HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHECK MY TYRES?
As a basic rule, make sure you have your tyres checked at least once a month. If you tend to take long car journeys, get into the habit of checking your tyres before you depart. The things to look at are air pressure, tread depth, and the overall condition of the tyres. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre and the compressor and sealant.
HOW DO I CHECK MY TYRES?
Do a quick scan around the outside of the tyre and look for any cuts, lumps, and bulges. Also, ensure nothing has been embedded in your tyre that will need to be removed. When checking or increasing tyre pressure, consider how heavy your load will be and make sure you comply with the manufacture’s recommended standards. Tread depth should also be checked to ensure it meets the Government’s minimum legal standards.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM LEGAL STANDARDS FOR TREAD DEPTH?
For cars and light commercial vehicles, minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tread. This applies around the entire circumference of the tyre. For trucks or other vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, 1mm of tread depth is required in a continual band, across the central ¾ of the tyre. 1mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the tyre also applies to all motorcycles over 50cc and visible tread must be seen on the remaining tyre surface. If you’re riding a motorcycle under 50cc, all grooves of the tread pattern must be clearly visible.
WHAT ARE THE FINES FOR DRIVING WITH ILLEGAL TYRES?
At present, driving with illegal tyres can leave you out of pocket to the tune of £2,500. Each illegal tyre will also accrue three penalty points. This is a small price to pay given the dangers of driving with illegal tyres.
WHAT DOES TYRE TREAD DO?
Tyre tread is all about grip, especially on the wet roads common in the UK. Tyre tread also reduces your risk of aquaplaning and has a significant impact on braking distances. Even the difference between the minimum legal requirement of tyre depth and new tyre depth highlights these differences. For example, a car with a tyre tread depth of 1.6mm, travelling at 50 mph in wet weather, will require two extra car lengths to stop when compared to a car with a tyre tread depth of 3mm.
WHY DO I NEED TO MAINTAIN THE CORRECT TYRE PRESSURE?
Apart from the impacts on fuel consumption, comfort, and the life of your tyres, inflating your tyre pressure to manufacturer recommended standards enhances your safety. Cars with under-inflated or over-inflated tyres handle unpredictably and maintain less grip on the road. Furthermore, under-inflated tyres are at increased risk of blowout and both the wheel and tyre are likely to be more damaged on impact.
SHOULD I DRIVE WITH A FLAT TYRE?
Driving on a flat tyre will cause irreparable damage. Invest in ‘run flat’ tyres and use these as specified.
WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT LABELLING TYRES?
Tyre labelling was introduced in 2012 to measure the tyre’s fuel efficiency, wet braking performance and exterior noise pollution. This is a measure to promote safe and environmentally friendly driving.
DO I HAVE TO REPLACE ALL MY TYRES AT ONCE?
Having four tyres with consistent tread is the best way to maintain safety. If you can’t replace all four, replacing two as a pair is your next best option. Only replace one tyre as a last resort.
To find our more about tyres and fuel economy, click to read our Tyre FAQ or contact us here to find out more about our tyre services.