Category Archives: Tyre Care

Pass first time: How to avoid the most common MOT fails

Nearly 50% of all cars that fail an MOT do so because of small faults that could be avoided by simple, at-home car maintenance. These problems are easy to correct, and fixing them before taking the car in for its MOT could help you pass first time and avoid garage costs.

To help, Ring, the automotive specialist in bulbs, wipers, battery care and tyre care, has some advice on the simple things that can be done to avoid an MOT fail.

 

  1. Lights and signalling – 17.8% failure rate

4.5m cars fail because of lamps, reflectors and electrics every year. Doing a quick bulb check before you take the vehicle to the garage could avoid an MOT fail. Make sure you check all the exterior bulbs – this includes the side light, indicator, tail light and number plate lights. The registration plate lamp being out accounts for 4.5% of MOT fails.

When it comes to headlamps, there are plenty of options out there, including upgrades to help bulbs last longer or put more light on road for safer driving. We recommend you always replace bulbs in pairs, to ensure the light output is equal from both headlights. Ring stocks a range of bulbs, including long life versions, and for headlamps, try the new Xenon150 bulbs (nationwide – SSP £39.99), which put up to 150% more light on road without compromising on life.

 

  1. Tyre condition – 7.5% failure rate

Well maintained tyres are essential to ensure safe driving – and neglecting them could mean a failed MOT. The legal requirement for tyre tread on passenger vehicles up to eight seats is 1.6mm, but studies show that when the tread drops below 3mm, stopping distance begins to be significantly affected.

Checking tyre tread is easy and requires a simple depth gauge. However, to ensure your tyres are both safe and helping cut down fuel consumption, drivers need to check the pressure as well. For adigital gauge that gives accurate readings on a large backlit screen, records the correct pressure and has an integrated LED light, Ring suggests the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre Pressure & Tread Depth Gauge. This is easy to store in the car and easy to use, wherever you are. Available nationwide, SSP £24.99.

While there is no legal requirement for tyre pressure, under- or over-inflated tyres will reduce the traction between the tyre and the road, making driving less safe and less fuel efficient. For easy pressure top ups, try the Ring RAC635 Digital Tyre Inflator, with preset for accurate inflation. This industry-recognised inflator can inflate a 13” tyre from flat to 35PSI in under 3 minutes – making tops up quick and simple.

 

  1. Driver’s view of the road – 6.8% failure rate

Cracks in the windscreen and worn wipers are a big reason for vehicles to fail. As wiper deteriorate gradually, drivers often don’t realise they are no longer clearing the windscreen effectively. Choosing and fitting the right blade can seem tricky, but Ring’s new range of Ultravision Wiper Blades (SSP £9.99 to £13.99) make blade selection easy. The unique, patent-
pending clip fits 95% of the car parc, meaning that drivers just need to know the blade length for their vehicle to select the correct blade. The clip adapts to fit the seven most common wiper arms.

Henry Bisson, Marketing Manager at Ring, says, “Motorists could be making savings by carrying out basic checks and maintenance at home, but often they don’t realise that these minor faults could cause an MOT fail. What’s more, having well-maintained tyre, blade and lighting are driving safety essentials, so making sure they are regularly checked and replaced when necessary is critical.”

Ring makes tyre care easy

Recent research into the maintenance of car tyres by British drivers suggests that 40% of cars have dangerously uninflated tyres. The research, from Kwik Fit, showed that British drivers are risking their safety by driving on poorly maintained tyres. Underinflated tyres also make driving less efficient, meaning that it is costing drivers at the fuel pump as well.

To help, Ring, the vehicle lighting and car accessory specialist, has a complete range of tyre care devices that can help drivers to stay safe and save money.

Tyre Pressure Gauges

RTG4 Tyre Gauge

RTG4 Tyre Gauge

For an instant, accurate tyre pressure reading, Ring’s range of gauges are the ideal choice. The range includes the award-winning RTG4 Digital Tyre Keyring Gauge, which is a compact device with large a backlit digital screen. It has been praised for it’s easy to use design, LED light and easy to store size. Available nationwide, it is a good choice to keep in the car, just in case. SSP £8.99

To ensure safe tyres, drivers need to measure both the pressure and the tread depth. On passenger vehicles seating up to eight people, tyre tread must be at least 1.6mm: any less risks a fine. However, studies show that once tread depth goes under 3mm, stopping distance is affected, so it might be time to start considering new tyres. The RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre Pressure & Tread Depth Gauge features a large backlit digital screen that shows accurate pressure readings, and also stores the recommended pressure levels for your tyres. It also has a tread depth gauge, which simply inserts into the tread to show how deep it is. Another award-winner, it is available nationwide,

SSP £24.99.

Tyre Inflators

RAC660 with backlit display

RAC660 with backlit display

Using a portable tyre inflator that runs from the in-car 12V socket ensures the tyre pressure can be checked before journeys – taking readings and inflation needs to be done when the tyres are cold to get accurate readings. They also save the hassle of queuing in the petrol station and can inflate a 13” tyre from flat to 35PSI in under three minutes. Plus, they are small enough to keep in the boot to use whenever needed.

Ring’s industry-leading RAC635 Preset Digital Tyre Inflator is a multi-award winning inflator that is easy to use, fast and accurate. The preset feature allows drivers to set the desired pressure, press go, and it will automatically stop at the set pressure. The inflator displays readings in PSI, kPa, bar or kg/cm2 and has a large backlit digital screen, so pressure can be easily read in any light conditions. The unit also has an integrated LED torch to help if inflating at night.

For a versatile inflator that can top up large tyres, car tyres, air beds and leisure items, the newly-released RAC660 is an ideal option. Powered from either a 12V socket or a mains socket, it can inflate a 13” tyre in under 2 minutes and has settings for airbeds, along with an eight-piece adaptor set.

Tyre maintenance is a safety essential – but it doesn’t have to be time consuming. Ring’s range of tyre care essential will help drivers keep tyres topped up, with optimum performance.

Cars are being left out in the cold this winter

In the UK, 69% of homeowners that have a garage do not use it for their car, instead using them for storage or converting them into extra living space. So cars are increasingly being left out in the cold. While modern motors are more weather resistant than ever, for drivers opting to leave them kerbside, there are maintenance measures for winter that will help keep their car in good condition. It might even avoid a frozen morning trying to solve car woes.

Garages being taken over

According to research by RAC Home Insurance, 69% of home owners don’t use their garage to store their vehicle. Instead, the majority are being used as extra storage, mainly for DIY tools, gardening equipment, sports gear and decorating kit. 9% of respondents to the survey said they had converted their garage into extra living space, with others using it as a gym or workshop for a hobby.

What’s more, many reported that their garage isn’t actually big enough for a modern car: many were designed for a 1950s-sized vehicle, and are no longer fit for purpose. Meanwhile, for many of us without a garage, the kerbside or drive is the only option.

The impact on your car

For motorists, it’s essential to take steps to help your car stay in good condition. Below are some things to be aware of if your motor isn’t kept under cover:

  1. Check your insurance. If you’ve stated that your car is kept mainly in the garage, but now it isn’t, it’s worth updating your insurer so that you are definitely fully covered if your car is stolen or damaged whilst parked up.
  2. Battery charging. Car batteries are far more likely to fail in winter, as the lower temperatures affect the battery chemicals. If your car is being kept outside, then the cold will have a greater impact. Regularly recharging your battery can keep it in good condition, and using a smart charger will help do just that, as well as repairing them. Ring’s smart chargers even have a winter charge mode, designed specifically for charging in cold weather.
  3. Tyre pressure. Cold weather can make tyre pressure drop, and for every decrease of 1°C in ambient temperature the tyre pressure drops by around 0.19 PSI. So when the frost sets it, it’s worth checking your tyre pressure, and topping up if necessary. A Digital Preset Tyre Inflator is the fastest and easiest way of doing this. As it is powered from your in-car 12V socket, it doesn’t need an extension cord from the house.
  4. Check your fluids. As you might expect, fluids thicken in the cold, including oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. Be especially sure to check your coolant/antifreeze, as this prevents the fluid in your engine from freezing.
  5. Risky deicing. It can be tempting to pour hot water on a windscreen for speedy defrosting, but if the hot water gets into any chips it can cause them to grow into cracks. Using an ice scraper or deicer is a better option.

Whether it’s a study, a workshop or a storage solution, if your garage is not being used for the car, make sure you don’t get left stranded this winter.

Ring’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Don’t know what to get your loved ones for Christmas? Not looking forward to the panic of last minute shopping? Take a breath – Ring has collected a few ideas so that you can give them what they want this Christmas, and they can use them well into 2018.

RIL80 – Extendable LED Lamp

Everybody has a DIY enthusiast in their life. Whether they enjoy fixing up cars or want to take their plumbing problems into their own hands, a trusty portable light is the ideal tool. The RIL80 Extendable LED Lamp also has a torch that can be angled up to 90° and placed onto any magnetic base for hands-free use.

RMS20 – 3 Way Smart USB

If you know someone who loves to go on road trips with friends, or would like to keep the kids occupied in the back of the car, Ring’s 3 Way Smart USB is an ideal gift. With three sockets, no one needs to be fighting over a charger, and the Smart Universal Fast Charging Technology charges any mobile devices at an optimal rate.

RAC630 – 12V Digital Tyre Inflator with LED Light

Whether a cycling enthusiast, a parent whose kids love to play sports outside, or someone that drives around frequently with soon-to-be flat tyres, a digital air compressor could be the perfect gift. Inflating a tyre to 35psi in under three minutes, this 12V Automatic Digital Tyre Inflator with LED Light can save anyone a tonne of time if they want to get back on the road quickly, or get their kids back out and playing.

RSC612 – Smart Charger

All vehicles have batteries that need some care. Whether it’s a motorhome, a 4×4, or a classic car, you can’t go wrong with a Smart Changer. For comprehensive battery care, whatever the vehicle, the RSC612 Smart Charger is a motoring essential. This one device will diagnose, recondition, service and charge vehicle batteries to makes them last longer, work better and be more reliable. It can be used on lead acid, gel, EFB, AGM and calcium batteries on vehicles up to 5.0L in size, including those with STOP/START technology.

 

RBGDC200 – Full HD 2.0” Dash Camera

If you have a loved one who has just passed their test, a dash camera could capture all of their first driving moments, as well as help keep them safe. The RBGDC200 Full HD 2.0” Dash Camera automatically switches on when you start the engine – so you never miss a thing – and turns off once you park up – meaning no risk of it draining your battery.

Winter Car Essentials

Winter Car Essentials

The unstable weather conditions around this time of year consistently cause problems for drivers. Whether your car is prone to be breakdowns or the roads where you live are hazardous in the snow, be prepared for anything this winter with Ring’s Winter Car Essentials.

Starting your car

A surprise snow storm and drop in temperatures is not an unlikely occurrence, especially with the variable weather here in the UK. Keep de-icer and ice scraper in your car and at home so you’re always prepared if the moment arises. Avoid using hot water to defrost your car as this could cause any chips or scratches on your windscreen to turn into cracks.

Make sure your wiper blades are up to scratch – it’s recommended that you change them every twelve months so that they keep your windscreen clear and your view unobstructed.

Keeping in contact

A completely charged phone is always a good idea when travelling – whether you’ve broken down or are lost, a phone may end up being your saviour. Don’t be one of those people that forgets to charge their phone before a long snowy journey, and get yourself a multi-socket and phone charger that will always be in your car.

Dealing with road hazards

When ice and snow can cover up much of the road small, sharp items, such as glass, can be hidden and cause punctures to tyres. With an Emergency Tyre Kit already in the car, you will be able to get yourself home without any need for tools or wheel changes, keeping you on the roadand moving until you can get your tyre changed.

Accidents are more likely in winter, and a dash camera may help to reduce the time taken to settle an insurance claim after an incident on the roads this winter. One with a GPS tracker will help to pin point where an accident takes place and give further information to insurance providers.

Restarting your car

It’s always a good idea to carry Jump Leads in your car in case of an emergency. In the summer months, waiting for a breakdown service may be fine, but in the cold, blustery weather, jump starting your car and setting off quickly is definitely more ideal.

If you do a lot of travelling by yourself, investing in a Lithium Jumpstarter is a great move. Small enough to fit in your glove box, and with enough power to jumpstart a 2.0L engine, you’ll be back on the road in no time.

 

 

Driving at this time of year can feel a bit nerve-wracking, but having these winter driving essentials at hand will give you peace of mind. Keep safe this winter, and happy driving!

Get your tyres into shape

Spring is finally here, and for many of us, it’s time to get back out on the road. Whether you’re travelling to see friends and family, seeing the countryside or getting out your classic car, it’s vital that you make sure your tyres are in good shape – and road legal.

Tyre care matters
Your tyres are the only part of the vehicle that has contact with the road – so keeping them well maintained is essential. It will make vehicle handling easier, and allow for greater fuel efficiency, as well as cutting down wear and tear – saving you money at the pumps and in maintenance costs. Poorly-maintained tyres could also mean a failed MOT – according to the DVSA, around 10% of all MOT failures are down to poor tyre maintenance.

As well as all this, there are regulations for tyres that you must meet – failure to meet these requirements could lead to a fine or penalty points.

Tyre tread
These are the legal requirements for tyre treads – if your tyres don’t meet these measurements, they are not road legal and need to be replaced.

  • Passenger vehicles for up to 8 seated passengers, good vehicles up to 3,500kg max weight and light trailers up to 3,500kg max weight must have 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • Vehicles larger than 3,500kg or eight seated passengers and motorbikes over 50cc must have 1mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • On mopeds and motorbikes under 50cc, the tread pattern must be visible.

Why is it important? The tyre tread grooves are important for driving in wet weather – something we’re all too familiar with in Britain. The grooves help remove water from the contact area between the tyre and road, allowing you to brake, steer and accelerate properly. Whilst meeting the legal minimum tread depths will stop you from getting in trouble with the law, tests show that when the tread drops below 3mm, it significantly affects the stopping distance when braking.

How to check: a tyre tread gauge is a simple piece of kit, small enough to keep in the glovebox. You can get standalone depth gauges or ones that are integrated with a pressure gauge as well. The RTG2 Tyre and Depth Gauge is a standard set, with analogue kit. Or for an integrated option, look at the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre and Tread Depth Gauge. Just insert the gauge into the tread to take a reading. You need to check the tyre tread regularly.

Tyre pressure

There aren’t any legal requirements for tyre pressure, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Well-inflated tyres will help improve fuel efficiency and make handling easier. Don’t forget – it’s not just under inflated tyres that are dangerous: over-inflated tyres have less contact with the road, which can reduce traction and increase braking distance.

What is my tyre pressure? You can find out what your tyre pressure should be from your vehicle handbook.

How can I check my pressure? The most accurate way to check your tyre pressure is to use a tyre gauge. There are several types – including analogue and digital gauges. Simply insert the gauge into the tyre valve and you’ll have a reading. A simple analogue gauge – like the RTG1 Tyre Gauge – is a good value option to get a reading. However, for a more advanced solution, the RTG7 is a digital gauge that measures tyre pressure and tread depth, and is programmable – so it will store the recommended tyre pressures for your car for future reference.

How can I inflate my tyres at home? We recommend using a tyre inflator to pump up your tyres. These are small, efficient devices that are powered from your in-car 12V socket (cigarette lighter), a mains plug or, in the case of larger models, from the vehicle battery. For regular car tyres, we recommend the Ring RAC610 or RAC660. The RAC610 is a basic inflator with an analogue dial. For a more advanced piece of kit, the RAC660 is a good choice – it inflates a 13″ tyre in under 2 mins with either DC or AC power, has a digital screen, adaptors for bikes, LED light, preset function and case.

Other tyre essentials
If you see anything that looks irregular on your tyre, like lumps, bumps, cuts, tears or anything that looks like it shouldn’t – it’s time to get your tyres looked at. It is also illegal to have different types of tyres fitted to the same axle – don’t mix and match radial and cross-ply tyres. A garage will be able to advise on this.

Check today
Most people wait until they’ve failed their MOT before addressing the health of their tyres. To make sure you’re being safe, don’t wait: have a look at your tyres today.

Want more details? See our full tyre care range. Or see our video on how to inflate a car tyre.

Brit motorists still believe kicking a tyre tests if it’s road-worthy

RAC630-HAND

Many motorists admit they don’t know correct methods of telling if car tyres are safe enough to be used according to a recent poll reported in a national newspaper.

Apparently a third of drivers believe that kicking a car tyre will help to reveal if it is properly inflated.

Nearly a quarter who took part in the poll admitted they didn’t know how to check if a tyre’s tread is legal, despite built-in markers.

Tyres are the only point of contact a vehicle has with the road. It is therefore vitally important for motorists to check their tyres regularly.

It is vital that tyres should be given a thorough inspection at least once a month, to check for any embedded objects as well as tyre depth and pressure.

Maintaining correct tyre pressure has benefits other than safety. Under or over inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly. Under inflated tyres increase the rolling resistance that requires more fuel to maintain the same speed.

Correct tyre pressure also benefits the environment by maintaining optimum fuel efficiency, and reduces CO2 emissions.

Keep tyre pressure at the manufacturer’s recommended level and check you have at least 3mm of tread. The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6mm*, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.

For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3 millimetres.

At 1.6mm in wet weather it takes an extra car length (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres.

To help motorists maintain optimum tyre pressure, Ring Automotive has a range of air compressors. These compact air compressors can easily be stored in the car to check and inflate checks your car tyres as part of your overall car maintenance before a journey. Alternatively, you can use one of Ring’s tyre pressure gauges.

To help you check your tread depth Ring’s range of tyre pressure gauges includes tyre tread depth gauges, ensuring you never exceed the minimum limit of 1.6mm.