How often should I check my tyre pressures and why is it important?
Correct tyre pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tyres affect the grip and handling, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behaviour. They are also much more likely to suffer from punctures and blow outs. By keeping them at the correct pressure your running costs are also reduced. Under-inflated tyres require more force to get them to move so your car uses more fuel. Additionally tyres which are not properly inflated wear out more quickly, so in the times of high fuel costs keep a regular check on your tyres pressures to reduce the fuel bill, and make your tyres last longer. You should check them at least once a month and if your unsure of the correct pressure please ask us here at AZ Autos and we can inform you.
What are the raised bits in the treaded area for?
You can check how close you are to the legal limit on all tyres by looking for the tread wear indicators: (see image below)
These indicators are small raised areas at the bottom of the grooves. 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.
How to measure tyre tread depth
Insert a 20p coin into the treaded area (main grooves) of the tyre and if the rim of the coin is covered with tread then the tyre is safe and legal
Cuts, breaks and abrasions to the tyre casing can penetrate deep into the inner fabric of the tyre and can be extremely dangerous - capable of causing high speed blow outs.
However, penetration of the tread by a nail or a shard of glass can often be safely repaired. Puncture repairs should be carried out by professionals and in accordance with the BS AU 159 regulations (like here at AZ Autos).
Only a special vulcanised plug patch should be used which repairs the tyre to the standard. Don't ever let anyone else try to repair your tyre to a lesser standard. It could prove fatal in the event of the repair failing at high speeds.