WHY ARE TYRES IMPORTANT?
Your tyres are essential for safe driving; they are the only link between your vehicle and the road – a critical contact area no bigger than the palm of your hand.
Tyres have 4 vital functions:
- · Provide grip for braking and acceleration
- · Maintain steering and directional control
- · Support the weight of the vehicle
- · Act as a shock absorber for vibrations from the road
The tread is the grooved outer layer of your tyre that is in direct contact with the road. The rubber compound is designed to grip the road, resist general wear and tear and cope with high temperatures generated by friction. Sufficient tread is vital to keep you safe in all conditions.
New tyres come with at least 7mm of tread. The legal tread limit is 1.6mm – anything below can incur a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 points for each illegal tyre.
In an emergency, the risks are many times greater if tread depth is close to the legal limit. Braking distances are significantly increased as a tyre becomes more worn. The level of tread becomes imperative in the wet, where worn tyres contribute to 1 in 10 accidents in wet conditions. That’s why it’s important to check tyre tread depth, general tyre condition and tyre pressure to ensure your tyres are safe for the roads.
Tyres must be correctly inflated according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations in the vehicle handbook. Over-inflated tyres cause excess wear, shortening tyre life and can result in an uncomfortable ride; under-inflated tyres result in increased fuel consumption and faster wear of the tread shoulders plus increased chance of impact damage.
You should also inspect the general condition of your tyre for any sign of bumps, bulges or cuts which could cause a blow out when driving.
Eastlake Garage recommend that motorists check tyre tread depth, condition and pressure on a monthly basis and before any long journeys
Top 10 Questions About Tyres
How do I know when my tyres need replaced?
If you notice that your car is not performing as well in wet weather, that it doesn’t handle or grip, or takes longer to stop when you brake then your tyres may need replacing. As tyre wear is a gradual process it can be hard to tell when your tyre needs changing which is why we recommend monthly tyre checks.
How do I measure tread depth?
A quick and simple way to check your tread depth is with a 20p coin. Insert the coin into the tread grooves at three separate places on your tyre. If you can see the outer rim of the 20p piece, then this could indicate that your tread is close to or below the legal minimum of 1.6mm and you should visit us to have your tyres checked. You should perform a quick visual inspection of the general condition of your tyres too.
Another way to check tread wear is the Tread Wear Indicators (TWIs) which many manufacturers now include within the tyre grooves. When the TWI is worn down, it indicates that the tread may be nearing the legal limit.
However we do recommend that if in any doubt, you ask our tyre technician to check for you.
How important is tyre pressure?
The correct tyre pressure is very important; it helps your tyres last longer, provides a smooth, more comfortable ride and makes your fuel go that bit further, so the right tyre pressure helps you save money as well as improving safety. It also reduces carbon dioxide emissions which protects the environment. Did you know that 37% of cars run on tyres which are dangerously under-inflated? The correct inflation for these vehicles would save £440 million per year!
Should I repair a puncture?
Punctures can be repaired providing they meet with British Standard AU159. Upon inspection of the tyre, our
tyre technician will be able to advise you if your tyre falls into this category.
Tyres can only be repaired in the central area of the tyre (the part marked 'T') - the sidewalls are not repairable, and for V rated tyres and above, only one repair is allowed. However, before any repair is carried out, the tyre must be fully inspected for any signs of internal damage which could cause tyre failure.
Eastlake Garage are authorised providers of Puncture Safe. We can safely carry out the installation of the puncture safe product by fully trained technicians. Please click here for further information www.puncturesafe.com
What do I need to know about UK tyre law?
UK law requires that your vehicle is fitted with the correct type and size of tyre for the vehicle type you are driving and for the purpose it is being used. This means fitting the right tyres and for safety ensuring that they are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure. The tyres on your car are its only part of contact with the road. We want to ensure that you and your car are safe. Eastlake Garage will do everything we can help to do this.
The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.
For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3 millimetres.. At 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes an extra two car lengths (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres. Tyres are constructed with tread wear indicators. These indicators show when the tyre has worn down to the legal limit.
A regular check of your tyres can help you to avoid 3 penalty points and £2,500 in fines per tyre for having tyres worn beyond the legal minimum limit on your vehicle.
It is also a legal requirement to ensure that tyres of different construction types are not fitted to opposite sides of the same axle. The two main tyre types are radial and cross-ply, and these must not be mixed on the same axle.
Mixing brands and patterns of the same construction type is permissible depending on the vehicle type and manufacturers recommendation. Check your vehicle's handbook for tyre fitment details and options or ask us to look this up for you.
Eastlake Garage is committed to looking after the environment and its natural resources.We are a keen supporter of green initiatives like tyre recycling and finding the most environmentally friendly ways of disposing of tyres and waste materials.
Eastlake Garage adhere to the Duty of Care Regulations, which are part of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 & Special Waste Regulations 1996. We only employ the services of licensed waste disposal carriers who must be registered with the Environment Agency and comply with the requirements of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.
We adhere to a strict policy regarding the environment and NEVER use landfill sites.
We can supply and fit the vast majority of tyres of most sizes for private and commercial vehicles. Ring us today for your tyre quotes – we look forward to your call.