Why it's important to regularly check your tyres
Vehicle tyres act as your guide to the surface of the road and it's important that your tyres are in top condition to be up to the job of keeping you safe. It's 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 safely.
It's 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.
How to check a tyre tread
- Turn your wheel so the tyre you're checking is pointing away from the car to have better access for doing the readings.
- The tread will need checking in several places along the width of the tyre, to test for uneven wear.
- Push the gauge softly against the indent of the tyre to get the reading. The depth must be at least 1.6mm across 75 percent 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.
- 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.
What should my car's tyre pressure be?
- Check what your tyre pressure should be, this is usually found in the handbook and will be measured in either BAR or PSI. Pressures may differ for front and back tyres, depending on load weights. Now let's see how to check your car's tyre pressure.
- The best time to check your tyre pressure is when the tyres are cold and preferably if you have driven under two miles in the past few hours.
- Now it's time to actually check the tyre pressure. Remove your dust cap and tighten the pressure gauge on. Note the pressure reading for the tyre and make sure to check whether the measurement is in BAR or PSI.
- Check the other three tyres using the same process and don't forget to check the spare tyre as this can get overlooked.
- If any of the pressures are too low, make sure you top them up to ensure your vehicle is safe.
How to inflate car tyres
- 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.
- Inflate the tyre to specified level by switching on the inflator. Make sure to check whether you are using BAR or PSI.
- When you're at the specified level, unlock or unscrew the cap and remove.
- Remember to put the dust cap back on the nozzle.
- Make sure to check all tyres, including your spare, if you have one.
How to change a tyre
- If you have a spare tyre it's usually under the boot-lining or under the chassis of the car.
- You'll need a car jack and a lug wrench, these are usually found with your spare tyre.
- Loosen the lugs whilst the tyre's still grounded and once they're loose jack the car up.
- Find the car jack point, which should be solid metal and close to each of your wheel arches.
- Once you have the tyre off the ground, remove the loosened lugs and put in a safe place.
- Pull the wheel away and put aside. Align the spare with the screws and tighten lugs.
- Let the jack down until the tyre is on the ground, remove the jack and tighten the lugs.
- 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 dealership as soon as possible as this will affect handling significantly.
When should I change my tyres?
Optimum safety and performance can be achieved when your tyres are in good condition, but you should change your car's tyre(s) if any of the following occur:
- A punctured tyre
- Tyre tread of less than 3mm (1.6mm is the legal limit)
- Abnormally worn tyres
- A damaged tyre
- Wrong tyres for your vehicle
- Aged tyres
Still unsure on how to look after your tyres?
Making sure your tyres are to a satisfactory standard and legal for road use is not only essential for keeping the occupants of the vehicle safe, it can also result in improved fuel economy.