How to look after your motor
Friday 26th July, 2013
Looking after your motor is not just about keeping it looking nice: car maintenance is an essential safety consideration and helps to support the resale value of your vehicle. It also makes driving a lot less stressful!
Here's our essential Shopping Nerd guide to car maintenance.
Checking and maintaining your tyres
If there is one thing that could lead to accidents, it's bald tyres. UK legislation requires car drivers to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. Failing these regulations could mean you face three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre.
Thankfully, it's really easy to sort by using a 20p coin. Simply take the coin and insert it into the main grooves of the tyre - if you can see the outer band of the 20p then the tyre may not have sufficient depth and should probably be replaced. Think about replacing with new tyres or even part-worn tyres as long as they meet the regulations.
Adequate tread depth is essential for good grip on wet roads as the tread pattern helps to displace water from the road surface.
You also need to think about keeping your tyres inflated. Under-inflated tyres can affect handling and can cost your hundreds of pounds a year in extra fuel consumption. We reckon it's best to check your tyres regularly – once week ideally, but once a month at worst. It's possible to buy pumps to inflate tyres if you're concerned about making it to the garage on a flat.
In colder months you should consider winter tyres. These offer much better grip on slushy and icy roads. If you're planning to drive to the Alps for a ski holiday, they're essential.