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How to check your tyre treads

It’s recommended that you check the wear of your tyre treads at least once a month - but why is this so important? And just how do you check your treads properly? We’re here to answer all your tyre tread questions – and show you how to check them with an easy, five-minute test.

Why do I need to check my tyre treads?

Letting your tyres wear too much is an accident waiting to happen. The treads of your tyres are useful for shifting water, giving your car a better grip in wet conditions. The more worn your tires are, the less they are able to grip through water. This means that if there is surface water on the road, you could end up aquaplaning – which is where your car loses grip, preventing steering or breaking on a wet road. Aquaplaning is incredibly dangerous, and the risk of it is increased the more worn your tyres are. Low tread tyres are also more susceptible to punctures, which can result in a nasty tyre blow-out on the road.

If you are caught with worn tyres, you could be faced with £2,500 fine and 3 points- per tyre! You can work out for yourself what might happen if all four of your tyres are worn. Worn treads can also make your car fail its MOT, as well as generally pose a risk to you and those around you out on the road.

How do I check my treads?

The legal tread depth is a minimum of 1.6mm across the middle ¾ of your tyre. Most safety experts actually advise having tread depths above 3mm, so it’s vital to check that your tread depths regularly and make sure they never go below 1.6mm.

One easy way to check this is the 20p test. The 20p test is a quick way to tell if your tyres are unsafe – and all you need is a 20 pence coin. To do the test, insert the coin into the tread of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin is covered, your treads are over the legal limit! If you can still see the outer band of the coin, it’s bad news – you’re under the limit, and your tyre might need to be replaced. In this case, you should take your car to a professional as soon as you can for them to advice. Make sure that you test your tread depth in a few different places on each wheel to be sure.

Alternatively, you can check your treads by using a tread depth gauge. You can buy these from many shops, and they’ll help to determine the depth of your tread.

Make sure that you test your tyre treads regularly, and particularly before any long journeys – it’s important that you stay safe, and looking after your tyres can help you do this.

Posted on July 09, 2018
Category Safe Driving


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