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Caring For Your Tyres

Your tyres are the only thing connecting your vehicle to the road, which is why we always stress the importance of taking care of your tyres and conducting regular health checks, not only to ensure safety, but also to get more bang for your buck in terms of lifespan and fuel economy.

According to statistics, 14% of vehicles on UK roads are currently driving around on unsafe or illegal tyres. Aside from the three penalty points and £2,500 fine per tyre, this is ultimately incredibly dangerous to the driver, passengers and other road users.

Tread depth

You're required by law to have a minimum of 1.6mm of tyre tread around the central three-quarters of the tyre. However, in line with the rest of the UK’s tyre retailers and manufacturers, TyresOnTheDrive always recommends leaving no less than 3mm of tread before deciding to book in for a tyre replacement. Why? Because that 1.4mm of depth can have a dramatic impact on your vehicle's stopping distance, performance and general control.

Checking your tread depth at home is easy: just conduct the 20p test! The outer rim of a 20p coin measures exactly 1.6mm, so if it's visible when placed between the grooves of your tyre, this indicates that your tyres are in fact illegal. Vehicle owners should check in a number of spots on each tyre as they can wear unevenly. Find out more about checking your tread depth here.

Pressure

Your vehicle is assigned a specific tyre pressure to ensure optimum safety, handling and fuel economy. Both under and over inflation affect the performance of your vehicle, causing an imbalance in wear and potential damage to the internal construction.

We recommend checking your tyre pressure at least once a month as air will naturally escape under everyday stresses. It's important to know your recommended tyre pressure and understand the reasons it has such an effect on your driving and fuel consumption. Find out more about tyre pressure here.

Storage

Caring for tyres extends beyond those fitted on your vehicle. Storage also plays a key role. Tyres should never be stacked up on top of each other for long periods of time; instead, you should look to store in a dry, ventilated area that is not exposed to sunlight or precipitation.

This is particularly important for those customers who purchase winter tyres ready for the seasonal change.

Ageing

Tyres deteriorate with age, and even if wear is taken out of the equation, you’re looking at around a five-year lifespan as the compounds found in rubber are effected by heat, sunlight and precipitation. Caravan, classic and prestige car tyres are most at risk of ageing before signs of wear appear, as their infrequent use means long periods of standing.

While the depth of your tyre tread affects the handling of your vehicle, ageing and deterioration have a direct impact on the overall health of the tyre, causing it eventually to break down and lose its mechanical properties. Thankfully, the signs are quite easy to spot: fading of the black rubber and cracks in the sidewall.

Although ageing can’t be prevented, there are a few ways to help delay the process. We recommend always storing any vehicle in a garage rather than on the driveway, as the temperature can be controlled and it is not exposed to the elements. More information on fighting the effects of ageing can be found on our blog.

To keep updated on any additional tyre and care advice, follow the TyresOnTheDrive blog, which is filled with a variety of articles covering the latest motoring, tyre and driving topics.