web analytics
Firm Footing: How to Make Sure Your Vehicle Tyres Are in Optimum Condition

Firm Footing: How to Make Sure Your Vehicle Tyres Are in Optimum Condition

Firm Footing: How to Make Sure Your Vehicle Tyres Are in Optimum Condition

October was National Tyre Month in the UK, but that doesn’t mean tyres are only relevant in October. Knowing how to evaluate your tyres is an important skill that everyone should possess. Knowing what to look for can not only ensure that your ride is safe for all road conditions, it can save you some legal  headaches as well.

According to TyreSafe, in 2012 a total of 10,228 drivers in the UK were fined for driving with defective tyres–an astounding number. The UK is cracking down on owners who don’t properly maintain their vehicles, hoping that will decrease safety hazards on the road. Below are the steps you need to take to ensure your tyres are up to snuff.

Inspect Tyres Regularly

When auto experts say “regularly,” they mean once per month. Every month, during one of your fuel stops, check the pressure in your tyres, ensure that value caps are in place, and look for obvious signs of failure like bulges, dry rot, cracks, cuts, and discolouration. These three simple steps take no more than a few minutes once per month and can go along way in ensuring proper tyre performance.

Evaluate Tyre Tread

The state of the tread on your tyres should be checked monthly as well, but gets its own section due to its supreme importance to issues such as traction, cornering, and stopping distance. In general, there are three effective ways to assess the quality of your tread. The first is to take the car to a professional, but the next two are things you can do yourself.

Some tyres have built-in tread wear indicators. These will be little bits of rubber that reside in the deepest parts of the treads and only become visible as the tyre wears down. When the tread is even with these little bits of rubber and they are easy to see, it is time to replace your tyres.

Another way to tell if your tyres need to be replaced is to use a tyre tread gauge (this is what the professionals will use, but you can get your own). Tread gauges are relatively inexpensive as they are nothing more than rulers that fit into the treads of a tyre. They come with instructions on their proper use and can be stored in your glove compartment.

If you don’t want to purchase a tread gauge, you can use a 20p coin. Put the coin into the tread of the tyre and look to see if the outer band of the coin is visible. If the band is visible, the tyres probably need to be replaced.

If you have a penny from the United States, you can make use of that as well. Place then penny into the tread so that Lincoln’s head is pointing toward the tyre. If any portion of his head is covered, the tyres are still good for wet roads. If you live in a snowy area, flip the penny over and make sure at least part of the top of the Lincoln Memorial is covered.

Tyre tread is the single most important factor in determining tyre safety and vehicle performance. Unsafe tyres are not just a risk to the person riding on them, but also a risk to others on the road. If you have been in an accident that was the result of poor tyre maintenance, you may want to contact an attorney. If you do, click here.

Rotate Tyres

Rotation helps to reduce uneven wear and can maximize tread life. Rotating your tyres frequently not only helps them to last longer, it also ensures that you look at them once in a while. While many people rotate their tyres based on distance driven (consult your owner’s manual), many do it on a time schedule. Rotating your tyres every 3 to 6 months, depending on how much you drive, is reasonable.

Never Overload a Tyre

Tyres have load limits that tell users how much pressure they can withstand before they fail. Maximum load is usually designated by a code on the sidewall of the tyre. Codes are numeric and range from 60, the lowest load rating, to 125, the highest load rating.

In addition to load ratings, most tyres also have speed ratings. These are designated by a letter or by an “A” followed by a single number. A1 is lowest speed rating while (Y) is the highest. Most passenger cars have a rating of R or S, which would confine speeds to between 170 and 180 km/h.

The Bottom Line

You are responsible not just for your own safety, but for the safety of everyone else on the road with you. Having under-inflated, worn, improperly loaded, or otherwise compromised tyres can put your life at risk. Inspect your tyres every month by following the tips above to ensure that you remain as safe as possible on the road.

Lewis Wild is an automobile safety researcher. He avidly blogs about maintenance and general car safety.



Browse our latest car database to discover more cars                    

Discover all-new BMW X4


Comments are closed.

Articles from the main page

Browse the latest new cars

Discover the latest new cars

The world’s most popular roadster, the Mazda MX-5, has a whole new look. After 25 years and over 947,00 sales worldwide, the new fourth-generation 2014 Mazda MX-5 (known as the Mazda Miata in the US) has finally been revealed. The MX-5 is one of Mazda’s most iconic models
Mazda revealed the all-new Mazda MX-5 Roaster
MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision
MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision
Only 500 serialized 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition coupes will be available through 86 Alfa Romeo dealerships (Four in Canada) this summer with a Canadian MSRP of $75,995; followed by the standard Alfa Romeo 4C coupe arriving in the fall with a Canadian MSRP of $61,995.
All-new 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe
The centrepiece of the Mercedes-AMG GT, the new 4.0-litre V8 biturbo, responds instantly with extreme power right from low revs and delivers outstanding performance.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT
The new BMW X4 is based on the technical blueprint of the BMW X3, but displays a sporting character very much its own and takes dynamics to another new level. That much is clear when you view the new model head-on. The look & feel is similar with BMW X6
Discover all-new 2014 BMW X4
The Alfa Romeo has become synonymous with style. Many people crave the look of an Alfa. However, this car is not a one trick pony. It performs as well as it looks. For many, they feel that they have to compromise style over speed. With an Alfa, this is simply not the case.
The Classic Alfa Romeo Montreal: Is it Worth the Hype?
Months of speculation ended today after Volvo Cars unveiled its all-new Volvo XC90, delivering on its promise to introduce a visually striking, premium quality seven-seat SUV with world leading safety features, new powertrain technologies, an unrivalled combination of power and fuel efficiency and a superlative interior finish.
World premiere: Please welcome the all-new Volvo XC90

Sport car of the month

Discover All-new Jaguar F-Type Coupe & R


All-new Jaguar F-Type Coupe & R

5-liter supercharged V8 engine and will reach 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and a top speed of 186 mph (electronically limited)2. The F-TYPE S Coupe and F-TYPE Coupe are powered by 3-liter supercharged V6 engines in 380hp and 340hp forms respectively, giving 0-60 mph in 4.8/5.1 seconds and top speeds of 171/161 mph2.

The F-TYPE Coupe visual message is defined by three key ‘heart lines’, that visual message beginning with the formidable grille. It is from the twin ‘shark gill’ openings that sit either side of the grille that the essential first heart line – which mirrors the design of the F-TYPE Convertible – flows and begins to take shape. Running up through the headlamp, and accentuated by the LED ‘J blade’ signature running lamps, the line then arcs up over the front wheel arch before dropping elegantly as it runs through the door, washing out into the muscular rear haunch.

The second heart line begins at the rear edge of the door, swelling outwards and upwards to create a visually strong wheel arch, emphasizing the car’s rear-wheel drive layout, before dropping vertically through the tail lamp ...

Auto Mechanic Advice

Advice from experienced mechanics from several fields!

Auto Speed Market is a car blog with the latest automotive, F1 and car news. Auto Speed Market is trying to provide extra
information to car enthusiasts, will be presenting new cars and concepts, prices and statistics of the automotive world.
Auto Speed Market also offer tips for buying a new car or second hand vehicle.