Owning a car comes with many responsibilities, one of the most important of which is taking care of your vehicle’s tyres. Checking tyres on a regular basis is the best way of ensuring that they will last for as long as possible and are safe to drive on.
Checking the tread of a tyre can be done quickly and easily by doing the 20p test. Simply place the coin in between the grooves of the tyre – the tread should be above the outer band of the coin around the complete circumference of the tyre. If the band is visible the tyre tread could be below the legal limit and we would advise that you get your tyres looked at by a qualified mechanic.
The current British legal limit for tyres is 1.6mm, which needs to be across at least 75% of the tyre. If your car’s tyres do not meet the legal requirements, you could potentially be fined up to £2,500 per illegal tyre and risk points being added to your driver’s license.
Every individual car journey puts strain on a vehicle’s wheels, causing the tyre pressure to decrease. This can often happen at a faster rate in the warmer months, making it vital to check your car’s tyre pressure on a monthly basis. This can be done at most petrol stations provide tyre pressure facilities that can be used for a small fee, or you can purchase your own pump along with a pressure monitor to test your car’s tyres at home.
The lifespan of a tyre is decreased by 75% when the pressure is below 80% of what is should be, so ensuring that the tyres are the correct measurement is vital. The correct amount of pressure will help to improve the car’s handling as well as make it safer and more economical on the road. You will find all of your car tyre measurements inside your vehicle manual, advising you on the accurate measurement tailored to your car.
When checking tyres, you should also be on the lookout for any other signs of accidental damage. This can include nails or stones stuck in the tyre or dents to the alloy rim of the wheel. If you find any damage, be sure to take your car to an expert mechanic to have your tyre repaired or replaced.