How to tell if your tyres are bald and need replacing

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If you are not sure how to tell when your tyres are bald and need replacing, you need to make yourself aware as soon as possible for the sake of your safety, your passengers and other road users.

Two bald tyres removed by etyres Cardiff

To start with though, it is worth pointing out that you are not alone. This photograph was taken by our etyres Cardiff team after they were called to replace the two front tyres on a customers vehicle. To be honest, they look more like the ‘slick’ tyres they use in Formula One, which are specifically dry weather tyres characterised by a tread pattern that is ‘devoid of blocks or channels’.

Even in the thrilling, high-octane world of racing, they have the sense to switch to wet weather tyres with deep grooves in the tread pattern which vary according to how rain-soaked the circuits are.

However, the average motorist does not have the luxury of being able to fit the most suitable tyres for varying weather conditions, instead we have to ensure our tyres are always in prime condition so they can handle all driving conditions.

That is why it is vitally important to have plenty of tread depth, because these grooves and sipes drain off water on wet asphalt allowing your tyres to grip the roads more effectively.

The legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three quarters and around the entire circumference of the tyre. There are a couple of very simple ways to check whether your tyres have enough tread depth to be safe and legal:

Tread Wear Indicators

At regular intervals around the tyre tread wear indicators are moulded into the tread grooves to indicate when a tyre is worn to its safety limit. When the tread is worn down to the same level as these raised bumps, your tyre needs replacing. Many motoring and safety groups actually you recommend replacing your tyres after they wear below 3mm, which means they would not have worn down to the level of the tread wear indicator.

If you are not sure exactly what you are looking for, click here and watch our short video featuring Vicki Butler Henderson as she guides you through the tyre checking process.

Take the 20p coin test

All you have to do is insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is hidden when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band can be seen, it is highly likely your tyres need replacing as soon as possible. Remember to check your tyres in at least locations around the entire circumference.

Both of these checks are quick and easy and should be carried out at least once a month. If you discover you need new replacements and don’t want to risk driving on bald or illegal tyres, contact etyres and we will come to your home or work to fit your new tyres at a time that suits you.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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