A quick guide to tyre safety and maintenance
Tyre maintenance can be easily overlooked, yet it’s so important for protecting your safety, the environment and even your wallet. Did you know that driving with under-inflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption as much as 4%? Here’s a simple list of checks to ensure your tyres stay healthy and you stay safe.
Keeping your tyres topped up to the correct pressure for your vehicle is crucial for safety as well as fuel conservation. Under-inflated tyres wear out more rapidly and burn through fuel faster. They can also cause poor vehicle handling as their grip on the road is uneven, and this can lead to accidents.
Tyres begin their life with about 8 millimetres of tread and over time this gradually wears down. The performance of tyres starts to drop below 3 millimetres and they become illegal in Europe below 1.6 millimetres. You should check them once a month. You can use a tread wear indicator or depth gauge.
Once-a-month check your tyres visually for signs of wear, such as bulges or cracks. You should also inspect wheel alignment, balancing and tyre rotation. If your tyres are unbalanced or not aligned properly, you may feel vibrations in the steering wheel or the car pulling to either side. It's sensible to have your tyre alignment checked when your car is being serviced.
Keep them clean
This is particularly important if you frequently drive over rough and uneven roads which can kick-up small stones and pebbles. Since these can easily get dug into your tyres, it's wise to wash your tyres regularly and check for debris.
Finally, keep a spare tyre in the boot in case of emergencies and make sure it's in good condition. Of course, breakdown and insurance coverage will provide peace of mind so that if the unexpected does arise, you have a number to call upon.
 Natural Resources Canada: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/transportation/21038