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How To Tell If You Need New Tyres

Posted in Bigbox Service Tips

How To Tell If You Need New Tyres

Tyres are arguably the most important part of your car. Therefore you should never drive with worn-out tyres as this is very dangerous. If your car is serviced regularly and in accordance to your manufacturer's service schedule then your mechanic will tell you when it’s time for a new set. However, if it’s been a while since your last service or you’ve been doing some long-distance travels, even perhaps on rougher roads, then here’s how you can determine if you need new tyres. 

Tread Depth

One easy way to monitor the state of your tyres is by checking the tread depth. Your tyres’ depth should never fall below 1.5mm. Although this is the minimum legal tyre tread, this does not necessarily mean it is safe to drive with. We would advise that once your tread gets this low, you should look at replacing the tyre, however, if you are willing to drive at this tread, you can do so at your own risk. A popular tool for checking this is a tyre tread depth gauge. This gauge measures the tread depth by putting one end of the gauge on the tyre to be checked and then sliding the measuring bar into the tread groove until it hits the bottom.

Nowadays many new tyres have tread wear indicators inbuilt into the rubber itself. This means when the tyre is new the bar/indicator is barely visible and as the tyres wear down, the bars become more visible. You’ll know it’s time to replace the tyre when more than one or two of these bars are visible. They can be found running perpendicular to the tread direction. 

Leaks and weak spots

Another common area to check for problems on your tyres is the side walls. What you’re looking for are tracks or cuts which should be fairly noticeable to the naked eye. Any particularly obvious marks in the sidewall might be a sign that your tyre is developing a leak or that it is ready to blow and will need to be replaced immediately.

Bulges and blisters need to be looked out for as well as this could mean the outer surface of the tyre has started to weaken. Weak spots can lead to a sudden blowout, which is highly dangerous when your vehicle is moving. It’s best to get into a habit of regularly checking for weak spots on your tyres.

Damage due to external factors - Sidewall impact damage​

'Impact fractures' are a common cause of concern for vehicle drivers.

Typically, being the thinnest part of the tyre the sidewall is, therefore, the most susceptible to damage. Tyres damaged in this manner are not fit for service. If driving over curbs and similar obstacles can not be avoided then they should be driven over at an obtuse angle & at an appropriately slow speed. They are normally soft to feel.  

What are the safety aspects

Tyres and Safety meet hand in hand.  Please see a short presentation from Continental Tyres on Tyre depth against braking performance.

From this presentation, it is clear that the more tread you have on your tyres the better braking capacity your vehicle will have.  Please see below some more information on tyre damage caused by irregular maintenance and also from normal driving conditions.  ​​

Underinflation damage can be avoided with regular tyre pressure checks and not exceeding load capacity. Maintain the vehicle's tyres at the recommended tyre placard inflation pressures. 

Deep or wide indentations or chafing in the bead area are caused by rubbing against the rim flange and may indicate poor pressure maintenance or overloading.
Double sided shoulder wear due to under inflation. The lack of pressure means the centre of the tyre is not supporting the load.
Uneven wear may indicate belt separation that can also result in partial tread separations.

If you’re ever uncertain of the safety and reliability of your tyre’s tread, it’s best to have them seen by a professional. BigBox Service & Tyres have a team of experienced technicians who can ensure you’re always driving on safe tyres.

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​​The next time you need to have your vehicle serviced, visit BigBoxCars Service & Tyres and put your mind at ease whilst our professional technicians take the time to ensure your tyres are well-cared for, and that you’ll be traveling smoothly and safely.

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