3 Ways to Check That Your Car Tyres are Safe

Why is important to check your car tyres?

It is essential that your tyres are kept roadworthy. Under-inflated tyres are a danger to motorists as they can overheat, while over-inflated tyres can affect steering response and grip on the road.

If your tyres are not kept at the right pressure, they are more likely to suddenly deflate where you would least want this to happen – on the motorway.

Another reason to check the tyre pressure is the environment, as keeping tyres at the correct pressure helps maintain fuel efficiency and therefore, lowers carbon dioxide emissions coming from your car.

Read onto discover 3 ways to check that your car tyres are safe.

tyre safety tips

Air pressure

Ideally, you should check your tyre pressure every two weeks. It is vital to drive on the correct tyre pressure, especially for long car journeys as this will help extend the life of your tyres.

To check your air pressure, locate your car manual. In it, you will find the correct PSI (pounds per square inch) air pressure for your tyres – this varies from car to car. If you keep your tyres at their optimum pressure, you will easily reduce your running costs.

You can check the pressure of your tyres by using a tyre pressure gauge. You should ensure your tyres are fairly cold when you put air in your tyres.

  1. Check your manual for the correct PSI for your vehicle’s tyres.
  2. Remove the tyre’s valve caps
  3. Check the current tyre pressure with the gauge – remember the front and back tyres are usually different
  4. Fill each tyre to the recommended PSI
  5. Replace valve caps

Tread depth

When you use your brakes, the tread on your tyres grips the road which allows you to safely come to a stop. The legal minimum tread for a car tyre is 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tyre across the circumference. If you are caught driving with ‘bald’ tyres, you may be fined up to £2,500 and receive three penalty points on your licence. Tread can be easily checked using a 20 pence piece.

20p coin test

All you need to do is insert a 20p coin into one of the main grooves at several places around the tyre. If you can see the outer band of the coin at the point where the coin meets the tyre, your tread depth may be illegal. It is then advised that you consult a specialist to check your tyres.

Tyre tread indicators

Every tyre has a tread indicator. For example, Pirelli tyres have a small raised area at the bottom of the grooves of the tyre tread. Once the tread becomes level with the raised area, you should check your tyres or have them replaced.

Punctures

More modern cars have a tyre pressure monitor on their dashboard. If this warning light comes on while you are driving, something has happened to one of your tyres – it could be a puncture or a warning a tyre is about to deflate but you will know from the handling that something is wrong.

You should perform a general check on tyres to make sure they do not have a slow puncture and that all tread is clear before starting a journey. You should also check for odd bumps, cuts and tears that can be caused by potholes in the road. If you notice any of these in your tyre, it is best to visit a tyre specialist as they can cause your tyres to fail.

You should also remove any small stones or other objects which may have become embedded in the tread, to prevent punctures.

If you get a puncture whilst driving, pull over as soon as you can and place your hazard lights on. If it is safe to do so, you can change your tyre using the spare in your boot. If you need help, you should contact a roadside assistance company.

Hopefully, you have seen why it is important to check that your tyres are safe and that you now know 3 ways to check your tyres. If you need help with buying Pirelli tyres online or replacing tyres on your vehicle, contact a car tyre expert today.