Take care of your tyres and your tyres will take care of you.Tyres are the only parts of the car which are in contact with the road. Safety in acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on a relatively small area of road contact. So it is important that we check tyres every two weeks with three different measures.
Tyre PressureRecommended tyre inflation pressures for your vehicle can be found in the vehicle handbook and/or on a sticker mounted on the vehicle. This will normally be found on the inside of your fuel flap or on the inside of your driver door. In the absence of either of these consult tyre manufacturer or give us a call. Correct pressures are related to loads, speeds and vehicle handling and are vital for maximum safety, braking, grip and good tyre life. Prolonged under-inflation causes excessive flexing, deterioration of the casing and rapid wear of the tread shoulders. The vehicle will also consume more fuel. Over-inflation results in an uncomfortable ride, a reduced area of contact with the road, accelerated wear on the tread centre and makes the tyre more susceptible to impact damage. Inflation pressure should be checked at least every two weeks and only when the tyre is cold, since there is an increase in pressure when the tyre has warmed up after being run. A reliable and accurate pressure gauge should be used.
Tyre Tread Depth
Tyre treads are designed to give good grip on wet roads, but in general wet grip decreases as tyre tread pattern wears down or as the depth of water increases. Motorists should take this into consideration and reduce speed when it is wet. The legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of the breadth of tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre. However tyre wet grip deteriorates more rapidly in the second half of its tread life and wet stopping distances can dramatically lengthen. It is therefore advisable consideration is given to replacing tyres well before they reach the legal minimum. We recommend tyres are replaced with 3mm tyre depth remaining.
To check your tyre to see if it is legal there are raised bands of rubber within the main tyre grooves. Place your finger in the groove and feel for one of the raised bands. If the raised section is level with the side of tyre groove then your tyre is now illegal (1.6mm of tread) and must be changed immediately. Another way to check is using a 20p coin. The band on the edge of the coin is exactly 1.6mm so put the coin in the main tyre groove in 3 or 4 different places to check the depth. Remember if you can see any of the side band in any of the checked positions – your tyre is illegal.
Visual Damage Check
Check your tyres for any signs of visual damage. Any cuts to the side wall that expose the metal cords or bulges are normally the result of clipping a kerb or even a pothole. This damage means the tyre needs to be replace or there could be sudden depressurisation. Also if you have performed emergency braking then check for any flat spots in the tyre.
If In Doubt
Bring your vehicle to us at Surbiton Tyre and Wheel where we will gladly perform these checks for you.