Here in the UK, and in many other countries, the law clearly specifies that all vehicles are fitted with the proper tyre tread size. This is because tyre treads are a huge determinant on just how safe your car is while on the road. The standard limit specified in the law is at 1.6 millimeters. You are required to change or replace the tyres before they reach this limit; for your own safety. When buying a new tyre, the tread can measure up to 8mm. as you use the car and the tyre gets worn out, this number reduces drastically. The rate at which the tread gets worn out is determined by other things;
Terrain, Bad Driving & Load!
- The terrain or surface; driving in off-road conditions like on rocks and rough surfaces tend to hasten the wearing out of tyre treads. Which means that if you usually drive in such conditions often, then your tread will get worn out faster than one driving on ordinary conditions.
- Bad driving habits; some driving habits like instant braking also tend to hasten the wearing out of the treads. This is especially so if the surface is rough and tarmac like. You’re thus advised to always brake gently, rather than abruptly.
- Load or cargo on vehicles; trucks and other large vehicles that carry heavy loads over long distances lose their tread faster. This is because all that weight exerts much pressure and strain to the tyres, leading to more friction and ultimately, the wearing out of these tyres.
Having said the above, it is worth clarifying that 1.6mm is merely the minimum standard; you don’t have to wait until you reach these levels before replacing the tyre. Major motoring organisations recommend that you change the tyres when they reach 2mm. Still, tyre manufacturers recommend that you replace the tyre when it reaches 3mm. Thus clearly, there’s no definite or agreed upon level that. Researchers have tested cars driving at 50Mp, one with treads at 1.6mm and the other 3mm. They found out that the former took 8 more meters before stopping, compared to the latter. This is because worn out treads mean less traction, which makes it harder for the car to brake effectively.
Failure to observe the minimum standard of 1.6mm for tyre treads will see you hit with a £2,500 fine. To stay safe, always conduct regular checks on the tyres, seek the services of a professional car tyre maintenance center to help you know when the tyres need replacement.
When discussing the car tyre pressure, you’ll find that we mostly use terms like under inflation and over inflation. Under inflation is when the tyre’s pressure is lesser than the recommended level. Over inflation on the other hand, is used to refer to tyre pressure that exceeds the set limits. Thus in the world of car tyre pressure, we talk of an under inflated tyre, correctly inflated tyre, or over inflated tyre. As the car owner, it is for you to ensure that the tyres are always properly inflated at all times. Over inflated tyres are dangerous to drive on especially in wet surfaces, or when braking. Likewise, under inflated tyres aren’t safe either; they lead to higher fuel consumption, loss of speed, damage to the rims, even instability of the car.
The correct tyre pressure for your car is dependent on these things;
- What are the driving conditions? Different driving conditions will determine the pressure of your tyres. For instance, any experienced drivers will tell you that when driving in wet or muddy off-road conditions, you always deflate the tyres a bit. This helps give the tyres more grip on the wet surface. However, tyres that have been deflated intentionally won’t do so well on ordinary conditions like a tarmac, that’s why different driving conditions call for different tyre pressure.
- What work does the car do? This is another crucial consideration. Trucks and other heavy duty vehicles that carry heavy cargo are always prone to tyre bursts. These occur as a result of the heavy cargo they carry and the friction between the tyre and road surface. These trucks will often deflate their tyres a bit in order to reduce tyre burst chances. Smaller and ordinary cars can do with the ordinary pressure as they aren’t meant for heavy loads that may cause unnecessary friction.
- Lastly, the condition of the tyres themselves matters; older car tyres or those that have had punctures before are always more delicate, in comparison to newer ones. Too much pressure on such tyres may open old wounds, literally. Thus, where new tyres are ok handling maximum pressure, the same may not e said of older tyres. Doing so may worsen punctures that had been mended or lead to tyre bursts.
The most important thing is that you get in touch with a car tyre maintenance center, let them inspect your tyres first before recommending the right pressure. That way, you can always rely on their professional advice to keep you correctly inflated at all times.
For advice on your Tyre pressure, please get in contact with us today!
It is paramount that every car owner learns a thing or two about checking the wear, tear and suitability of their tyres. The procedure is easy and can be done by almost everyone. Failure to regularly check your tyres can make a huge difference. It could mean a bad ride, a sudden puncture, or even an accident. To help avoid any of these scenarios, it makes sense that you regularly check your tyres. Below, we have compiled a list of tips to help you do just this. You don’t have to be an expert in order to do these things.
- One of the easiest and most recommended ways to check your tyres starts with a physical inspection. This means that you check your car tyres for any visual signs of damage to see if they need replacing, are badly worn out, over inflated, under inflated, and so on so forth. Among the things to look out for, is how finished the grooves are, any signs of tear or wear. Also, abnormal bumps and swelling should also be a source of concern.
- In order to make your tyre check easier, make sure that the car is parked on a flat, level ground. Not on grass, not in dirt; but a flat surface is recommended. This way, you are able to see each tyre properly, and compare it to the others. Try standing from a distance and observe whether the tyres are correctly aligned, whether there’s any abnormal appearance of any tyre.
- The best time to check your tyres is when they are clean. You may not make proper observations if the tyres are muddy or dusty; but when the tyres have just been cleaned, you are able to pick even the smallest tear or piercing on the tyre.
- Once in a while, you should take the car for professional inspection at a car tyre center or mobile tyre fitting service. Such centers have the tools and gadgets to not just check for the slightest abnormality, but also fix it. Wheel alignment, repairing punctures; such tasks are best left to a professional.