Tyre Information - Checking Your Tyres
TYRE SAFETY TIPS
Do you remember the last time that you checked the pressure of your tyres?
People often don’t realise the dangers of driving with underinflated tyres. Driving without checking the pressures can really affect the handling of the vehicle and the safety of you and your passengers.
Not only this; driving with over or underinflated tyres can cause a shorter tyre life, meaning that you will have to purchase tyres more frequently, along with also causing a higher petrol consumption. So not only does it affect your safety but it is important for economy reasons too.
Checking tyre pressures is an easy and quick process, all you need is a pressure gauge (modern foot pumps are equipped with these), but if you don’t have one, most petrol stations and all Central Tyre Centres do, so pop down to your local Centre where one of our experts will help you to check your tyre pressures.
Please look to check ALL 5 tyres, including your spare! To get information on the correct tyre pressures for your vehicle, refer to the manufactures recommendations, which can be found in the car owner’s handbook.
Tyre tread depth should be checked on a regular basis, not just for the legal restrictions but for your own safety too.
If your tread depth does not meet the minimum requirement of 1.6mm you can actually receive a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre too. So not only is it vital for your safety but to save yourself a large fine and penalty points too!
Having a tread depth lower than the minimum requirement can cause huge safety issues, as once the tyre is worn down it begins to loose gripping performance, which can cause you braking problems, especially in wet weather.
The simplest and fastest way to check your tyres is to come into one of our very own Central Tyre Centres and get our expert technicians to take a look. They will report back to you
Tip: You can check your tyre tread depth with a 20 pence piece? Simply place the coin into the main grooves of the tyre and if the outer rim is covered by the tread walls there is still sufficient tread to be safe and legal. If the outer rim is visible the tyre is close to the legal limit and should be checked by a specialist.
As often as possible you should check your tyres for wear- we usually recommend around once a month or before a lengthy journey.
Things that you should look out for:
- Tread depth- as above 1.6m across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire circumference.
- Uneven tread wear – you can spot this by running your hand around the surface of the tyre which should feel smooth. If not we would suggest popping into your local STS Centre to get them to take a look as there could be problems with incorrect inflation or wheel alignment which has cause uneven wear.
Top Tip: You can prolong the life of your tyres by regularly rotating them. Our recommendation would be to rotate them around every 10,000 miles driven. Depending on whether your car is a front or rear wheel drive the tyre wear will differ. Pop down to your local Central Tyre Centre, where they can help to recommend the best way to rotate your tyres.
You should always check your tyres for visible bulges or nails/screws, which can sometimes become buried within the tyre. It is important to regularly check this, as it can lead to a sudden blow out, which can become very dangerous to yourself as well as other road users- Hence why it is so important to regularly check.
TYRES AND THE LAW
Tyres can vary a huge amount in size, range, make and model. However there are certain things that really are important that stay the same when it comes to your tyres and your safety on the road.
The UK Law is very clear:
- The minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm – this is measured across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire circumference.
- Tyre pressures must be maintained at the manufacturer’s specification – these can be found in the vehicles hand book and in many cars, on the inside of the driver’s side door frame.
- Tyre condition – tyres should be free from cuts, heavy side wall damage, lumps or bulges and foreign objects such as nails.