How do you know when your tyres need replacing? Well, as with most things, tyres have a shelf life. With the unpredictable yet ever-changing weather that embraces the UK season to season, it’s important to pay attention to your tyres.
The constant change in UK weather is detrimental to tyres. From torrential rain to snowy conditions, your tyres will need changing at some point in time, here are three major signs to look out for to ensure your tyres are operating at optimal performance.
The legal tread depth of a tyre is 1.6mm around the centre ¾ of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tyre. A great way to see if the tread depth of your tyres is below the legal requirement: take the 20p coin test! All you need to do is press a 20p coin into the grooves of the tread – the rim of the coin should not show clear, if it does, you could be below the legal limit.
Alternatively, the best (and most accurate) way to check for adequate tread depth is to use a tyre gauge – you can buy these from your local car garage if you don’t already have one.
So to summarise, always be sure that your tread is at the right depth as a low tread can significantly increase stopping distances, making way for seriously dangerous driving, especially in wet to freezing conditions.
Tyre vibrations and noises
Tyres can sustain a lot of damage over a long period of time, especially on uneven roads. Thus, if you feel vibration when driving, it could be an indicator that there’s a balancing issue in your tyres. Excessive tyre vibrations when left unattended can cause uneven wear in tyres, making way for impaired driver judgement in dangerous driving conditions.
Alongside tyre vibrations, if your tyres are producing weird noises, it may mean that they’re in desperate need of replacing. If your tyres sound like they’re squeaky or making whining noises, it could be an indication that your tyres aren’t aligned properly – or even that the tread has been damaged. If this is the case, take your vehicle to your local garage to get the wheel alignment checked and tyres replaced.
Blisters, cracks and slits
It’s an inevitable part of life that everything gets tired and worn down. In the same way, tyres take a beating every time you drive your car. A sure shot way to establish whether your tyres need replacing is when you discover slits, blisters and fissures in your tyres.
Damage to tyres can occur when hitting a kerb, from debris on roads, and also from sharp metals and dangerous potholes. Slits are dangerous to tyres as they let air in the tyres escape, which will subsequently cause tyres to deflate. It’s crucial that if you come across any slits on your tyres, take your car to a local professional to get it checked out.
All in all, checking for cautionary signs in your tyres is extremely crucial in order for tyres to perform optimally. You could save money, time and lives by taking simple steps at least once fortnightly. So if you were unsure how to effectively check your tyres, you can now follow these 3 signs to see if they do need replacing.