We are planning on taking a family trip up North to visit friends. I am terrified of flying so we plan to take the car.
Driving all over Scotland can be tricky, especially in the depths of winter when there is plenty of black ice around. Of course, Scotland also has some of the most congested roads in the UK with Fife, in particular, getting clogged up anywhere between Dunfermline and Saint Andrews on either the A91 or the A915. In the lowlands, both the M74 and the M8 are supposed to allow for fast-moving traffic but seldom do with drivers all too often having to queue to get past congested areas.
Of course, all of the congestion, weather conditions and poorly maintained tarmac can take its toll on your car’s tyres. This can mean you need to replace them or it could easily get dangerous. Coping with Scottish roads, especially in East Scotland, is made easier by some of the high-quality tyre dealerships that are around, however. For instance, if you are looking to replace your car tyres in, or near to, Kirkcaldy, then Point S is a good recommendation where you can find top-notch tyre brands which will be fitted for you professionally. That said, it is better to look after the tyres you already have as best you can and only exchange them for new ones when yours have started to deteriorate.
What can drivers do to help make their car tyres last that bit longer?
Checking your tyre tread is essential. Do this with a 20p coin. Insert its rim into your car’s tyre tread. If the coin’s outer rim disappears from view, then your tyres have enough tread to cope with the odd downpour and still maintain good grip. If you can still see the rim, on the other hand, then you are heading for trouble with the law so swap your tyres without delay. Bear in mind that driving over tracks and other rough surfaces may wear your tread depth down quicker than you had imagined.
Don’t ignore rubber degradation because it is not just tyre tread that wears down. If your tyres are ageing but still have a good level of tread, then you could still easily face a blowout if you run over a Scottish pothole or need to bump up a kerb to park. Any bulges which appear in the sidewall of your tyres mean that the compound of rubber that they are made from is disintegrating. Left unchecked, this could mean you lose the affected tyres completely which would mean spinning out of control if it happened at high speed. A simple visual inspection of your tyres is all that is needed to spot such problems before they occur.
Finally, you should maintain proper air pressure in your tyres. Driving on partially flattened tyres might not be immediately noticeable but it can lead to a loss of response when you corner. Flatter tyres tend to spread out on the road when you turn which means that they can lose grip and provide too much understeer. If so, then it is easy to lose the back end of your car and end up in a collision. Inflate your tyres to the recommended level next time you fill up!
Note: This is a collaborative post.