Caring for your tyres
Statistics show us that around 14% of vehicles on the road in the UK have unsafe or even illegal tyres. Aside from the three penalty points and £2,500 fine per tyre, this is obviously extremely dangerous for the driver, their passengers, and other road users. So here in this blog we aim to lay out some legal requirements and information to help keep your vehicle connected to the road safely.
The minimum legal tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm around the central three-quarters of each tyre. However, the majority of tyre retailers and manufacturers recommend replacing tyres once they get down to 3mm of tread. The reason for this is because that 1.4mm difference can have a huge impact on the vehicle's stopping distance, performance, and overall control. Checking the tread of your tyres is as easy as placing the edge of a twenty pence piece between the grooves of your tyre. It's outer rim measures exactly 1.6mm, so if it's visible above the groove, your tyre is illegal and needs replacing.
Each vehicle is assigned specific tyres and pressures to ensure efficiency in optimum safety, handling, and fuel economy. Over or under inflation can cause a serious imbalance to the wear of your tyres and can even potentially cause damage to the internal construction. Make sure you know the correct pressure for your vehicle and check the tyres every month to keep them in tip top condition.
Tyres deteriorate with age - even if the vehicle is rarely being used. The compounds found in rubber are affected by heat, sunlight, precipitation etc. and have a maximum lifespan of five years. Deterioration caused by aging has a direct impact on the overall viability of the tyre, causing it to eventually break down and lose its mechanical properties. Always look out for fading of the black rubber, and cracking in the sidewall. Even if none of these signs are present and the pressure and tread look good - replace any tyres that have been in place for 5yrs.