How to check your tyres for depth and pressure

Drivers preparing to get away and make the most of the final Bank Holiday weekend of the year are being reminded to check their tyre pressures before setting out. Tyre pressures should be checked at least once a month or before a long journey and should be adjusted for any additional loads being carried. Motorists travelling on under-inflated tyres are much more likely to suffer a serious blowout endangering themselves, passengers and other road users.

“Too many drivers experience a dangerous blowout, particularly over the August bank holiday weekend, simply because they have not taken the time to prepare their car properly beforehand,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Although they may only be going away for a few days, many drivers fill their car with passengers, luggage and additional items such as bikes, all of which can seriously impact on their tyres’ performance. Unless tyre pressures are checked properly, the additional load can make a tyre failure much more likely.”

When tyres are under-inflated or overloaded, extra heat builds up within the tyre causing its internal components to separate and eventually fail in a spectacular manner. This is a particular problem when cars are travelling at high speeds for a long period, such as motorway journeys. Not only is the blowout a problem for the driver who has to try and control the vehicle, but other roads users are also put at risk from any tyre debris left in the carriageway.

Tyre pressures should be checked when the tyres are cold using the manufacturers recommended levels. Many vehicles require higher pressures when carrying heavy loads. Details of the pressure settings can be found in the driver’s handbook, inside the fuel filler cap or on a plate located on the driver’s door sill or pillar.

How to check your tyre pressures correctly

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