As any good Mercedes owner knows; maintenance is everything. Whether it’s giving your E-Class a thorough clean once a month, or checking the engine on your SLK to make sure it’s ticking over, there are a range of different checks to be made to make sure that your car is always in working order. Without upkeep, you risk damaging the chassis or even worse, the engine itself.
One of the most important checks to make on a regular basis is on the tyres of your prize Mercedes-Benz. Given that the entire vehicle is supported by the tyres (which are also the only point of contact with roads full of debris and potholes) it’s worth checking at least once a month to find out whether they’re still in good condition.
Below we’ve gone through the various checks that are vital to keeping your vehicle in great condition, ensuring that it is not only safe to drive, but a pleasure too.
You will need a pressure gauge or a foot pump that will display the correct pressure so you can adjust accordingly. The correct pressure for your specific tyres will depend on the make and model of your Mercedes-Benz, but more often than not can be found on a sticker located on the inside of the car near the door, or in the owner’s manual.
It’s very important to frequently check your tyre pressure, as overinflation or underinflation can lead to serious accidents whilst driving:
Over-inflation – can cause increased wear of the centre of the tyre and decrease the surface-area of tyre touching the road, which can possibly lead to a loss of traction
Under-inflation – can cause increased wear of the outer edge of your tyre and increase the surface-area of tyre touching the road, which may lead to heavier steering
Either of these options will lead to your tyres wearing out a lot quicker than usual, meaning they will need to be replaced more regularly. In addition, when your tyres are under-inflated they have to work even harder to move on the road and will use up far more fuel whilst driving. This means that as well as wearing out quicker, you will also find yourself topping up your fuel a lot more often than usual.
As a result of tyres being well-used, your treads can become worn down – having an immediate impact on your ability to drive effectively. Your treads not only help your car grip the road, but also shift water out of the way when driving in wet or flooded conditions. One tyre alone should be able to displace a gallon of water per second in heavy rain, meaning that your Mercedes doesn’t slip or slide on wet roads. Without any treads however, you can easily lose control of your car or aquaplane if it is particularly wet. Rather than risk an accident on the road, it’s worth checking your tread to see if it is still safe to drive on following these simple measures:
The 20 pence test – Check your tyre treads by fitting a 20p in between the grooves. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin it means your tyres are still safe to drive on
1.6mm depth – technically, the tread should be at least 1.6mm for them to be road legal. Any less than this mean they are potentially unsafe and also illegal
If you are caught with unsafe tyres, the penalty can be a £2,500 fine and three points per tyre. That means if you have four worn tyres you are running the risk of a £10,000 fine and losing your licence
Depending on the type of road surfaces you’re used to driving your Mercedes-Benz on, you may be more susceptible to picking up damage to your tyres from debris (such as sharp pieces of glass or metal). Check your tyres frequently for any damage that might lead to a slow puncture or even worse, a blowout:
Deep cuts – if a piece of debris has made a deep cut into your tyre it could potentially cause a puncture, ultimately leading to it needing a quick replacement
Sidewall cracks – this tends to happen in older tyres or vehicles that have done a lot of miles, the cracks are simply a result of the oils and chemicals in the rubber evaporating or breaking down due to age
Bulges or Blisters – if your tyre sidewall has come into contact with a hard surface such as a kerb or deep pothole it can weaken that area of the tyre. The air pressure in the tyre then forms a small bulge that can be seen on the surface and can be damaging.
It is always worth getting your tyres checked if you feel they have been damaged. Amongst other issues, damage to your tyres can also lead to unbalanced wheels, most noticeable when your vehicle is vibrating or juddering through the chassis or steering wheel. This can cause even further damage to the axle and brakes.
A great way to ensure you don’t have damaged or worn tyres is by cleaning them frequently. Removing excess dirt and debris can not only make sure the tyres aren’t damaged, but also make sure that the tread is above legal limits. This process will help identify tyres that may need replacing and also prolong the lifespan of your tyres in the first place.
Once you have followed all the steps above you should be well on your way to having safe and reliable tyres that won’t let you down on the road. For any further advice regarding Mercedes-Benz parts and servicing at Dronsfields, feel free to get in touch with our team.