Practical tips > Tyres: leave on holiday in safety

Tyres: leave on holiday in safety

 - 05/07/2017

Tyres play a major role in road safety. They guarantee good road holding and ensure that your vehicle can brake properly, both of which contribute to your safety. Worn or under-inflated tyres are a major factor in fatal road accidents, particularly on motorways, when they are subjected to heavy loads and high temperatures, as is often the case on holiday roads.

Checking your tyres is essential to your safety

Your vehicle’s tyres are the only point of contact between you and the road. It is essential to check them regularly. Worn tyres can considerably reduce your safety and your vehicle’s performances. Surely it’s not too much trouble to spend a few minutes checking them – after all your family’s safety depends on them? A tyre’s lifespan also depends on how you drive and the state of the road surfaces.
 

Tyre pressure

You should check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before any long journey.
Tyres can be under-inflated without necessarily appearing so. To drive safely, you must regularly check your tyre pressure, in particular before any long journey. Correct tyre pressure contributes to your safety and will also extend the lifespan of your tyres.
A useful tip: always check the tyre pressure on cold tyres (leave the vehicle for 2 hours without driving and/or not driving further than 3km (2 miles) at a reasonable speed). Tyre pressure can also vary depending on usage. Should you have any doubts, consult your vehicle handbook.
 

Tread depth

Measure the tread depth once a month to check wear. Tyres need changing when the tread depth reaches 1.6mm. Below this figure, you will be breaking the law in most European countries. Check your tyres regularly and change them when necessary. Your safety is at stake. Should you have any doubts, contact a tyre or vehicle specialist.
 

Parallelism

Have your wheel parallelism checked each time you go to a garage and before each MOT.
Any defects in your parallelism can affect your vehicle’s road holding and thus have an impact your safety. For example, hitting the pavement or a pot-hole can alter your wheels’ parallelism without you knowing it. Only regular checks by your garage will enable you to detect such problems and take the necessary measures. We recommend having your wheel parallelism checked every time you go to a garage and before each MOT.
 

Balancing

Check the wheel balancing at each wheel switch, generally every 10,000 or 12,000 km (6,000-12,000 miles).
Make sure you don’t confuse suspension (parallelism) and balancing. The former adjusts the wheel’s angle, while the purpose of the latter is to balance and spread the weight of the wheel evenly, after mounting, in order to avoid vibrations. Poorly balanced wheels can lead to premature tyre wear, while correct balancing protects the vehicle’s suspension, steering, bearings and improves passenger comfort.
 

Switching

Switch your tyres every 10,000 or 12,000 km (6,000-12,000 miles) to extend their lifespan.
To extend the lifespan of your tyres, we recommend switching them round every 10,000 or 12,000 km (6,000-12,000 miles). By regularly switching them in this way, they will wear more evenly and last longer. As a result, you will change your tyres less often!
 

Tyre valves

For safety reasons, change the tyre valves each time you change the tyres.
Tyre valves must be checked during maintenance because they ensure that tyre pressure is maintained. Subjected to extremely high pressures, they will gradually deteriorate with the wheel’s centrifugal force. At 100 kph (60 mph), the pressure exerted on the valve is equivalent to 1.7 kg. It is thus essential to replace the valves each time the tyres are changed. Your safety and the lifespan of your tyres are at stake.
There is no point on trying to save money on the cost of valves – neither from a point of view of safety nor of tyre lifespan. Each time you have your tyres changed, make sure that your garage has also changed the valves.

 

Photo ©MICHELIN LIFESTYLE LIMITED 2006