make sure your tyres are super safe

How to Make Sure Your Tyres are Super Safe

Follow these simple steps to stay safe on the road. 

Why You Should Look After Your Car's Tyres

Vehicle tyres act as your guide to the surface of the road, and it's important that your tyres are in top condition and up to the job of keeping you safe, especially when weather conditions begin to worsen. It's recommended that you check your tyres every couple of weeks and before commencing long journeys.

By simply carrying out these checks it can help you reduce your fuel bills and emissions, extend the life of your tyres, as well as ensure that your vehicle can perform properly and safely. It is also a legal requirement that your tyres are to a satisfactory standard.

Driving a vehicle with an illegal or defective tyre could lead to you being fined up to £2,500 and three penalty points on your licence - per tyre. We've created a list of points to keep your tyres in check.

 

Check Your Tyre Tread

1. Turn your wheel so the tyre you are checking is pointing away from the car to have better access for doing the readings.

2. The tread will need checking in several places along the width of the tyre to test for uneven wear.

3. To check, push the gauge softly against the indent of the tyre to get the reading. The depth must be at least 1.6mm across 75% of the tyre and around the circumference to be road legal, anything below that number is illegal and you will need a new tyre fitting, though we recommend that you change your tyres at below 3mm for maximum safety.

4. Repeat this on all tyres, including the spare wheel.

how to check tyre tread depth

Check Your Tyre Pressures

1. Check what your tyre pressure should be, this is usually found in the vehicle handbook and will be measured in either BAR or PSI. Once you have found your pressures, there will be pressures that may differ for front and back tyres, depending on load weights.

2. The best time to check your tyre pressure is when the tyres are cold and preferable if you have driven under two miles in the past few hours.

3. Now it's time to actually check the tyre pressure. Remove your dust cap and tighten the pressure gauge on. Note the pressure in the tyre, whether in PSI or BAR.

4. Check the other three tyres using the same process and don't forget to check the spare tyre as this can get overlooked.

how to check tyre air pressure

Correct Your Tyre Pressures

1. Remove your dust cap and attach the inflator. On the end of the nozzle there will be a locking latch or screw cap that will secure it to the tyre.

2. Inflate the tyre to the specified level by switching on the inflator. Make sure to check whether you are using BAR or PSI, and that you are using the same measurement as in the manufacturer handbook.

3. When you are at the specified level, unlock or unscrew the cap and remove.

4. Remember to put the dust cap back on the nozzle.

5. Make sure to check all tyres, including your spare, if you have one.

how to correct tyre pressures

Check for Tyre Damage

Car tyres endure a hard life and can pick up damage in several ways. 

Again, turn your steering wheel to expose as much of the front tyres as possible. Give them a thorough visual check around both the tread and sidewall. 

In the tread you're looking for any nails, stones or other sharp objects that could be stuck in the tyre. If there's a stone stuck in the tread, simply prise it out. 

In the sidewall, you're looking for cuts, slashes or tears - all of these are dangerous and you should replace the tyre if you're not sure, just to be on the safe side. Bulges or bumps are caused by bouncing up kerbs too hard or hitting potholes, and should be treated as seriously as a tear. 

how to check tyre for damage

Make Sure You Keep Your Tyres in Good Condition

Following the steps above will ensure that you are able to check if your tyres are in good enough condition to perform at an optimal level. 

If tyre tread is low, they will not be providing the car with as much grip as they should be. Similarly, under or overinflated tyres can result in increased tyre wear and worse fuel consumption. 

A damaged tyre will need to be replaced, as it could result in a puncture or a blowout that will leave you without proper control of your vehicle and potentially stranded at the side of the road. 

This article originally appeared on Evans Halshaw .