With the UK being in lockdown since the start of January, many of us will have left our cars parked up, only using them for essential reasons.
Many vehicles might not have even turned a wheel in this time, and while it can be tempting to neglect vehicle maintenance – especially when a car isn’t being used – motorists are being warned to continue checking their cars. This is to both save money in the long run and also for maximum safety.
TyreSafe, a UK charity dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of maintaining tyres, is urging drivers not just to look for tread levels, but also checking the correct air pressures and overall condition.
The charity warns that tyres that are left stationary are more likely to harden and crack, with the latter happening particularly if a vehicle is parked for a significant period of time.
Another pitfall of leaving a car parked up for some time is that ‘flat spots’ can build up, which happens due to the weight of the car resting on the tyres for a long period of time. If this happens, the rubber comes misshapen and weaker, and the tyres could have a catastrophic blowout when used again.
TyreSafe recommends that cars are moved regularly to avoid being parked on the same point, along with ensuring tyres are at the correct air pressure – these can often be found in the owner’s manual, in the petrol filler flap or in the door shuts.
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman, said: “It’s easy to fall into the trap of ignoring maintenance checks when you’re not using your vehicle, but there are good reasons to keep up the routine.
“Most likely, using a vehicle with underinflated tyres will just add to your fuel bill and increase wear but there are instances when the outcome is far, far more severe. It’s imperative all vehicle owners continue to check their tyres throughout lockdown – look after your tyres and they will look after you.”
(Picture credit – Falken Tyres)