5 Thrifty tips to look after your tyres this winter

If you're travelling around this winter or even just commuting to work or school, it's a good idea to look after your car and make sure the tyres are in top condition, ready for whatever the weather throws at you...

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The winter months can be tougher on tyres than other times of the year. This is the case even if you drive around southern cities, like Brighton or London, let alone more mountainous places, such as the Lake District or Fife.

Of course, winters are often colder north of the border, but even if it isn’t freezing, the shorter daylight hours make it harder to avoid hazards on the road anywhere. Therefore, wherever you live around the UK, taking care of your tyres is crucial if they are to survive another winter.

How can you do this without breaking the bank?

1. Pump Your Tyres Up

Probably the best thing you can do to look after your tyres in the winter is to be more methodical in your approach to reinflating them. Some people only pump their tyres up when they notice they’ve become partially flat. This is too late because tyres wear down quicker even when they are a little under-inflated, especially in winter.

Get into the habit of checking your tyre pressure every second time you fill up with fuel. If you don’t use your car much and can go several weeks without refuelling, then check your tyre pressure at least once a month. Why should I check my tyre pressure? Well, when they are pumped up correctly, they run better and will also save you money by improving your car’s fuel economy, too.

2. Consider Winter Tyres

Winter tyres aren’t much use if you live in London. Even if there is snow that settles in the capital, road gritters are usually out and about meaning that their usefulness is limited. This isn’t the case in Scotland and other more rural parts of the UK, however.

Of course, major roads like the A92 or the A985 tend to be cleared of snow soon after it falls, but smaller roads are often covered in ice during the winter and this causes normal tyres to wear down or for wheels to spin. Winter tyres overcome these issues and can be fitted again next year as soon as the temperatures start to drop.

3. Choose a Mobile Fitting Service

If you need new tyres, then consider a mobile tyre fitting service. This option is often just as good – if not better – than heading to a tyre centre, offering you a great deal of choice among different tyre manufacturers. Sometimes, it is cheaper to opt for a mobile tyre fitter.

It can certainly save time compared to waiting for a fitter to become free at your local centre. What’s more, you’ll be able to get on doing something productive rather than simply hanging around waiting for your car to be seen. If you’re not sure where to book your mobile tyre fitting Fife Autocentre is a reliable garage where you can book online.

4. Check Your Tread Depth

It takes very little to confirm your tyre tread level. Just insert a 20p coin into the tread and if you cannot see the rim of the coin when viewing it from the side, then you have enough tread left. If some of the rim is visible, however, then you’ll need to change your tyres without delay. There’s no need to get a professional to check your tyre tread for you.

5. Slow Down

Finally, simply easing off your accelerator a bit can help to preserve the life of your tyres in winter. By hanging back a few extra metres from the vehicle in front, you will brake less often. In turn, this means placing your tyres under less pressure so they’ll last longer. This is particularly important in city traffic during the winter when it’s darker and, therefore, harder to spot potholes.

I hope these ideas will help you to enjoy efficient motoring this winter and please let me know in the comments below if you have any of your own vehicle maintenance checks that you think would be helpful at this time of year.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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