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Cars!! They can be a god send or the bane of our lives.
As with most things, the more you look after something, the longer it lasts, and with cars this can be easily seen.
Tyres are something that we need to pay extra attention to. Driving in busy towns can cause lots of wear and tear on tyres, especially in areas of heavy traffic where you find yourself in a stop-start situation - this can quickly start wearing the tread of your tyres down, you wouldn't want them to lose grip and cause a potential accident would you? The legal minimum tread depth of a tyre is 1.6mm so it is always essential to keep a check of this - I have been told that 3mm is a decent tread depth.
Being so close to London, we usually take the train in to the centre if we are doing family days out, but as my husband went to school in South London, sometimes we take the car to certain places where he knows we won't be ripped off by the parking fares, but also where we can safely leave the car without worrying what state it will be in when we return, but one thing is for sure - driving in London is definitely a different beast than driving outside of London.
Traffic is an obvious problem and with the constant changing of road rules and layouts, it can be very stressful even taking a small drive into the city, for both you AND your car - the constant stopping and starting can play havoc on your tyres, brakes and suspension, especially after a hard winter when the potholes haven't been filled in yet.
Servicing your car isn't just an advisory chore - it's a must when the weather changes in any significant way, and if you're planning a trip that is going to test your cars limits for an extended period of time.
The normal 12 month service is very good for those annual check ups, but people always forget (especially in the new year when money is tight) that your car is an extension of yourself, our bodies react differently to cold weather as well as hot, your car is the same - frost and salt in the colder times can cause havoc on your cars more delicate parts (electrics, bodywork etc) but, the hot days we seldom get can also cause harm to your car too, so better to be safe than sorry. You can buy tyres in London from local experts like DAT Tyres - these guys know there stuff - your tyres are one of the most important parts of your car - they are the only thing connecting your vehicle with the road.
Here's some tips keeping your car in great shape.
1. Prevent wear and tear by checking your tyre pressure monthly and inspecting the tyres for any splits or punctures, driving with over inflated or under inflated tyres can cause a blowout which nobody wants. You can check the tyre pressure at a local petrol station.
2. Do your standard checks on your car (oil, screen wash, coolant etc).
3. Avoid putting extra pressure in your tyres by not overloading your car, if you have a roof box make sure you empty it when it isn't in use, the weight puts a lot of strain on your car and also makes it guzzle fuel.
4. Check your spare tyre, make sure you have a matching set and if you are unsure what tyres you need the information should be written on the side wall of the tyre.
5. Drive sensibly, Avoid driving too fast and heavy braking both of these cause unnecessary damage to your tyres.
6. Check the tread depth - you can easily do this at home with a 20 pence piece. The outer rim of a 20p coin measures exactly 1.6mm, so if it's visible when placed between the grooves of your tyre, this indicates that your tyres need replacing.