Your car tyres are one of the most important components to your vehicle, so it’s crucial that they are in good working condition at all times as this will help to protect the safety of you, your passengers and other drivers on the road.
Which? Trusted Trader In N Out Autocentres is highlighting the potential dangers of driving on defective tyres. We caught up with Jon Morgan, CEO of In N Out Autocentres, to get his expert advice on what checks you can do at home.
Jon explained that by following the ‘rule of 3’ (condition, tread depth and pressure) you can ensure your car tyres are road safe.
1: Tyre Condition
Inspecting your tyres for any wear and tear or damage is an easy check that any motorist can do at home. Remove any stones or debris wedged in the tread, and keep an eye out for any cracks or bulges as these are the number one sign of tyre failure.
2: Tyre tread depth
By law, your car tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band across three quarters of the width of the tyre. An easy way to check the depth of your tread is with the 20p test. Insert a 20p coin into the groves on your tyre. If you can't see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit. If the band section of the coin is still visible, your tyres could be unsafe and require professional inspection by a mechanic.
Driving with worn tyres is not only a serious safety risk, but a costly one too. In the UK, the fine for bald tyres is £2,500 plus three points on your licence per tyre, so it's really important to check them monthly for any signs of damage or wear.
3: Air Pressure:
Ensuring your tyres are at the recommended pressure is key to maintaining your tyres. The best way to do this is with a tyre pressure gauge. To get the most accurate reading, it is best to check the pressure gauge when your car hasn’t been driven for a few hours and the tyres are cold.
Attach your tyre pressure gauge to the valve on the wheel rim (after removing the dust cap), press down evenly to ensure a tight seal, then read the measurement. Your vehicle handbook will tell you what pressure you should have in your tyres, so you can let air out or refill it if necessary.
It’s a good idea to perform these checks a minimum of once a month - more frequently if you are a high-mileage driver.
If there is something you are unsure of, you should always seek expert advice from a tyre/car specialist.
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