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In the throws of autumn and winter conditions creeping closer, ensuring your tyres are prepared for the approaching weather is a top priority for road users. Though this season is beautiful, it can pose challenges for road users as cold and damp roads significantly affect your driving performance. Your vehicles tyres act as your guide to the surface of the road and when conditions start to worsen, it is important that your tyres are in top condition and up to the job of keeping you safe.

It is recommended that you check your tyres on a regular basis and before commencing long journeys. When carrying out tyre checks there are some important things to look out for to ensure your tyres are roadworthy, not damaged or displaying any signs of wear and tear, or abnormalities. 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 ensuring that your vehicle can perform properly and safety.

It is also a legal requirement that your tyres are to a satisfactory standard. According to charity, Tyre Safety, there has been 15,000 tyre related convictions in the past three years. 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. We've created a list of points to keep your tyres in check.

Tyre Safety

Legal Tyre Tread

It's the tread on your tyres that give you traction on the road, when your tread is insufficient, this can lead to increased stopping distances and poor road traction. As the legal limit is 1.6mm, across 75% of the tyre, your tread should always be above this level. We always recommend tyre tread to be above 3mm for greater traction and better vehicle economy.

Through utilising a free tyre check or our #HandsOnHelp tips you can find out whether your tread is too low:

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.

4. Repeat this on all tyres and keep note of the tread depth on each tyre so you can replace any that are not road legal and keep an eye on those that are close to the minimum.

Check tyre pressures manually

Whilst a lot of modern cars have Tyre Pressure Measurement Systems, it is still beneficial to check this manually regularly to make sure your tyres are at the most efficient level for better fuel economy, braking distances, and overall safety. Make sure to check your pressure by watching our #HandsOnHelp video or following our points below:

1. Check what your tyre pressure should be, this is usually found in the 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 and make sure to check whether the measurement is in BAR or PSI.

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

Correct Tyre Pressures

Having your tyres inflated to the correct level is vital to keep your car safe and make sure it is as economical as it can be. If your tyres are under inflated, there is a greater proportion of the tyre tread touching against the surface of the road, increasing friction which can have a detrimental effect on vehicle handling, cause deterioration and wear the tread of your tyres. Over infalted tyres can also lead to earlier tyre replacement or damage alloy wheels.You can find the recommended tyre inflation pressures in your vehicle handbook. The pressure of your tyres should be checked every two weeks when the tyre is cold.

You can check the tyre pressure at any petrol station and inflating your tyres is straightforward. This can be completed by watching our #HandsOnHelp video or following our points below:

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 attach tyre to secure.

2. Inflate the tyre to specified level by switching on the inflator. Make sure to check whether you are using BAR or PSI.

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.

Change your tyres if they are damaged

This is something best carried out by a garage with the correct equipment to change a tyre safely, but sometimes accidents do happen and it can call for replacing a tyre that may have been punctured or damaged beyond its legal use. The #HandsOnHelp guide will instruct you on the best way to change your tyre if you are in this predicament:

1. Find the equipment you will need for changing a tyre. If you have a spare tyre it is usually under the boot-lining or under the chassis of the car. If you don't know whether you have a spare, or where to find it, consult your handbook for further information.

2. You will also need a car jack and a lug wrench to lift the tyre from the ground and remove it from the car. These are usually found with your spare tyre.

3. Now you have the tools, remove any covers on your wheel, this includes; rims or lug covers. You will need to loosen the lugs which may require a lot of pressure to begin with. This is why it is best to loosen while the tyres are still of the ground. Once the lugs are loose, you can jack the wheel up.

4. Find the car jack point, which should be near to each of your wheels arches and should be a solid metal, making it safe to lift the car from the ground.

5. Once you have the tyre off the ground, remove the loosened lugs and put these in a safe place as you'll need these later.

6. Pull the tyre away from the car. This can be quite heavy - especially if it's an alloy - so get assistance if you can.

7. Once you have removed the tyre, put it aside and get the spare. Put the spare over screws, so it's aligned and push on to the screws and tighten lugs on.

8. Once tightened, let the jack down until the tyre is on the ground, remove the jack and tighten the lugs whilst on the ground. This will make sure that the tyre is properly tightened to the car.

9. Place any coverings back on the wheel. If your wheel is a space saver, get this changed to a full size tyre at your nearest Evans Halshaw workshop as soon as possible as this will affect handling significantly.

Making sure your tyres are road safe is not only great to keep you safe and legal on the roads this winter, it can also achieve better fuel economy. So don't get caught out this winter, if you are unsure of the health of your tyres, book yourself in for a free vehicle health check at your nearest Evans Halshaw.