it will “roll” under the wheel. This increases the entire roll movement of the car, and diminishes tyre contact area on the negative side of the vector. Meaning that only half the tyre is in contact with the road, the tyre may deform to such an extent that the side wall on the positive vector side becomes in contact with the road and probability of failing in the emergency manoeuvre is then increased.
We always recommend that you purchase new tyres. There is no true way of knowing what damage there may be to a part worn without x-ray eyes!
The sale of part worn tyres is subject to the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.), which is part of the Consumer Protection Act. The legal minimum for tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, but to be legal to sell part-worn tyres must have at least 2mm – just 0.4mm more than the legal limit. The tyres should not have cuts, lumps or any other damages that will compromise its structural integrity, have passed an inflation test and be marked with the part worn stamp. Motorists are reminded to check that the tyre being offered to them meets these requirements before purchasing and to consider purchasing a new tyre which has none of the potential issues of a used example.
At 2mm tread remaining the tyres wet braking ability has diminished so much that it’s on the border of being unsafe. And the mileage that remains on a tyre of 2mm tread is so low that it is just not economical. Add to this that a great number of used tyres are of Chinese origin and are not constructed to the standards of major brand named tyres such as Goodyear and Michelin. Why take the risk?
The sale of dangerous tyres to unsuspecting motorists has led to the conviction of six retailers of part worn tyres from the Brent and Harrow area of London within the space of a week. Top Tyres & Auto Parts Ltd (Wembley); Whitchurch Road Tyres (Harrow); Pinner Road Tyres Ltd (Harrow); Quick Car Repairs Ltd (Harrow); Mr Walazedeh trading as Harrow Tyres (Harrow); and 3D Tyres Ltd (Wembley) faced 36 charges of supplying unsafe tyres, not complying with the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. All six pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay a total of £18,009.40 in fines, including individual penalties for company directors, costs and victim surcharges. The risk to road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, posed by the offenders’ sale of dangerous and incorrectly labelled tyres was roundly condemned by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards, TyreSafe and the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) whose cooperation led to the successful convictions.”One retailer wilfully selling dangerous tyres is one too many but the conviction of six in a week highlights just how many part worn dealers are flouting the law and their duty of care to the public,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Tyres are a primary safety feature on a vehicle, significantly affecting braking and steering performance – fitting sub-standard tyres endangers lives.
Cllr James Denselow, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “It is simply unacceptable for tyre companies to be taking shortcuts with part-worn tyres, putting drivers and their passengers at risk, in order to maximise profits. As a cheaper alternative to buying a new tyre for a car, this kind of offence also hits the poorest who cannot afford brand new tyres the most, so the outcome of these cases are particularly satisfying.
I would ask anyone thinking of buying a tyre to check it carefully before buying, looking out for cracks, tears, the state of the tread and of course that it is properly marked as a part-worn tyre, before handing over the cash. Trading Standards will never tire in their efforts to ensure the public are kept safe. I hope that these convictions serve as a warning to other tyre companies, that if they do risk public safety, there will be a hefty price to pay.
Source: www.tyresafe.org – Sale of Dangerous Tyres Leads to Convictions
Yet another sport touring radial tire breakthrough from Michelin: With MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres on your motorcycle, you’ll ride with more confidence – rain or shine, hot or cold, city or highway. Available in 3 versions: Standard, GT & Trail. Stops Faster MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres stop faster in the wet than any other tyres in the category. But don’t just take our word for it. Independent tests prove it.* The MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 brakes 17% shorter than its closest competitor on wet pavements and even better on slippery wet surfaces thanks to MICHELIN XST+ sipes technology. All of which means riding in the rain should feel safer, more secure, and a lot less stressful. Lasts Longer Thanks to improved 2CT technology, the new MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 4 lasts 20% longer than MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 3 tyres**. Over the long run, that adds up to fewer tire changes and a lower total cost of ownership. Grips the road in virtually all conditions All-new silica-charged rubber compounds were developed for the MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tyres. These compounds are specially formulated to provide excellent grip on a wide range of road surfaces, including painted lines and pedestrian crossings, making it easier for you to ride with confidence in virtually all conditions.***
Source: MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 – Tires On-road | MICHELIN – Motorcycle – United States – Motorcycle-website
Cars are a vital part of everyday modern life that allow people to get where they need to go. However, they won’t just go and go forever. A car is fundamentally a collection of many working parts, where one impacts the next and so on. If perhaps one part of the car does have an issue, it is important to fix it as quickly as possible, to prevent further damaging other parts.
When properly maintained, a car will keep trucking along for many more years than if it is neglected. Not only is this helpful in getting you where you need to go, it is a more valuable investment if you plan to resell. So what are the basics of car care that you must know? Here are 10 fundamental pointers:
Tip 1: Keep up on Oil Changes
Yes, it really is important to keep up on oil changes. The reason for this is because motor oil gets thick and nasty like a sludge substance over time, and the deposits will wear down your engine. Changing your car’s oil can help you refresh the oil before it gets to that point, preventing your car from contamination by constant exposure to heat, air and moisture.
If you wait too long in between oil changes, the result can be catastrophic and very expensive to fix. Recommendations for oil change intervals vary from every 3000 miles to 10,000 miles, so a good average is every 5000 miles.
Tip 2: Flush the Cooling System and Change Coolant Annually
The cooling system in a car keeps it from overheating by circulating coolant through the car’s engine, absorbing heat from the blocks and heads and sending it to the radiator. After so long, the cooling system can start to corrode and acquire a buildup of deposits which hinder its function. For this reason, it is helpful to annually flush the cooling system with a mix of half water and half coolant.
Tip 3: Transmission and Differential Oil Care
A car’s transmission moves energy from the engine to the drivetrain to get the car moving, while the differential compensates for the difference between the inner and outer wheels when handling corners. Fluids are needed for both to ensure proper function. However, the fluids do eventually wear down if they are not replaced. As a result, the inside of the transmission can overheat and wear can develop on the gears and bearings.
This is why it is important to change these oils at regular intervals, and to use the recommended oil type and oil viscosity.
Tip 4: Wash it Regularly
Driving a clean car feels and looks nice, however it is more important than that. Washing your car regularly ensures proper function because anything that you run over, can get stuck under the car. Avoid rust and malfunction by hosing off grime and salt underneath, in addition to cleaning the exterior.
Tip 5: Grease It Up (Lubrication)
While many cars these days do not need to be greased nearly as often as was previously the case, older cars with greased ball joints will need lubing at regular intervals. Additionally, if your car is making creaking noises, especially when going over bumps, it may need lubrication. Generally, lube modern cars every few years.
Tip 6: Sun Protection
The inside of your car can reach well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a hot summer day in the sun, and the exterior can reach even higher if it is parked in direct sunlight! It is really important to protect your car from the sun because, after repeated exposure, damage occurs to parts within the car.
Always make sure that your belts are not cracked or damaged, the coolant level is sufficient, and that your car’s hoses are not worn out or damaged. Oil, coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid all help to keep your car moving, and at high temperatures, it is important that they are all at the proper level to protect the life of your car.
You should check the air filters in your car regularly during hot weather because dust can clog them, reduce the gas mileage of your car, and it can cause your car’s mass air flow sensor to become damaged. You can protect the inside of your car by parking it in the shade and/or using a window deflector, and should also use a UV protection on the plastic and vinyl to keep it from drying out and cracking/fading.
Tip 7: CV Joint Bearing Care
A wheel bearing lets the wheels on a car move around and holds them securely to the car. There are four wheel bearings on a car, one for each wheel. The wheels and steering wheel will begin to shake when your wheel bearings wear out. You should have your car checked out as soon as possible if this happens.
There are two types of wheel bearings made for cars:
- This type of bearing can be removed and taken apart, it is then cleaned out and filled with new grease, or
- A sealed wheel bearing needs to be replaced all together when it is defective.
If your car was made before 1997, there are two wheel bearings in each front tire (1 inner and 1 outer). You should clean, and fill it with new grease or have it inspected every 30,000 miles.
If your car was made after 1998 then there is one wheel bearing in each tire, it is called a hub and bearing assembly. This unit needs to be replaced when it shows signs of wear.
A few signs that your wheel bearings are wearing down:
- An abnormal noise coming from your tires like squealing or grinding when you are driving.
- The steering wheel might shake when you are driving.
- The wheel will not move forward easily if the wheel bearing is locked up.
Tip 8: Brake Fluid Care
Next, your car’s brake fluid absorbs moisture which causes the brake components to become corroded and malfunction. We all know how important it is for brakes to work when we are relying on them, so bleed the braking system once per year and be sure to replace brake fluid.
Tip 9: Wheels and Tyres
Wheel and tyre care is also a big part of car maintenance. You should rotate your cars tyres every 5,000 miles and always clean brake dust off your wheels. The nasty grime from the road, moisture and heat from your brakes will cause the sludge to bake onto your tyres. A damp sponge can be used with clean cold water to do the trick.
Next, your car tyre pressure should be checked one a week. If the pressure is off, it can have a negative effect on gas mileage, the cars handling and comfort.
Lastly for wheel and tyre care, check the tread of your cars tyres because bald, slick tires are not good for keeping you on the road. Some tyres come with a tread wear indicator built into them. Examine your tyres regularly and if the tread is too low, it’s time to replace them.
Tip 10: Electric Checkup
The maintenance of the electric components of your car are also essential to proper functioning. However, if you are planning to do any work on your cars electrical system, you should always disconnect the battery first by doing the following:
- Loosen the connector for the negative/ground terminal first
- Wiggle the terminal cap off
- Use a zip tie to move the cable out of the way
- If you need to remove the battery, remove the positive connector
Once disconnected, most new cars have a 12 volt negative ground electrical system, and the battery terminals and contacts need to be clean so that the current can pass around the electrical system freely. You can remove the terminal caps and clean the post with a wire brush.
There you have it! These 10 tips cover the basic fundamental care you should be performing on your car. In doing these regularly, your car will thank you by staying in working order and taking you where you need to go for years to come. A little proactive maintenance goes a long way in preventing expensive repairs and extensive damage!