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The importance of maintaining car tyres to avoid costly repairs

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This week we had an unexpected car repair bill of £200 because of a car fault that caused our tyres to wear through very quickly!

Driving with tyres which do not have the legal thread depth is really dangerous and it can cause an expensive breakdown.   Luckily my husband was driving through Gloucester after rush hour and in a residential area where a local resident was able to offer assistance when his tyre blew.

I was just thankful it didn’t happen when we were recently driving down the motorway to Bristol or on a recent trip to the busy streets of Birmingham.  Having a tyre blow out in a busy city in rush hour or on the motorway could be so dangerous!

In this blog post I will explore the importance of maintaining car tyres to avoid costly repairs.

The importance of maintaining car tyres...

I’d like to think it’s not totally our fault that the tyre blew as my husband is very good usually at checking these sorts of things on our cars.  He likes to maintain our cars well so they last longer and to be more cost-effective in the long run.  His car only had the MOT around four months ago and nothing was mentioned about the tyres.  I know it’s been an advisory on my own car’s MOT before and even then I was told they’ll be fine until my next check.  So with the MOT only four months ago, we had no reason to suspect anything wrong with Ben’s tyres.

Unfortunately the car had another issue we were not aware of.  The tracking was off.  This was causing uneven wear to the inside of the front tyres and made them wear through very quickly.  This is what caused the tyre to blow as he was driving.

Again, it was another issue we were not concerned about as he’d already had the tracking fixed earlier this year!  We are now questioning whether the first car garage actually fixed the tracking properly or even at all.  Or perhaps there’s another issue causing the tracking to be off.  Ben will now keep a close eye on the treads of the tyres to see if the tread wears away quickly again.

It’s never pleasant to break down, but I was just so thankful it was on a slow road in our hometown with houses nearby and not on the busy roads of Bristol or Birmingham.  The day before we went to Bristol and it could have been a real disaster if the tyre wore through whilst we were on a fast, busy road.

We had a car issue that caused the tyre to wear through unexpectedly, but it’s also so important to regularly check the health of your tyres to avoid a blow out and costly repairs.  If you blow a tyre unexpectedly then you may have much higher costs than normal.  You may need to foot the bill for a rescue service, new tyres from the garage you are taken from (which doesn’t then give you a chance to shop around for a great deal as you can’t wait) and you may even cause further damage to your car or even other vehicles depending on where and how you break down.

By checking your tyres regularly you will be able to replace them before having an issue when driving.  If you need to replace your tyres then check the Point S site here to buy tyres in Birmingham, Gloucester, Bristol or wherever you may be.  You can also ask a professional at one of the tyre centres for their specialist advice on whether your existing tyres are in good health or not.  There are also several ways to keep an eye on your tyres by yourself which I’ll list below.

How to check your car tyre health

  • Check for any signs of wear and tear.  If they look old and tired then they probably are and need to be checked professionally.
  • Check the pressure.  You can find the correct tyre pressure for your exact vehicle easily online. The back and front tyres may need different pressures.  It’s important to inflate them only to the right pressure and too much or too little can be dangerous.
  • Check the tread.  You can check the depth of the thread by inserting a 20 pence piece.  If you can’t see the outer band of the 20p then the tread is above the legal limit.  The minimum legal limit is 1.6mm, but you should consider changing when your tyres get as low as 3mm.
  • Check for objects.  If you can see any objects such as a nail in the tyre then you could get a puncture or you may have a slow puncture.  It’s best not to remove the object if the tyre is still inflated and instead drive slowly and carefully to your nearest tyre centre or call a tyre professional out to you.

The benefits of effective tyre care

By making sure your tyre health is good you will avoid incidents like we had this week.  It can also help to flag up any other issues such as the tracking not being right or another issue with the car if the tread is wearing unevenly.

Here are some more benefits of maintaining the health of your car tyres.

Less hazardous on the road

As I keep repeating, it was so lucky that Ben’s tyre blew on a quiet road.  It could have been a different story if he were on a fast road or motorway with lots of other traffic.  By maintaining the car tyres you will prevent accidents and injury by noticing a potential issue that can be sorted.  Your car will be much safer to drive on the road.

A better driving experience

Driving with properly inflated tyres and those with enough grip makes for a much better driving experience.  The car will feel much smoother and nicer to drive.  I can always tell the difference when my tyres have been inflated to the correct pressures.

Save money

It’s more cost-effective to drive with the correct tyres as driving with under-inflated tyres will use more fuel.  If your tread depth is illegal then you won’t be covered by your car insurance in the event of an accident as you will be driving illegally.  You’ll also be able to spot other car problems such as a suspension issue by noticing uneven wear on the tyres which can prevent a costly breakdown.

Luckily we had been saving some money recently into a savings for car emergencies and we had enough to cover the cost of the repair.  It’s a good idea to save money for emergencies like this, but even better to check your tyres more regularly to prevent this from happening to you too.