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Esso, Kwik Fit and Michelin Join Forces to Combat Underinflated Tyres on UK Roads

Esso has teamed up with Kwik Fit and Michelin to combat underinflated tyres across the UK. This October, for Tyre Safety month, the three companies have joined forces to raise awareness of the importance of correctly inflated tyres and help drivers increase their fuel efficiency by offering free tyre checks at 70 Esso sites across the country.

This comes as new research reveals that 28% of drivers surveyed only check their tyre pressure when the warning light comes up on the dashboard, and 1 in 10 drivers surveyed do not have a tyre pressure warning light in their car2. To help drivers not only save on fuel, but also ensure they are safe on the roads, Esso, together with Kwik Fit and Michelin, are travelling the country to provide all drivers with free tyre checks, including an air top up if required.

Running until Friday 28th October, the nationwide events aim to encourage UK drivers to learn how to check their tyre pressure and better understand the importance of correctly inflated tyres for both safety and fuel efficiency. According to TyreSafe, a UK charity promoting tyre safety, cars tend to burn on average 3% more fuel when tyre pressure is 6 PSI below the recommended tyre inflation pressure1.  Furthermore, for every 10% a tyre is underinflated, its wear can increase by about 10% leading to even lower fuel efficiency and unsafe driving3.

Recent research commissioned by Esso also found that only half (52%) of drivers surveyed check their car’s tyre pressure as soon as the warning light comes on, one reason being that 1 in 5 don’t feel confident using a tyre pump either at a service station or at home2.

Patrick Rutherford, Esso UK Retail Sales Manager, commented, “We’re delighted to be working with Kwik Fit and Michelin on our joint mission to combat underinflated tyres on UK roads. Both brands are experts in the field and together we’re offering help to UK drivers on ways they can be more fuel efficient and to explain the impact underinflated tyres can have on fuel consumption as well as road safety.”

Esso customers can also visit any Kwik Fit garage nationwide to receive a free ‘Fuel Saver Car Check2. Ideal for drivers who aren’t confident to inflate their tyres themselves, the service allows Esso customers to have their vehicle checked by a qualified Kwik Fit technician, who will examine tyre condition and, if needed, provide tyre inflation and a Mobil Oil top up4.

To visit your nearest Esso pop-up site, visit: https://www.esso.co.uk/en-gb/tyrepressure.

For anyone not able to make it to one of the events, Esso, together with Kwik Fit and Michelin have shared 10 tips on car and tyre maintenance5.

  1. Regular tyre pressure checks

You should check your tyre pressure at least once every month. To find out the optimum tyre pressure for your vehicle, check your car’s PSI number (this is the number that your tyres should be inflated to). You can find your car’s PSI number in your car manual, the inside of your fuel cap, or on the inside of the driver’s side door.

  1. Tread-depth and the ‘20p test trick’

Use a tread depth gauge to inspect your tyre’s tread depth frequently. In the UK, the law states that each tyre on a vehicle must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Alternatively, use the ‘20p test’ to check the tread depth of your tyre. Place a 20p coin into the tyre groove and see if the outer band is still visible or not. If it is, it is likely that your tyre is below the legal limit and unsafe.

  1. Rotate tyres approximately every 5,000  to 7,000 miles

Tyre rotation (switching your front tyres to the back, and vice versa) ensures that all tyres wear evenly, which helps extend tyre life and improve overall fuel efficiency and performance. If you are not confident changing tyres, a professional at a garage can easily help.

  1. Balance your wheels

Make sure your wheels are balanced when a new tyre is fitted or if you accidentally hit a kerb. Additionally, if you notice vibrations in the steering wheel, the floor, the dashboard, or the seats whilst driving, it may be a sign that your wheels are unbalanced.

  1. Check tyre valves regularly for damage

This tyre check is often forgotten and wear on the valve seal or damaged screw threads may affect your tyres when travelling at speed. The tyre valve stem is generally located inside the car wheel.

  1. Replace tyres every 10 years

Even if you may not use your car that often, it is recommended you replace your tyres even if they appear visually undamaged. To check your tyre’s manufacturing date, simply locate the DOT code on the sidewall, the last four numbers will tell you in what week of what year your tyres were manufactured. 

  1. Good driving habits go a long way

Maintain good driving habits to keep your tyres as healthy as possible. Driving within the speed limit, responsible acceleration and braking and avoiding uneven road surfaces and potholes will all help lengthen the life of your tyres (and make your fuel go further too).

  1. Remove unnecessary weight

Don’t overload your car. A vehicle carrying too much weight can cause excessive wear on tyres, which could result in a tyre blow out. Check your tyre labels for the tyre load index and take care not to exceed the recommended weight.

  1. Ensure your oil levels are correct

Your oil level should be between the minimum and maximum mark on your car’s dipstick. If your oil level is low, you risk causing damage to the engine, which can lead to a break-down. The same goes for if there’s too much oil as well.

  1. Better understand your dashboard for optimum car health

Pay attention to your dashboard messages. In most modern cars your dashboard will tell you if your tyre pressure is low and inform you of other potential safety issues. Take the time to get to know what the different icons or messages mean and how you should react to them.

Furthermore, to help raise awareness on the importance of correctly inflated tyres, Rwandan and Belgian racing star, Naomi Schiff has worked with Esso to create video content sharing key information on tyre pressure and further details on the tyre check events. The video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/DwxR_oNyJeQ .

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