Tyre Warning


As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, Michelin is urging motorists to complete essential safety checks before getting behind the wheel of cars that may have had very little use over the past number of months. According to the tyre maker, being parked in one place for a significant period can affect handling, performance and safety, while drivers may also have neglected tyre maintenance during lockdown. Even if vehicles have not been used, tyres will have lost pressure, and driving on underinflated tyres increases fuel consumption at the same time as compromising handling, grip, braking and durability, it says. In addition, prolonged storage can create flat patches on the tyre, while being parked in oil or water for long periods – or on an object such as a stone – can also damage tyres. On top of that, minor existing damage to the tyre may have worsened during storage, and cracking and hardening may be an issue, Michelin adds.
As work and leisure mileage increases, the tyre maker has outlined four simple steps for drivers to follow before setting out. Firstly, motorists are advised to set tyre pressures to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, then visually check all tyres for bulges, cuts, excessive cracking or other damage or unusual signs. Next, drivers should move the vehicle to expose the part of the tyre that has been in contact with the ground and carry out the same visual checks as flat patches can create internal weakness, which can lead to failure in use. Finally, Michelin advises checking tread depth. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm around the entire circumference of the tyre in a band making up 75 per cent of the tyre’s breadth. Motorists are also advised to remember that tyres which have been in use for five years or more should continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually. Any tyres in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tyres, should be replaced as a precaution – even if they still appear serviceable and have not reached the legal wear limit.


About Author

Michael Sheridan

Michael is Motorhub's Editor. Well known from TV and radio, Michael has been writing, presenting and judging cars since the mid 90's. He is a renowned Producer/Director and documentary film maker. Dozens of credits include: The Whole Way Round (Gay Byrne), The Shamrock Run (Alan Shortt), The Viking Run (Clodagh McKenna) and The Irish 66ers (David Mitchell) and The Climb for Kids (Colin Farrell). Print credits include: the RTE Guide (motoring editor 1999-2003), many national daily papers and Sundays including The Irish Times (freelance) plus other magazines. National radio credits include multiple at RTE Gerry Ryan show, the Mooney Show, The Dave Fanning Show, Drivetime etc. TV credits as a motoring expert include RTE's flagship current affairs show Primetime and TV3's Ireland AM. Michael also presented RTE's car show Drive! in the late 90s and directed some items in MPH2 on TG4. Michael contributes weekly on motoring issues to The Last Word show with Matt Cooper on Today FM. Michael has represented Ireland's motoring journalists in Motorsport at the International Mazda MX-5 endurance race series in Italy and the Arctic Ice Race. He has been a Car of the Year Judge for 20 years, more recently a judge for Van of the Year. Michael is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press (APMP).

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