Tyre safety

When was the last time you checked your tyres?

A tyre without much tread left or low pressure can severely compromise both grip and stopping distances.

Visit the Tyre Safety website for more info on how to make sure your tyres are safe and efficient, and enter the draw for several sets of new tyres.

Checking your tread depth

Almost all tyres have wear bars in the groove of the tread, so make sure the tyre isn’t worn down to the wear bar. The wear bars show when you only have 1.5mm of tread left, at which point your tyres are on their absolute minimum legal tread depth. In the wet, or travelling at high speeds, your grip and stopping distances are seriously compromised if you have below 1.5mm of tread.

Another easy check is to insert a 20c coin into the tread. The base of the number 20 is approximately 2mm from the edge of the coin, so if you can see the whole of the number, it’s time to think about replacing your tyres.

20c tyre test

You can make it easier to check the tread on your front tyres by turning them fully to one side then the other.

Checking your tyre pressure

Just like a balloon, all tyres gradually lose air over time, but with modern tyres it is difficult to tell whether they are underinflated.

Underinflated tyres reduce grip and increase stopping distances. They also will wear our faster and cost you more in fuel. Underinflated tyres can use about 4% more fuel, or about an extra 8 cents per litre at current petrol prices. To check the correct tyre pressure for your car try looking for a sticker inside the driver’s door pillar, in the manual or there is an online tyre pressure tool on the EECA Energywise website.

If none of these can give you your correct pressure you can try emailing [email protected]

If you see any cracks or bubbles in the side of your tyre, or the tread is wearing out faster in some places than others, take it to a garage or tyre retailer for a professional to check.

Checking your tyre condition

When you are checking your tread depth and air pressure, take a moment to look for any tyre damage as well. If you see any cracks or bubbles in the side of your tyre, or the tread is wearing out faster in some places than others, take it to a garage or tyre retailer for a professional to check.

Make it a habit

The AA recommends that you check your tyre pressures about once a month. The best time to do this is when you’re at a service station filling up on fuel. This is also a perfect time to check your tread depth and tyre condition.

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