4 Signs Your Car Needs New Tyres
Replacing tyres is often overlooked, but is an extremely vital part of car maintenance as tyres are the only part of your vehicle that actually come in contact with the road.
A lot of motorists don’t know how to check their tyres or how often to buy new ones, which is why we’ve compiled 5 tips to help you establish if you’re in need of new ones.
Ineffective tread depth
New tyres come with at least 8mm of tread depth, which allows them to maintain excellent contact with the road surface. However, over time, tread begins to wear away, so it is your responsibility to ensure the tread depth of the tyres doesn’t drop below 1.6mm.
The way you can test this is carrying out the 20p test. This consists of taking a 20p coin and placing it in the main groove of the tread. If you can see the outer ring (the shiny rim of the coin), it means the tyre is too worn. You can repeat this a few times around the circumference to establish whether the tyre has worn unevenly.
Alternatively, most professionals and car garages stock tyre tread depth gauges, so if you want that bit more comfort in knowing your tyres are either safe or too dangerous for roadworthiness, you can check your tread depth with it or ask a professional to show you how.
Remember, if you’re caught with tyres that are under the legal tread depth, it will be classed a dangerous and you could end up with a fine and points on your licence. The maximum fine would be £10,000 and a fine of up to 12 points.
On the other hand, tyres with a lot of tread depth may also need changing, especially for road users that use their cars more often than others. Over time, tyres will be exposed to a range of external conditions such as ice, UV rays. chemicals and road salts that could cause the quality to deteriorate.
It’s important to keep an eye on the condition of your tyres on a regular basis as part of standard car checks, however, you should try to get it inspected by a professional once they reach 5 years old.
Likewise, even storing a vehicle incorrectly can cause the health of tyres to significantly cause damage, so it is important that you’re checking your tyres even when your vehicle has been standing for a long period of time.
Most tyres on the market will begin to degrade after 10 years, although it is worth noting that others may begin to decay far quickly. This can depend on your car and your driving style. Moreover, if you are unsure of the age of your tyres, just check your vehicle manufacturers guide or the four-digit code on the sidewall of the tyres.
Experiencing bad vibrations
If you’ve started to notice that your car is vibrating whilst driving, it could mean that your wheel alignment is ineffective due to shock absorbers, but it could also be an issue with your tyres.
To test if you can feel more vibration from the road than usual, see if you can find a newly resurfaced road, if it’s still vibrating and loud when driving over smooth tarmac, you will need to get it checked out as quickly as possible.
If you don’t have enough tread depth, you’re almost guaranteed to have a bumpy ride. Vibrations alone don’t mean your tyres need to be changed, however, it could be an indicator that they have suffered from excessive and prolonged wear. Thus, any form of vibration should be looked at as soon as possible by taking your vehicle to a professional that can pay close attention to the condition of your tyres.
Cracks and holes in the tread
Whilst inspecting your tyres, you should look out for any cracks in your tyres. A crack in the sidewalls of your tyres could be an early warning sign for a potential blowout. If you catch it at the correct time, you are preventing a highly dangerous accident, especially if you were to be driving at a high speed.
Moreover, if there is a hole in the tread and it’s quite large, it’s essential that you get it replaced as soon as you can. This sort of damage can worsen over time, which will make way for a multitude of issues such as bad grip, traction and lack of control.
How often should you check your tyres? Ideally, it’s said that you should check them once a month, however, if you’re planning a long journey, always make sure you check them before and after, as well as paying close attention to engine fluids, brakes, lights and windscreen wipers.
It’s vital that your tyres are at optimal condition before weather conditions change. Harsh driving such as snow, ice and rain can worsen existing problems in a tyre. These simple steps could prevent you from being fined, receiving penalty points and protecting you and other road users from accidents or injuries. If you are ever in doubt, take your vehicle to a car professional.