Tyres are the only part of your vehicle that’s in constant contact with the road, so the condition of your tyres is vital to yours and other road users safety. If you drive with tyres that are dangerous because they are worn, bald or do not meet the legal tread depth standards, your insurance could be invalid. Plus you could be liable to a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 points on your licence… per tyre!
A new tyre has about 8mm of tread depth when fitted. For the protection of the driver, passengers and other road users you can legally drive them until they have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm required by law. On wet roads in particular, a worn tread pattern limits the amount of force a tyre can transmit to the road surface. If you change your tyres when the tread gets low, you’ll have better grip on the roads and less stopping distance.
EXAMPLE: The braking distance for a tyre with a tread depth of 1.6mm is almost twice as long as for a new tyre with 8mm.
The easiest way to check your tyre tread is to look for tread wear indicators, these are small horizontal bars, about 5mm wide and run across the tread between the tyre’s grooves. Other methods include tyre guages which are commercially available or you can visit us at the TyreShop and we will happily check your tread depth. Dangers of driving with low tread depth include:
Air pressure is a vital ingredient in the performance of a tyre. As the tyres task is to carry the load of the vehicle, it is vitally important that the correct air pressure is maintained. Tyres do not have to appear flat to be under inflated, so check the pressures at least once every couple of weeks.
Whilst under inflation will cause rapid and irregular tread wear, over inflation will damage the tyre structure, both leading to possible tyre failure. For the best results maintain the tyre pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. You can find these details either inside the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual.
Why rotate your tyres? Rotating your tyres is recommended periodically at around 10,000 miles intervals to help prevent uneven tyre wear and prolong the lifespan of your tyres.
Some tyres are position specific and should not be rotated. While vehicles fitted with different tyre sizes front and rear, may only be rotated left to right. The tyre may have to be dismounted for rotation purposes if it is directional. For more details about tyre rotation specific to your vehicle, speak to our friendly tyre team.