Stay Safe on the Road: Key Signs Your Car Tyres Need Replacing

Driving with older tyres that need replacing can put your safety at risk as well as the safety of those around you. It’s important to keep an eye on your car's tyres and make sure that you know the signs they may need to be replaced before the worst can happen. Read our blog post to find out more about car tyres and the key signs they need replacing.

Car Tyre Tread Wear

The treads on your tyres help your car grip the road. This is especially important if you are driving in adverse weather conditions like rain or snow. When the road is wet or slippery and you need to stop, the treads allow you to do that.

If your treads are worn down, that extra grip is gone and you can have a difficult time stopping.

Not only is worn tread a safety issue, but it is also a legal one. Once a tread is worn down too much, it is no longer legal to drive your car with those tyres. Each region is different, so check with your local transportation department to find out what the legal limit is.

All tyres come with something called a tread wear bar. This is a small horizontal bridge that are between your treads at a lower depth. When your tyres wear and these bars become flush with the tread, they need to be replaced immediately.

Make sure that you check your treads often to ensure they are safe and legal. If you aren’t sure how to do this, book your car at Adderley Green Garage for a safety check.

Uk Legal Requirements for Car Tyre Tread Depth

The treat depth of a new tyre really depends on the tyre type and who manufactures it. A treat pattern should be thick enough to ensure a long life for your tyres.

The minimum legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm. Your tyre tread depth must measure at least 1.6mm in 3 points across the centre and circumference of the tyre. Once your tyres reach this limit, you must change them immediately for safety but also so you aren't breaking the law.

If caught, you could receive a hefty fine of up to £2,500 and 3 points on your driving licence per illegal tyre.

Most tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres be changed once the treads wear down to 3mm remaining. If your tyres have worn down less than this, this starts to affect your tyre's reliability, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Tyre garages in the UK use a special tool to check the legal tyre limit of your tread - this is called a tyre gauge. If you don't have a tyre gauge, take your car to a local tyre garage near you for checking.

Car Tyre Irregularities

If your tyres are showing any signs of irregular wear, it is important for you to have them inspected. This could be a small bulge in the side of the tire or worn spots on just one side.

If your tyres are unevenly wearing down, it may mean your tyres are misaligned which can be easily fixed. If it isn’t fixed before more damage is done, or if there are bulges, it definitely means that your tyres need replacing.

Vibrations or Unusual Noises When Driving

Hearing unusual noises or vibrations while driving is an overlooked sign by drivers. If your car feels unsteady on the road or you can hear an odd noise, particularly at high speeds, it could mean an issue with your tyres.

Vibrations can usually be felt through the steering wheel or the driver's car seat. These vibrations can be caused by a variety of issues, but most commonly they are due to imbalanced wheels. Over time, tyres can become imbalanced which can cause your car to shake. This not only makes your drive uncomfortable but also poses dangerous safety risks. It could also mean that your car tyres are imbalanced, and you may need car tyre rebalancing.

Hearing unusual noises is another sign that your tyres need checking. If your tyres are making a loud humming noise, this could be a symptom of irregular or uneven tyre wear. This can be the result of misalignment, underinflation or overinflation, or a tyre that has simply worn out.

Remember, tyres are the only part of your car that touches the road, and any vibration or noise can drastically impact your car's handling and safety. 

If you start noticing any of these signs, make sure to visit your local car garage. The issues may seem minor, but these could be the early signs of major tyre issues. Have your tyres checked by a professional at the earliest sign of trouble.

Car Tyre Age

Tyres need replacing every 6 years regardless of the wear. If you look at the 4 digit code on the wall of the tire, you will be able to tell what the age of your tyres are. The first two numbers represent the week it was made and the last two numbers are the year. Check what that date is and set a reminder for yourself.

Although tyres can last for up to 10 years, 6 years is the peak amount of time you should be driving on them. After that, a number of issues can start happening and it may become dangerous.

What Are the Dangers of Driving on Worn or Damaged Tyres?

When it comes to vehicle safety, your tyres play a pivotal role. Your tyre’s condition can significantly affect your vehicle's performance and your safety. Driving on worn or damaged tyres can lead to serious consequences. Some of the dangers include:

Regularly Check Your Car's Tyre Pressure

As an extra note, always make sure to always maintain and check your car's tyre pressure. Checking your tyre pressure is very important, as improper pressure affects your handling and braking as well as risks your safety. Read our other blog post on why tyre pressure maintenance is so important and the effects of under and over-inflation.

Tyres Stoke-on-Trent

If you are unsure if you should replace your tyres or not, bring your car to the professionals for an inspection. They will be able to easily tell if you still have some time left in your tyres or if you are putting your safety at risk.

Need a second opinion on your tyres? Our experienced mechanics can diagnose and fix any tyre problems you may have. Contact Adderley Green Garage for more information.

Tyre Pressure - Why Is It So Important To Check?

Driving on tyres with the wrong tyre pressure not only costs you more money in the long run, but it risks your safety too. Maintaining proper pressure not only enhances your driving experience, but also provides a host of benefits that contribute to the overall performance and how long your tyres can last. Many people don’t think about checking the pressure of tyres until they see one sagging or deflated, or until their MOT test.

Checking your tyres regularly is important, especially for fuel efficiency. However, fuel efficiency could be the least of your troubles. If you travel with under-inflated or overinflated tyres, it can put stress on other parts of your vehicle that would be expensive to repair. Driving with the wrong tyre pressure also puts you at a significantly higher risk of a blowout while driving. Tyre blowout is extremely dangerous for you, your passengers in the vehicle but also any other cars on the road at the time. 

This blog post will explain why it’s so important to regularly check your tyre pressure, as well as how to inflate your tyres.

Effects of Under and Over-Inflated Tyres

The Dangers of Under-Inflated Tyres

Tyres are carefully designed to provide optimal traction on the roads, and they depend on a specific level of inflation to do so. Under-inflated car tyres increase the surface area in contact with the road as they sag. This increases tyre resistance, which can cause a range of issues including:

- Greater fuel consumption 

- Increased friction and wear

- Straining suspension and chassis, risking damage to vital components of your vehicle

- Impaired handling and braking

Effects of Overinfated Tyres

Overinflation of your tyres is also dangerous, so it’s important to know your car’s specific tyre pressure. Properly inflated tyres offer less rolling resistance, allowing your engine to work more efficiently. This provides you with better fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions, making your vehicle more environmentally friendly.

Overinflated tyres reduce the overall contact with the road, as the sides pick up, putting more pressure on the centre of the tyre. This leads to poorer traction and therefore poorer break times and stability. It also causes tyres to wear much more quickly, as the centres suffer increased stress. This means you have to replace your tyres much quicker.

Check Pressure When Tyres Are Cold

For the most accurate readings, check the tyre pressure when your tyres are cold. Ideally, check after the vehicle has been parked for at least three hours or driven less than two miles. The pressure of your tyres can increase as the tyres warm up, leading to inaccurate readings if checked while hot.

Determining Your Vehicle’s Optimum Tyre Pressure

To prevent outcomes of unbalanced tyres, vehicles need to be at their optimum pressure levels as much as possible. You can find your vehicle’s tyre pressure in the user’s manual or sometimes written on the sill of the driver’s door. Alternatively, you can find a website online and search using your number plate or car make and model.

Ensuring Correct Tyre Pressure: Checking and Adjusting

At the majority of petrol stations, you will find an air pump station available. These are typically offered at no cost or for a minimal cost. To check the pressure, find the valves on each tyre, remove the caps, and attach the hose to the valve. The air pump will then inflate the tyres to the predetermined level, which you must input on the device before starting inflation. Once the pressure is reached, the machine will beep to let you know that the tyre has reached the set pressure.

Make sure to reset the pressure for the rear and front tyres if their required pressure differs.

Tools for Tyre Pressure Measurement

Remember to check your tyres every two to four weeks, especially before taking long trips. It’s important to check your tyres manually, even if your vehicle is equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). A TPMS provides alerts when the pressure drops significantly, but it's still important to manually check the pressure of your tyres regularly to ensure optimal performance. 

Regular Maintenance for Optimal Tyre Pressure

Incorporating tyre pressure checks into your regular vehicle maintenance routine is crucial for ensuring a safe and efficient driving experience. Understand the importance of proper tyre pressure and monitoring it regularly. By doing so, you can prolong the life of your tyres, improve fuel economy, and enhance overall vehicle performance. So, take the time to check your tyre pressure and enjoy the benefits of a safer and more efficient drive.

If your tyres are worn or need replacing, contact your garage or local tyre specialists. At Adderley Green Garage, we offer expert car service including repairing and replacing car tyres in Stoke on Trent. We also offer free tyre safety checks - contact us to find out more.