Are Your Vehicle’s Tyres in Good Health?

Your vehicle’s tyres are the only contact point your car has with the road below, and being able to identify early warning signs with your tyres will help to keep you, your passengers, and other road users safe. Keeping your tyres well-maintained will also ensure the ongoing performance and efficiency of your vehicle. Here is a list of the most common tyre issues and how to identify them:

  1. Low tread depth – no matter the quality of your tyres, it is inevitable that they will begin to wear down over time. In the United Kingdom, the legal requirement for tread depth is 1.6mm and having a lower depth can result in receiving 3 penalty points on your licence and a fine of up to £2,500 per illegal tyre. The best way to keep on top of this is to check your tyre tread regularly on all tyres. An easy way to do this is by conducting the ‘20p test’ which involves pushing a 20p coin into the lowest tread depth of your tyre. If the outer edge of the coin remains visible, the tyre needs replacing. Another common indicator that your tread depth is getting low is that the steering feels lighter than usual and that you aren’t achieving as many miles per gallon (MPG) as usual.
  2. Punctures – punctures usually occur when a foreign object on the road penetrates the tyre deep enough to puncture the internal air chamber. These punctions can sometimes result in a flat tyre quite quickly, but often it can create what is known as a ‘slow’ puncture. In modern cars, a low tyre pressure warning may come on to alert you to a potential slow puncture, but cars without this feature will need to be checked manually. It is a good idea to incorporate tyre pressure checks into your regular car maintenance routine. Another common sign that you have a slow puncture is your car ‘pulling’ to one side while driving.
  3. Cracked rubber – intense heat, prolonged driving in wet conditions, having old tyres, and impact damage (from hitting curbs or potholes) are all factors that can contribute to the breakdown of your tyre’s polymers which can result in cracks in the tyre rubber. Check your tyres regularly for signs of cracked rubber and replace them if there is any visible damage.
  4. Bulging – bulging in the sidewall of your tyres can often result from impact with a curb, pothole, or speed bump and is something which should be checked for regularly. If you find a bulge in your tyre, it is recommended that you get it replaced.
  5. Incorrect inflation – overinflating and underinflating your tyres can affect their performance safety and reduce your tyre life by up to 25%. Incorrect inflation can also lead to uneven wear and a higher likelihood of developing cracks and bulges. To find information about the optimal tyre pressure for your vehicle, you can check the vehicle’s logbook or ask a professional for advice. Some vehicles will also have this information provided on the inside of the fuel compartment flap.
  6. Uneven wear – unevenly worn tyres, or camber wear, can be caused by incorrect inflation, but even wear can also be present on vehicles which have optimal tyre pressure levels. Usually when this happens, it is due to wheel misalignment, but it can also be caused by suspension issues. The good news is that if the wear is minimal, tyre alignment issues can usually be fixed quite easily by visiting a local tyre fitter who will realign and balance them for you. If the level of wear is more severe, the tyres may need replacing completely so checking them regularly could potentially save your wallet!

Premier Components UK Ltd.
Unit 701
Meon Vale Business Park
Campden Road
CV37 8QR

Tel: +44(0) 1789 720 061
Company Number: 03577119
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Company Number GB 696 0345 13
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