ARE MY TYRES WORN?
It is a good idea to check your tyres regularly for tyre wear. Here is a simple way to tell if your tyres are worn out.
All tyres should carry tread wear indicators situated in each of the main grooves of the tread. These indicators are small raised areas at the bottom of the grooves of the tread pattern as shown in the image.
If the surface of the tread rubber is level with these raised areas the tyre tread depth is most likely very close to the legal limit of 1.6 mm, or could even be below it! The tyre should be checked and if necessary changed, because you may no longer be driving in sufficient safety and you could be breaking the law.
However, even if the remaining tread depth is greater than 1.6 mm, drivers should adapt their speed and driving style to the external conditions, particularly on wet roads.
For these reasons, a user might be inclined to replace his tyres before the legal limit, if he estimates that the performances of his tyres are no longer in accordance with his usage.
WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY TYRES?
If after a puncture, a tyre specialist detects a defect that renders the tyre unrepairable.
If the tyre is not suited to the vehicle.
If it has reached the legal limit of wear.
If there is localised abnormal wear.
If it shows signs of ageing.
If it shows cuts or deformations likely to harm safety
In certain situations, a tyre can be repaired. The repair of tyres must be preceeded by a careful examination of all areas of the tyre carried out by a trained specialist, inside and out. The removal of the tyre from the wheel is absolutely essential because internal damage is not visible while the tyre is fitted.
Check the pressure of your tyres at least once a month and particularly before a high speed journey such as on the motorway.
The right pressure is one factor in the safety and longevity of your tyres.
The checking of your tyre pressures should be done 'when cold' (that is when you have travelled less than 2 miles.)
Don't forget to check your vehicles handbook for the correct tyre pressures for your type of usage.
TYRE UNDER INFLATION
Tyres with low pressure will wear abnormally. This can usually be seen by excessive wear on the outside edges of the tyre surface.
Under inflated tyres can cause:
A reduction in the overall control of the vehicle.
Increased braking distances.
An increased risk of tyre failure.
Increased fuel consumption.
More air pollution.
Excessive wear of the tyre shoulders.
TYRE OVER INFLATION
Tyres with high pressure will also wear abnormally and this can usually be seen by excessive wear in the middle of the tyre surface.
Over inflated tyres can cause:
Poor vehicle handling.
Reduced stability in braking and cornering.
Greater risk of impact tyre damage.
Excessive wear of the tyre's middle tread.
IMPORTANCE OF WHEEL BALANCING
Tyres need to be balanced to eliminate vibration. Balancing prevents premature wear of the tyre, and also protects the vehicle's suspension, steering systems and bearings and contributes to the comfort of the passengers.
Correct tyre balance gives:
Even distribution of the load over all four tyres.
Tyres protected from premature and irregular wear.
Driving comfort due to reduced vibration.