Driving is a big part of my life. With 2 children, school, swim lessons, classes and activities to attend, there is just no way I could solely rely on public transport for this. Even though we have tried our hardest to make small sustainable changes in our lives, unfortunately, the reliability of a car is very important to us and not only makes our life simpler but also allows us to provide our children with the opportunities to visit more places and see family more often. With this in mind, I am far more aware that I need to look after my car, maintain it and look for the best products in order for it to perform as efficiently as possible in order to help to lower my CO2 emissions. So, how can you make this type of travel greener as well as safer? One very important way is by switching to winter tyres in the cooler months of the year.
Switching to Winter Tyres
During the winter months, the roads can be wet, muddy, icy and far more of a risk to drive on. We all know to take it steady, to give ourselves more journey time and to be wary of invisible hazards such as black ice, but are you aware that there are certain types of tyres that are designed specifically for winter? Switching to these winter tyres could make a world of difference to your driving, for your safety and to the environment too.
What are The Benefits of Winter Tyres?
Winter tyres will help your car to grip the road more effectively in wetter and colder conditions which will allow you to gain more control over your steering and they will also improve overall braking performance. Although they won’t prevent you from getting stuck in the snow, they will make your driving experience far safer and easier in the harsh winter weather.
“Winter tyres work best at temperatures below 7 deg C. Indeed, they outperform conventional ‘summer’ tyres for traction, cornering grip and braking in such conditions – regardless of whether there is snow or ice.”
How Do They Differ from Ordinary Tyres?
Winter tyres have a softer compound compared to regular tyres, along with deeper grooves and narrow cuts (called sipes) built into their tread. These features help to disperse water and snow and allow the rubber to move around which in turn improves the contact with the road. This improved contact will mean less risk of skidding and a more economical journey.
How Does it Make Your Car Greener?
When your tyre pressure is low, your tyres are worn or when they have to work harder, for example, in winter conditions, your car will also need to work harder. Anytime that your car has to do this, it will begin to use more fuel. By switching to the correct type of tyre and ensuring that they are well maintained, aligned and filled, your car could use up to 20% less fuel making it far greener than if you stuck to your regular tyres all year round.
What Do I Do With My Regular Tyres?
You can keep your regular tyres and store them away until you need them again in the warmer months. Gain advice from a reputable garage to check that your storage is suitable or perhaps ask if they offer a storage service for you? This would be a beneficial way of switching over the tyres each season.
Can I Fit Them Myself?
As all four tyres would need to be changed, it is highly recommended that you choose a reputable garage to do this for you. Not only will they be able to advise on the correct tyres for your car, but they will also be able to give advice on the products and will carry out a full wheel alignment for you too. At the same time, it may be worth asking them (if they offer the services) to check other safety aspects of your car such as your brakes, suspension, exhaust condition, oil check, coolant check, battery health, lights and so on.
Why is Wheel Alignment Important?
A wheel alignment is a process that a garage can carry out for you and is vitally important for the health of your car and tyres. By adjusting the direction and angles of the wheels it will ensure that your tyres do not wear unevenly and that your vehicle will remain straight and true during driving. You may notice that your wheel alignment is out if your steering wheel feels as though it is pulling in one direction and if tyres are wearing down too quickly on one side of the car (usually seen on the outside or inside rims). The usual reason for your alignment to be out is when you hit a kerb or pothole but it should always be checked every 10,000 miles.
Finding a Reputable Garage
Finding a good garage is probably almost as important as finding a good brand of tyre. As a woman, I know this is a very daunting part of the side of car maintenance but I also know that once you find someone you can trust and is reliable then you will feel confident that you will always receive the best work and service from them. If you’re looking for tyres in Basingstoke area, visit Headley Tyres and choose your tyres from their vast collection of leading tyre brands!
With more wet weather to come and with the snow and ice not having hit us down south just yet, checking your tyres, switching to winter tyres and ensuring that your car is in tip-top condition is still a very important job to consider.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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