Checking tyre pressures and wear – the right way

It is so important to correct maintain and look after your tyres as they are a massive part of the safety of your vehicle. They not only contribute hugely to the safety of the vehicle but also to the fuel consumption and handling of the vehicle.

It is vital to check your tyre pressures and to also check for wear or damage to your tyres every couple of weeks at least and when going on a long journey. Checking tyres pressures can often be done at most petrol stations but these have sometimes been shown to be inaccurate and if you are unsure as to whether your tyre is inflated properly then you may not wish to drive on it. Ideally you should use a home tyre pressure gauge that can be picked up from many car parts shops such as Halfords for as little as £10. You simply unscrew the dust caps, push the tyre pressure gauge on to the value and look at the reading. You will need to know what the correct pressures should be for your car which is normal stated in the handbook or sometimes inside the driver’s door pillar.

When checking pressures it is also advisable to check for damage to the tyre, this may be noticeable cuts or tears, bulges or wear. If they tyre is damaged then you need to take it to a tyre repair shop to see if it needs repairing or replacing, if the tyre is showing signs of wear then you can do a simply check with tyre depth gauge to see how low the tyre is. Anything under 3mm is advised to be change although the legal limit is 1.6mm.

 

 

 

Car accessories – A gift for a petrol head

For the avid car driver finding the perfect Christmas or birthday gift needn’t be a chore, there are lots of cool gadgets and gismos out there designed with petrol heads in mind, here are some of the best:

Dash cam – these are great for pretty much any driver as they are a good back up to have if you are involved in an accident where you are not at fault. They vary in price quite dramatically so you really can find one to suit your budget.

Dash grip gel pads – these are basically adhesives pad that sits on your dashboard and can be used to hold your items such as phone keys and money, the gel that the pad that is made out of stop the items from slipping off as the car is in motion.

Power cup – this is a great little invention for regular commuters as it’s a travel cup that can plug in to your in-car 12 volt socket and keep your coffee warm for the duration of your journey.

Head up windshield projector – this is a great invention for Sat Nav users who hate having to have the device stuck to your window (and removed when you leave the car) this devise sits on your dash and projects the images from the Sat Nav up onto the windshield of your car, easy to follow and doesn’t get in your way!

What to do if you have a flat tyre

If you have a flat tyre on your car then there are different things that you can do depending on where you are when you notice it, below is a guide to what to do in different scenarios.

If your car is parked up and you come to it and notice a flat tyre then the first thing to do is inspect the tyre for any obvious signs of damage or any foreign objects that could be lodged in the tyre, if you cannot see any then it may be that the tyre just needs more air as things such as changes in temperature or the car being stood still can cause the tyre to need inflating.

If you notice that you have a flat tyre whilst driving it is likely that you will notice that you are unable to accelerate as quickly as usual and you may feel the car pulling to one side. As soon as you notice this you must pull over to the side of the road carefully as soon as it is safe to do so. Driving on a tyre that has a puncture can be very dangerous so you must do this very carefully and ensure that the vehicle is in a safe position as far off the road as possible.

If you are on the motorway or dual carriageway then you must call your breakdown company as it would not be safe to attempt changing a tyre at the side of such a fast busy road and in doing this you could cause a very serious accident.

Buying tyres online or in store

When it comes to buying tyres everyone wants to get the best deal for the type of tyre they are buying. You can choose from a number of different makes and models of tyres within the budget range, mid range or premium ranges and each will come with its own rating for fuel economy, road noise and wet grip.

You can often buy tyres online or you can buy them in store and many people wonder which will get you the best deal. It is easier to compare prices online as you do not have to spend ages on the phone calling through to multiple garages but you may be offered a better deal in store. If you have found a tyre online that you like and seems a good price then before you order, call the garage and ask them if they can do you a better deal in store. This is especially important if you are buying multiple tyres at the same time as they may be able to offer you a larger discount.

 

 

Choosing a sat nav system

If you are lucky enough to be able to get a new car, then it may come with a built in satellite navigation system. These systems are usually quite good, but the problem comes when they go wrong. As they are built in to the stereo system, it may be that you cannot fix it and have to replace the whole unit instead.

If you are buying an aftermarket sat nav system then you need to think about what is important to you. It may be that you want to be able to receive traffic updates and have the system re-route you to find a quick way to your destination. Some systems come with some sort of traffic update such as many of the TomTom devices, they track the routes of other TomTom devices to see how long it has taken to get through traffic and to find alternative routes.

Most sat navs will need updating every 12 months or so and you may have to pay for these updates.