Last Monday when I got Autumn and I home from swimming, I assessed my car tyres before I got my things out. “Hmm, the front nearside tyre’s tread is getting a bit worn” I thought to myself.
When I was little, I remember my Dad regularly checking the tyres on his car and showing me how to check them using a 20p coin. However, I realise that a lot of people out there probably have several questions buzzing around their minds when it comes to tyres: “How often should I check my tyres?”, “How do I check that my tyres aren’t too worn?”, “Can I prevent my tyres from getting worn so quickly?” and “What are the dangers of driving with worn tyres?”
With many parents reading my blog, I wonder how many busy mums and dads are reading this thinking “Oh, I’m so busy! I don’t even remember the last time I checked my tyres”. However, it is so important for the safety of you and your child/ren! Sponsored by Point S, today I’m sharing the importance of having the correct tread on your tyres as well as a few tips!
What are the dangers of driving with worn tyres?
It affects the grip. In the rain, you’ll find that the grip is even worse as there will be less tread to help allow water to be removed from where the tyres contact the road, which helps you with acceleration, steering and breaking. If the ability to do this is reduced by insufficient tread on your tyres, then it could increase your likelihood of having an accident. Aquaplaning is where your tyres lose contact with the road, causing you to travel on top of the water’s surface. My husband had a scary incident a few years ago, where he aquaplaned and completely lost control of his car. Needless to say, it’s very fortunate that he managed to avoid having an accident and replacing your tyres before the tread gets too low can reduce your risk of this happening to you.
I know that my concern about the idea of having an accident has increased since having my daughter, as she always travels with me now. The last thing I want is my baby to get hurt and I’m sure if you’re a parent reading this you’re no different when it comes to your children, no matter what their age.
As well as safety issues, there are also legal connotations. If you are stopped and your tyres don’t have the minimum legal tread depth required, then you could receive a fine of £2,500 and 3 points on your licence for each illegal tyre.
How do I check that my tyres aren’t too worn?
The legal requirement in the UK is 1.6mm tread across the majority of the central part of the tyre (the whole way around the tyre). The simplest way to check it is the way my Dad taught me as a child, using just a 20p coin:
- Place a 20p coin into the main tread of the tyre.
- If you cannot see the outside band of the coin, then your tread is okay.
- If you can see some of the outer band, then your tyres may have illegal tread and be unsafe to use! You should get them checked out as soon as possible.
- Make sure that you test on at least three places around each tyre.
You can also check that your tyres aren’t too worn by using a tread gauge or some brands mould a Tread Wear Indicator (TWI) into the design of the tyre’s tread pattern.
As well as checking the tread, you should also check that your tyres are properly inflated, don’t have uneven wear, that there are no cracks tears or bulges on the sidewall and that there is no damage to the wheel rims.
By the way, if your car is front-wheel drive, you’ll find yourself needing to change the front tyres more as they get almost double the wear of rear tyres due to more weight at the front of the car.
How often should I check my tyres?
You should check at least once every month.
If you have a child who is of an age where they carry out simple chores, perhaps you could get them to do it!
It is so quick to do and the potential dangers for you, your family and other road users are so great that there is really no excuse not to check them regularly.
Can I prevent my tyres from wearing out quite so quickly?
Yes, there are several things you can do to prolong the life of your tyres.
Adopt a good driving style
If you drive aggressively, throwing your car around corners and braking sharply frequently, it is increasing the wear on your tyres. Likewise, if you drive fast, it increases the temperature and wear of your tyres.
Don’t carry excess weight
The more weight you have in your car, the more weight is pushing down on your tyres, wearing them down. (Yes guys, this could be the excuse you need to not drive the mother-in-law around, but I don’t think your other half or her mum will like it – and you didn’t hear it from me!)
Ensure your tyres are at the correct pressure
If your tyres are over inflated or not inflated enough, it can increase the wear on your tyres. If they’re over inflated, there is less surface area touching the road and if they’re under inflated they will get warmer and be more flexible. Both of these things increase the wear. You can find out what the recommended pressures for your tyres are in your vehicle’s handbook and measure the pressure by using a pressure gauge.
Try to ensure that your suspension’s components are up to scratch and that your wheels are aligned correctly
If parts of your suspension are worn or your wheels are aligned incorrectly, it can cause tyres to wear unevenly.
So, there you go! When was the last time you checked your tyres? If you haven’t done it for a while, make sure you do it next time you go out in your vehicle.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Point S for which I received compensation. It is honestly written and all thoughts/opinions are my own.