Regular tyre checks greatly reduce the risks of an incident or accident while on the roads but an estimated one-in-five have never checked the tread or condition of their tyres, a shocking number which rises to one-in-three among younger inexperienced drivers. However, it's not all about keeping safe, checking and maintaining tyres also has the added benefit of reducing the cost of driving as underinflated tyres will wear quicker and cause the vehicle to use more fuel due to extra drag.
This year's campaign by TyreSafe is asking the question - What’s Stopping You? - It not only reminds drivers of the benefits and importance of tyre checks but also carries the more literal meaning of tyres being the only items that connect a car to the road, and if the tyres are not fit for purpose, they will not stop you effectively as they should - which as scary as it sounds, can be the difference between life and death.
Find out how you can check your tyres below and if needed get them changed by our friendly servicing team
To help stay safe on the road your car needs to have the correct tyre pressure. If the tyres are under or over inflated then handling and grip will worsen, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable car behaviour as well as resulting in uneven wear on the tyre surface which can mean they need replacing sooner than expected - costing you more money!
Tyres with not enough air are more likely to suffer from a sudden, rapid deflation and will suffer premature wear on the outside edges of the tyre. The wheel rim, alloys and tyre will be more susceptible to impact damage. Over-inflation results in less comfortable firm ride, a reduced area of contact with the road giving less grip and more wear on the centre of the tyre.
You can find the correct pressure for your car's tyres either on the inside of the drivers door sill, vehicles manual or online. To top up the air simply visit your nearest petrol station/services and use an air pressure pump set to the correct psi.
Tyres are always in contact with the road and as such they suffer with a lot of wear and tear, even from normal driving conditions. The more miles you do per day the greater the need to regularly check the tyres health, that's why we recommend doing a visual check at least once a week.
So how do I check them?
Tyres are manufactured without any bumps or swellings in so as soon as any of these show up its time to get it inspected by a professional. Tyres should be examined weekly, removing stones or other objects that are stuck in the tread. Be sure to get down the the level of the tyre to be able to examine it properly and see all around the surface. If you spot any nails or objects that have actually pierced the tyre wall do not take them out as this could then make the tyre lose pressure rapidly. If you have any concerns at all the best thing to do is visit your local cars2 branch where our experts will give you all the expert advice needed.
Tyres are designed to give good grip even on wet roads but this ability generally decreases as the tread level of a tyre decreases, or as the depth of water increases. One of the best preventions as well as keeping tyres in tip top condition is to actually adjust your speed to the conditions and slow down in wet weather.
In the UK the legal minimum tread depth for cars is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters across the tread and around its entire outer circumference. On wet roads the tread helps remove water from the contact patch of the tyre allowing the car to still steer, brake and accelerate normally. Without sufficient tread the tyres may not be able to perform properly and all of these functions are reduced, which can lead to some very dangerous situations!
Luckily, there's an easy check that takes seconds to carry out... The 20p Test!
Simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by one of our cars2 technicians.