Tag 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.

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!