Tyre safety: Checking for wear and tear
Checking your tyres are one of the most important checks you can make on your car, examining your tyres for wear and tear along with checking your tyre pressure and alignments are all essential for the long-term performance of your tyres, to improve your fuel mileage as well as ensuring your vehicle’s safety on the road. In the UK, there are laws that state the legal minimum of your tread depth and if not adhered to can lead to fines and points on your licence. This post is aimed at inexperienced drivers currently in the process of purchasing their first car.
There are laws in most western countries specifying the legal requirements to drive in that country, in the UK and Europe the minimum legal tyre tread is 1.6mm across the three-quarters of the tyre.
Checking Tread Depth
There are many ways to check your tyre depth, but the easiest and fastest way to check the depth is with a 20p coin and is called ‘the 20p test’. Simply get a 20p coin and place it into the tread grooves on the tyres. The basic idea is that if the outer band of the coin fits into the gap your tyre is above the legal limit. However, if the band on the coin is visible you should consider taking it in for a professional opinion and change it necessary. You can replace your car tyres online for a more comfortable fitting service.
The pressure of your tyres can greatly impact the performance of your car, it affects your fuel consumption and power steering capabilities. Under-inflated tyres have the potential to overheat, which causes the engine to work harder which causes greater fuel consumption. If over-inflated, you run the risk of greater wear and tear on the tyres as well as reduced contact with the road.
Rotating your tyres periodically will reduce the chance of wearing your tyre down while also promoting even wear and tear and extending their lifespan. Generally speaking, it is recommended that you rotate your tyres at least every six months or every 6000 miles depending on which comes first. To rotate the tyres effectively you want to move the front tyres to the rear on the same side and move the rear tyres to the front but with the sides switched.
Ideally, you should be checking your tyres at least once every two weeks. However, because we live in the UK and we get our fair share of severe weather it might be worth checking it more often than that. It’s worth noting, you should also check your tyre pressure, inflation, tread depth and more before embarking on long journeys.
Driving with Load
Finally, if possible you should try to reduce driving with excessive load, as well as putting additional stress on the car it also wears the tyre down. Drivers should be sure to check the recommended load for their car; this information can be found in the owner’s manual.