Important information on tyres
We understand that when a motorist has a problem with a tyre they want a quality service, value for money, expert advice and the convenience of a local solution.
In recognition that the range of tyre types and brands available today can be quite bewildering; our tyre experts are on hand to guide you through your tyre choices to make sure you get the right tyre for you and your car from the extensive range of tyre brands out there.
The law requires your vehicle to be fitted with the correct type and size of tyre for the vehicle type you are driving and for the purpose it is being used. There are also laws in place to govern all aspects of your tyres condition; most important of these is the minimum tread depth. The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread going around the complete circumference of the tyre.
When you think that your tyres are the only point of contact your vehicle has with the road you can appreciate why it is vitally important that you select the right tyre type for the vehicle you are driving and for the purpose it is being used. We believe that motorist should get in to a habit of checking all four tyres very regularly for pressures and general condition; don’t forget to check the spare tyre too.
What does the writing on my tyres mean?
There are two main purposes of the writing that you’ll see on the sidewall of your tyres.
The first is to help identify the size and specification of the tyres correctly. The second is to confirm that the tyre has been tested and approved to European and other country safety standards. The European mandatory is known as ‘E’ marking.
Although it is not illegal, it is not recommended to have tyres with a lower speed rating or load capacity than what the manufacturer has recommended for your vehicle, or to have a combination of different tyre construction types. Consult your vehicle handbook, which will confirm your vehicles tyre speed and load ratings as well as any additional requirements.
How can I tell when my tyres need changing?
One sign that your tyres need changing is noticing a deterioration in performance. For example, your car does not handle or grip the road as well in poor weather conditions as it normally does, or it takes longer to stop when you apply the brakes.
The fact that tyres wear gradually can make it difficult to identify the reduction in performance, so it’s best to have them checked regularly and preferably by an expert. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that the tread on your tyres is not worn beyond the legal minimum limit of 1.6 millimetres.
To make this easier to identify, tyre manufacturers mould tread wear indicators (T.W.I) into the design of the tyres tread pattern usually at a tread level of 1.6mm. As soon as the tread is worn to the height of the tread wear indicator, the tyre has reached the legal minimum tread depth and you should replace the tyre as soon as possible.
You should also be aware that there are many different reasons for tyre wear. Your tyres don’t just get worn through age and use, but from emergency braking, under-inflation or over-inflation. If your wheels are misaligned, one edge of the tyre can wear more quickly than the other edge.
We recommend a weekly walk around the car to check the tread, look for bulges or wear and to check tyre pressures every time you fill the tank.