Poor tyre maintenance is one of the most common causes of car accidents in Britain according to a report by Autocar magazine. There were 446 accidents last year, simply because tyres hadn’t been properly maintained. If you are racing your 02 series, it is likely that you will have your tyre pressure set depending on the ground conditions. But if you are driving on the road, you need to make sure that you have your tyre pressure set to the manufacturer’s strict guidelines. Here are some safety tips if you are driving on the roads.
Your tyres should have at least 1.6mm of tread around the middle three-quarters of the tyre. this is extremely important, as oil and heavy rain deposits on the road can be extremely hazardous. If your tyres don’t have enough tread it can increase stopping distances and make it difficult to control your car. Although 1.6mm is the legal requirement, many tyre manufacturers recommend that you have at least 3mm tread. When you are buying tyres for your 02 series, look out for ones that include a Tyre Wear Indicator (TWI). This will help you to gauge tread depth wear. You should also check them manually on a regular basis for any wear or bulges.
When you are checking your tyre pressure, make sure that the tyres are cold – check them before your journey, not afterwards, or the readings won’t be accurate. If your tyres are under-inflated, the side walls of the tyre can easily flex. If the structure of the tyre is compromised, then it can overheat and cause a blowout. This is particularly dangerous if you are travelling at high speeds on the motorway. Your grip on the road and how the brakes react are also affected. You will also use more fuel if your tyres are under-inflated.
Having over inflated tyres can be equally dangerous as not having as enough air in them. The percentage of the tyre that has contact with the road will be less, making the car unpredictable to handle. Again braking performance and road grip will not be as good, which can lead to accidents. Your normally smooth-riding 02 series will become skittish, harsh and uncomfortable. The tyres will also have a reduced life. Most tyres have a “max inflate” number that is imprinted into the rubber on the outside of the tyres, e.g. Max inflate 44. This number doesn’t mean that you should automatically fill your tyres to 44. Check your vehicle manual for the recommended tyre pressure – it may be 10 Psi lower than the maximum inflation figure. Some 02 models also have a metal plate or sticker on the inside of the driver’s door that has the recommended tyre pressures printed on it.
Having well maintained tyres will make your BMW 02 series a dream to drive. But more importantly, looking after your tyres means that you are safe on the road. You get the benefits of having an undamaged vehicle, and more importantly, you may even save lives.