How to check if your tyres need changing

As the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, it is imperative that your tyres are in good condition. The tread on your tyres helps to channel water during wet conditions, thus reducing the risk of skidding; something worn tyres are unable to do. Worn tyres also prone to air leaking and increase the risk of a blowout. In addition to the safety concerns, there are also legal consequences to not keeping your tyres in good shape. So how do you know when it’s time to change them?

When you get a new set of tyres, the tread depth will measure around 8mm. The Highway Code states that "Cars, light vans and light trailers MUST have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference." If you’re caught driving with tyres below the legal limit you face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. In the case of an accident, illegal tyres could even invalidate your insurance.

How to measure tread depth

You can measure tread depth using a tread depth gauge or by looking at your tread wear indicators. These are raised area at the bottom of the tyre tread grooves, once the rest of the tread is in line with this area you are near the legal limit. Alternatively, ask for your tyres to be checked at your local garage.

What else should I look out for?

The outer wall of your tyre should not have any cracks. Any bubbles or bulges are a sign of internal damage and indicate that you should replace your tyres immediately. Tyres usually last for around 20,000 miles but should always be changed with five years as after this time the rubber compound will start to come apart.

Imperial Tyres are Wiltshires Number 1 Wheel Alignment Specialist and Tyre Fitting Centre in Swindon. contact us to help you with all your tyre needs!