Tyres are often overlooked when it comes to car maintenance even though, as the only physical link between the car and the road surface, they are a key link in the running and safety of a vehicle. General tyre maintenance is an absolute necessity. Keeping tyres well inflated, and regularly checking for wear on the treads or nicks in the side of the rubber should be part of every motorists routine. Additionally, tyres that are not inflated correctly will result in a car that does not run as economically as it could which will result in a waste of money over a period of time. Worn down treads, even if they are within the legal limit, will increase stopping distances, and this poses an obvious health and safety risk.
Beyond general maintenance, there are other ways to ensure that you will always be prepared for any situation, and that you will be able to get the most out of your car. When it comes to changing tyres, part worn tyres from a tyre dealership can be a tempting option due to the relatively low price. However, sometimes these tyres can be a false economy. Apart from the obvious fact that they will last for a shorter length of time and will need replacing sooner, the health and safety risks are increased as there is no knowledge of the history of the tyre. There could be unseen damage to the tyre which could cause a blow out; so before buying any part worn tyre it is worth asking yourself whether you are willing to take the risk.
If you are buying a second hand car, it is very important to check the tyres. If possible, find out from the previous owner when the tyres were last changed and if this information is not available, consider investing in a new set in order to be certain that the risk of an accident is minimal. If you are buying a new car and your old car needs scrapping, ensure this is done by a professional and competent scrap dealer.
Another aspect of good tyre management is swapping to winter tyres during cold weather. Winter tyres are specifically designed to deal with cold weather. The rubber compound used is different than in normal tyres, and will perform reliably in sub zero temperatures. This is often avoided due to the extra cost, but the existing tyres can be stored and put back on to the car when the weather is suitable. This means that over the life of the tyres, there will be no extra money spent.
When it comes to choosing tyres you will find that there are many options for the type including gel filled, run flat tyres and reinforced tyres. These can be very good, and are often fitted onto new cars, however they will cost considerably more than standard tyres in some cases. It is worth considering what you will use your car for and whether you can make the compromise between quality and cost.