Tread Carefully - How to Look After Your Tyres

11th Jun 2018


Autumn is beautiful, but it can pose challenges for road users as cold and damp roads significantly affect your driving performance. Vehicle 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.

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. 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.


Legal Tyre Tread Check List

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

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

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

1. 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. 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.