The condition of your car’s tyres is critical to your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians. Your car is only in contact with the road surface through a very small area when compared to the size of the car itself. In fact, each tyre has a contact area approximately the size of your hand. As small as it is, this area is crucial in terms of the control you have over your vehicle, but it’s easily overlooked or neglected.
Some of the most important checks are also the easiest to accomplish. Tyre pressures, tread depth and evenness of wear should be tested on a regular basis, and fortunately this can be done quite easily by the average motorist. Your Owner’s Handbook should set out the recommended tyre pressures (which may be different between front and rear tyres), and you can check these at most petrol stations. If your car is equipped with a spare, do remember periodically to check its pressure.
An easy way to check tread depth is to insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves on the tyre. If, once the coin has been placed, you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are safely within the legal limit. If you can see the band, however, the tread depth is questionable and you should consult a specialist like Protyre as soon as possible to determine whether your tyres need replacing.
It’s equally vital that you inspect the tyre side walls for signs of wear, cracks or bulges, all of which can be very dangerous. While carrying out these checks essentially just involves visually inspecting your tyres, you might not feel very confident about your ability to recognise defects. If so, we at Protyre offer a tyre check free of charge. Simply book online and we will advise you of any issues (including areas which may be more difficult for you to see) and correct them before they escalate. For example, uneven wear might conceivably be caused by badly aligned wheels or suspension, which will continue to cause problems and incur further expense even if you have the tyres replaced.
As highlighted above, tyres are absolutely central to the level of control you have over your vehicle, and you risk compromising your and other people’s safety by using illegal tyres.