Cash-strapped driv­ers risk lifes

Wicklow People - - NEWS - New tyres to the front or rear? Spare wheels and new cars

AS WIN­TER be­gins to bite the risk of ac­ci­dent and break­down on the road be­comes more en­hanced. But as the fes­tive sea­son kicks in, it can be too much of a chore to en­sure your car can cope with wors­en­ing road con­di­tions. Whilst the ex­pense of a win­ter ser­vice is very of­ten one bill too many as silly sea­son takes hold. Tyre thread-depths? Func­tion­ing Break-lights? Oil Change? B’ah hum­bug!

Many will take a risk and put it off. But the un­for­tu­nate truth is that many of us mo­torists will fall foul of a win­ter mo­tor­ing mishap.

Cash-strapped driv­ers are putting their own and other peo­ple’s lives at risk this win­ter by fail­ing to re­pair sim­ple yet po­ten­tially deadly faults in a bid to save money.

Four small patches of rub­ber each about the size of your hand are the only parts of the car in touch with the road. So as we ap­proach win­ter, hav­ing the right tyres in good con­di­tion and cor­rectly in­flated is very im­por­tant for your safety.

Reg­u­lar checks and main­te­nance help to make tyres last longer, and keep you on the right side of the law.

• Check the hand­book first as some give ve­hi­cle spe­cific ad­vice.

• Gen­er­ally it’s good prac­tice to fit the best/new­est tyres on the rear – in wet con­di­tions, this favours un­der­steer rather than over­steer.

• So, if you have the front tyres re­newed it’s best to have the rear ones moved to the front and the new tyres fit­ted to the rear.

• Tyres with deep tread are less likely to punc­ture and it’s more dif­fi­cult to con­trol a car with a dam­aged rear tyre.

Ba­sic le­gal re­quire­ments

• Tyres must be com­pat­i­ble with oth­ers on the car and gen­er­ally in good phys­i­cal con­di­tion

• Tyres must be cor­rectly in­flated to the ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer’s rec­om­mended pres­sure

• Tread depth must be above the le­gal min­i­mum which for pas­sen­ger cars is 1.6mm through­out a con­tin­u­ous band in the cen­tre 3/4 of the tread and around the en­tire cir­cum­fer­ence. The AA rec­om­mends re­plac­ing your tyre when the thread depth falls be­low 3mm

• You don’t have to carry a spare and it doesn’t have to meet the le­gal re­quire­ments while it’s stowed away. It may how­ever af­fect break­down cover if you don’t carry a ser­vice­able spare

If you are buy­ing a new car don’t as­sume that there will be a full-size spare wheel and tyre in the boot. It is in­creas­ingly com­mon for car man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­vide a non-stan­dard or ‘skinny’ spare or even sim­ply an emer­gency tyre sealant and com­pres­sor/ in­fla­tor pack.

If car­ry­ing a full-size spare is im­por­tant to you then raise it with the dealer; some of­fer a stan­dard spare wheel as a cost op­tion if the de­sign of the boot floor can ac­com­mo­date one.

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