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‘I’m a mechanic – four tyre checks all drivers must do on second-hand used cars’

Leading mechanic Scotty Kilmer has revealed four simple tyre checks all car owners should do regularly from shock absorber to suspension tests. 

Taking time out to analyse components for damage can be vital to vehicle maintenance and preventing long-term damage.

It’s especially important when it comes to second-hand petrol and diesel cars with parts more likely to have worn out over years on the road. 

Scotty listed four of the most important inspections with tyre pressures also highlighted as a vital reading. 

The American mechanic made the revelation in his latest YouTube video where he shares regular tips for road users.

Shock absorbers

Speaking on YouTube, Scotty said: “Go to each corner of the car and push it up and down. It shouldn’t bounce much as you see this hardly bounces at all. Both front sides are pretty stiff and so are the back ones.”

He added: “You can also oil off the wheels and if you can see the rod is all covered in oil dripping down you know the seals are gone and you need new shocks and struts.”

Scotty warned this was vital as shock absorbers absorb a lot of the impact on the road. If absorbers run out the tyres take more of a battering which will wear them out more. 

Meanwhile, shock absorbers also hold the tyre in place meaning that any issues could see the rubber bounce around.

Check suspension

Motorists can check whether their suspension is damaged by undertaking a physical examination on their driveway. 

Scotty explained: “Jack the car up until the wheel comes off the ground. Then once it’s off the ground grab it at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock and pull on the tyre. 

“It shouldn’t have any play, if it has play and goes back and forth often that’s a worn tyre rod. You have to fix that because if the tyre rod is worn the tyre is going to wiggle back and forth too much and it’s going to wear out early. 

“Then check it at six o’clock and 12 o’clock and see if it has got any play there. If it’s got play then odds are your ball joints worn.”

Scotty stressed this check should be done on all four corners of a vehicle to be on the safe side.

Tyre pressure 

Regularly testing tyre pressures may seem trivial but they can be one of the most important parts of looking after your rubber. 

Scotty added: “If you look at your door there is always a suggestion. The best thing is kind of in between what they say. If they say 32 to 35 psi. 32 to 33 is perfectly fine.”

“You don’t want to go by the maximum tyre pressure allowed on the tyre because the more pressure you put in the tyre the middle it will stick out slightly and the middle will wear out. Conversely, if you have low pressure then the edges will stick out more and the middle it’ll sit in and it will wear out the edges.”

Drive them 

Finally, Scotty urged owners to use their vehicles as much as possible to prevent rubber from cracking.

He said: “If you don’t use tyres they sit and they dry rot. If you’ve got older tyres, say they are five, six, seven years or older and you see a bunch of cracks on them, it’s time for new tyres they are not safe any more.”


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