Although I do tend to leave the job to Graham, I am pretty good at making sure the cars I have owned (five in twelve years of driving) are safe and roadworthy. It’s even more important now that it carries the most precious cargo of all – my kids.
One thing that was drummed into me by my driving instructor and by my dad was the importance of tyre safety. It’s such a simple thing to check and keep an eye on, but can be so dangerous if ignored. They are the only link between the road and your car, and at any one point, only a small part of that tyre actually touches the road, making it imperative that they are in tip-top condition at all times. Here are a few things to look out for:
Tyre Tread Depth
The legal tyre tread depth for car tyres is 1.6mm across 75% of the tyre. This is the minimum. The deeper tread depth you have, the more grip you will have when driving. The best way of checking is with a tyre tread depth gauge, but if you don’t have one to hand, slot a 20p piece between of the main grooves of the tyre. If you can see the outer ring of the coin, you probably don’t have the minimum tread depth, and you need to get them checked.
This needs to be checked every couple of weeks and before any long journeys. It reduces premature wearing of your tyres and reduces the risk of you losing control of your vehicle. It should be checked when tyres are cold (around two hours after using the car). You can find the correct pressure in your car’s user manual and on a label on or inside the door frame of the car.
Sometimes, wheels become misaligned, which makes the car harder to handle and compromises safety. If your tyres have hit any solid objects such as bollards, kerbs or potholes, or they are wearing unevenly, it is probably best to get them checked.
Don’t leave them until they are illegal (each tyre carries a £2500 fine and 3 points on your license!) or even worse, until they are unsafe to get them checked out. Check them regularly, and if you’re not sure, ask a specialist, such as tyreplus.co.uk. Better to be safe than sorry!
How often do you check your tyres?