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Tyre pressure and warranties

Incorrectly inflated tyres can affect the safety of your car, decrease fuel efficiency and even invalidate your car insurance. So, how long has it been since you’ve checked your tyre pressure? After reading this, you might want to head out and check them straight away!

Don’t invalidate your Car Warranty

Car Warranties, sometimes called mechanical breakdown insurance, offer protection against unexpected repair bills and can cover for wear and tear. New cars usually come with a warranty as standard (often 3 or 5 years) and if you are buying a used car, you can take out your own car warranty.

If you have a car warranty, chances are you don’t want to invalidate it. Most car warranties will stipulate that the vehicle must not be modified in anyway. So for this reason, the manufacturer’s tyres must be used and the correct tyre pressure maintained.

Why correct tyre pressure is important

Invalidating your cars warranty is not the only issue when it comes to incorrect tyre pressure. According to Tyre Company, Michelin, motorists in the UK are wasting £246 a year on fuel and putting lives at risk by driving on dangerously under inflated tyres. They analysed 23,000 cars in the UK and found:

  • 62% of cars on the road are running on incorrectly inflated tyres
  • 37% are so underinflated they are classed as ‘dangerous’ or ‘very dangerous’
  • 5% of motorists are driving on punctured tyres

Oops! Incorrectly inflated tyres can seriously impact the safety of your car; they affect braking, steering, resistance to aquaplaning and also reduce the life of the tyre. 

In addition to compromising your safety, having the wrong tyre pressure will dramatically decrease fuel efficiency. According to Michelin, tyres uninflated by 7psi decrease fuel efficiency by about one mile per gallon. Oh and not to mention its bad for the environment.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you risk getting fined and even invalidating your insurance if you drive with damaged or worn tyres. The law in the UK states that a court can impose a fine of up to £2,500 (£5,000 if it’s a goods vehicle or adapted to carry more than eight people) for a defective tyre.

How to check your tyre pressure

So with that in mind – it’s time to check your tyre pressure! The Highway Code suggests checking the pressure every week. You should at least do it once a month and before undertaking any long journey. The AA suggests setting a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget.

Before anything, you should consult your vehicle handbook to find the correct tyre pressure for your car. Make sure you check the levels for both the front and rear levels, as they often differ. To carry out the test, either buy a pressure gauge or carry out the pressure level check at your local petrol station that has one. Follow the instructions and check and adjust all four tyres as required. You should also check and adjust your spare tyre.

If your tyres pressure decreases regularly you should take it in to your local garage so they can investigate the issue further. 


published: 16/10/2015 09:26:01

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