Checking the Wear of your Tyres

Car tyres are a vital part of the vehicle as they are the only point of contact with the road surface, and their condition can affect the way in which your car handles.

Therefore, it is imperative that you keep a close eye on your tyres, regularly checking their condition and ensuring they are road-safe. If you don’t, you could be endangering yourself and passengers due to worn tyres having reduced breaking ability and steering control.

How to Check Tyre Wear

Apart from the obvious safety dangers having worn tyres can bring, the risk of a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points for a worn tyre means checking them is crucially important. Here is how to check your tyre wear;

Tyre Balancing and Wheel Alignment– if your tyre is unbalanced you may feel vibrations whist driving the vehicle. This will also cause uneven wear to the tyres putting more pressure on one area. Visit our Alignment Informationpage to book a test with us.

Exterior Check – Check the exterior of your tyres for any damage before driving any further. Remove any stones and nails that may also be lodged in the tyres tread.

Tread Depth– Modern tyres have a tread wear indicator (such as Falken, Pirelli, Michelin and Dunlop) which, when exposed, indicate a new tyre is needed. If your tyre doesn’t have an indicator, take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooved on the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit (1.6mm). But, if the coin is still visible, your tyres require professional inspection.

Tyre Pressure– You must keep your tyres inflated to the recommended pressure by the manufacturer. To check pressure regularly we recommend Tyresure– the tyre pressure monitoring system which we stock here at Wheel Power. The system will alert the driver as soon as any abnormalities appear in pressure or temperature.

How Quickly Do Tyres Wear?

You’d hope to get a minimum of 20,000 miles out of front tyres and 40,000 miles out of rear tyres, so we recommend replacing front tyres with the rear tyres once they are worn.

Tyres degrade naturally through exposure to heat, sunlight and rain, meaning you should check for signs of cracking on the sidewalls of your tyres, especially If they are over 5 years old.

Do Different Types of Tyres Wear Differently?

There a 2 main types of tyres; summer tyres and winter tyres. The distinct difference between them is the temperatures they’re designed for – winter tyres perform best in temperatures below 7 degrees, summer tyres perform best in temperatures above 7 degrees.

But how quickly do they wear? Summer tyres are used most commonly across the UK as they have a rigid rubber casing and tend to wear after about 5 years. Winter tyres are designed to last two to three winter seasons, but we recommend you change them back to summer tyres after the winter months. This is because in summer it’s typically too warm, so winter tyres heat up too fast which significantly impacts their rate of wear. Therefore, knowing how to check tyre wear is key when deciding when to change your tyres.

Tyre Law

Because your tyres play such a vital role, there are some very important and specific legal requirements regarding their condition and maintenance.

Tyres must be ‘fit for purpose’ and be free from any defects that may damage the road or endanger any person. They must be correctly inflated to both the vehicle manufacturer’s and the tyre manufacture’s recommended pressure.

‘Fit for purpose’ means that a tyre must;

  • A) Be compatible with the types of tyres fitted to other wheels
  • B) Have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm
  • C) Not have any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or structure failure
  • D) Not have a cut or tear in excess of 25mm or 10% of the sectional width of the tyre, whichever is larger, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord
  • E) Not have any part of the ply or cord exposed

If you have any of these faults, or if you have different sizes of tyres on the same axel, you can expect a MOT failure.

Wheel Power Alignment

Here at Wheel Power, we’re dedicated to providing a quality service and ensuring you get the most out of your tyres. Our hunter machines are able to measure all angles liable to affect your vehicle’s wheel alignment, making your vehicle road-safe and fit for purpose. In addition, we stock a wide range of alloy wheels as well as offering a repair service to all customers in South and East London.

It only takes a minor wheel misalignment to cause serious problems, so don’t take the risk. To arrange a visit, please feel free to give us a call on 020 86 999591.