Tyre Maintenance – Your Complete Guide
Whether you’re looking to save money or increase the safety of your vehicle, tyre maintenance is extremely important. Carrying out regular maintenance at best, you will avoid unexpected costs of having to replace your tyres and at worst you will avoid hefty penalty charges. Driving with dangerous or defective tyres puts you at risk of a fine of £2,500 per tyre and 3 points per tyre up to a maximum of a £10,000 fine and 12 points on your license.
As your tyres are the only thing separating you from the road, keeping on top of maintaining them is really important in keeping you safe on the road and this is why the penalties are so high in terms of driving with dangerous or defective tyres. There’s a variety of checks that are an effective way to keep your tyres safe as well as letting you know that your tyres are in good condition. So read on and take a look at our complete guide in maintaining your tyres. If you are ever unsure about the condition of your tyres, then it is highly recommended to visit a tyre garage.
I Am Unsure About My Tyres – What Should I Do?
As we will mention with all of the following tyre maintenance tips, if you are unsure about the condition of your tyres or feel that you are not confident enough to carry out a check then it’s of the utmost importance to have your tyres looked at by a professional garage. We offer FREE tyre checks in which we will check your tyres for pressure, wear and damage. If you are unsure about the condition of your tyres then we highly recommend that you visit our garage and arrange for a free check. This will give you peace of mind whilst on the road and we will be able to offer you a new set of tyres should you require this.
Initial Tyre Checks
The initial tyre checks that you can carry out are a simple visual inspection of your tyres. This is to make sure that your tyres are in good condition and are not vulnerable to damage / are safe on the road. For your initial checks, you should carry out a visual inspection of your tyres for the following:
- Visible damage such as cuts or punctures.
- Check for foreign objects such as embedded glass or nails.
- Check the tread depth isn’t worn below 1.6mm (legal) / 3mm (recommended replacement)
- Visual inspection of the tyre walls.
- Checking the tyres for bulges.
After a visual inspection, check the tyre pressure of your tyres. You can buy a handheld pressure gauge which can give you an indication of the current pressure of your tyres. The air points in petrol stations also give you an indicator of current tyre pressure and allows you to fill your tyres up to a certain level. The recommended manufacturer tyre pressure is highly recommended and this will often also inform you of the recommended pressure levels for varying capacities of luggage and people on-board. This can often be found in your manual, printed on the inside of the driver door or on the petrol cap.
What Do I Do If I Think Something is Wrong With My Tyre Pressure?
If you think that there is something wrong with your tyre pressure such as puncture or you are experiencing a sudden loss of pressure then you can take a couple of tests to benchmark the loss of pressure. If you are experiencing a sudden loss of pressure then you may be suffering from a puncture or issue with your tyre(s). This will therefore mean that you will need to seek a repair or replacement.
Checking the Tread Depth of Your Tyres
The tread depth of your tyres is the next check which you will need to take a look at if your tyre pressure is correct. Tread wear indicators are spaced evenly across the main grooves within the tyre tread and these can be used as an indicator of when it’s time to replace your tyres. You may have also heard of the ‘20p test’ which is a test that you can use to quickly test the tread depth of your tyres. If you insert a 20 pence piece into the main grooves of your tyre then if it is obscured then your tyres are of legal tread depth. If the outer band of the coin is visible then you may have an illegal tread depth and will need to visit a garage immediately to arrange for a replacement. It’s recommended to replace your tyres when they go below 3mm tread depth.
Repair or Replace My Tyres?
You may have heard horror stories in which people use second hand tyres for their vehicles and they are highly dangerous – having not been correctly repaired or damage has been hidden (which is illegal.) These are highly dangerous so it’s highly recommended to avoid these tyres when looking for a replacement. Replacing your tyres with brand new tyres is highly recommended as you will have the peace of mind that your tyres are in great condition. It is simply not worth putting your life and others potentially at risk for a cheap second hand option.
In some circumstances, you may be able to arrange for your tyres to be repaired if minor damage has been sustained. Your tyres may be at risk however from further damage so choosing a new set of tyres ensures that your new tyres are ready for the road.
Should I Replace 1 or 2 Tyres When You Need a Replacement?
It’s highly recommended to replace tyres in pairs on the same axle as you will then know the condition of both tyres. If one of the tyres is more worn than the other then you may be unaware of when the next tyre will be worn or have an issue. You will have the peace of mind knowing that both tyres are wearing at the same time. Some even opt to replace all tyres when one tyre is below the minimum tread depth or at the recommended 3mm for replacement. You will also ensure that your wheels are balanced when both are replaced as they will be of the same tread depth.
Dangers of Not Checking Your Tyres
Your tyres are extremely important and there are several dangers associated with not carrying out regular checks. You are at risk of skidding in wet environments and may even be at risk to blowouts if your tyres are of low pressure or there is damage to the tyre or tyre wall. A blowout at high speeds such as on the motorway could potentially lead to a serious or deadly accident so get your tyres replaced as soon as possible if you notice any of these issues!
Take Charge of Your Tyre Maintenance Today
You are now fully equipped with a number of ways in which you can check that your tyres are safe on the road. As discussed, if you are ever unsure it’s always recommended to arrange for a FREE check with Autocentres. We have many years of experience operating as a car garage and we can replace your existing tyres should you need this. We can use our extensive knowledge of tyres to recommend replacements as well as offer you advice on how to check your tyres in the interim of arranging for a replacement. If you are looking to find out more information on tyres or want to arrange for tyre replacement then get in contact with our team today.
Alexander works for Autocentres and specialises in marketing & market-trend analysis.