It goes without saying that your tyres are vital for safe driving. They have more essential functions than simply carrying the body of your car. These include providing grip for acceleration and braking, maintaining control when steering, providing traction on the road surface to prevent skidding and spinning out on wet or icy surfaces.
So, to ring in the New Year, what better way to treat your car than a set of new tyres? Not sure whether it’s worth the investment? Take a look at this guide for some key things to look out for, which might indicate your tyres need replacing.
Tyre tread is what helps create traction to keep your car steady and under control on the road surface. The shallower the tread, the less grip your tyres have. For safe driving, it is a requirement of UK law that your tyre tread is 1.6mm. Anything under this is considered illegal and unsafe to drive on. If your tread is below the minimum limit, you should consider replacing your tyres as soon as possible.
It’s easier than you might think to check your own tyre tread. Most tyres have tread wear bars that are only visible when your tread depth is below the safe limit. Otherwise, you can hold a 20p piece in the tread. If the outer rim of the coin is visible, it is a good indication that the tread is below the limit and the tyre should be replaced.
Uneven tyre wear is usually caused by improper wheel alignment, under or over inflated tyres or worn out suspension. Whatever the case, tyre wear is inevitable and will occur over time no matter how well maintained your car and tyres are. However, this doesn’t mean it should go unacknowledged. While the issues that cause the tyre wear in the first place should be addressed as a priority, the tyres themselves should still be replaced. This is because excessive or uneven wear makes it harder to steer or turn and increase the risk of a tyre blowout.
Besides difficulty steering or keeping control of the car, you should check your tyres regularly for signs of uneven tyre wear as left untreated, it could lead to more serious and dangerous issues down the road (if you pardon the pun).
Some people might only consider replacing their tyres when there is excessive wear, below minimum tread depth or a puncture. As good a condition as your tyres may seem to be in on the surface, a lot of people don’t realise is that tyre age has a bigger impact in their condition than you might think.
As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your tyres when they reach 10 years old. If you can’t remember when you had your current tyres fitted or have had the car for less than 10 years, you can check the age of your tyres on their sidewall. Look for the 4 digit code. The first two figures represent the week it was manufactured and the latter two indicate the year. So, 1316 = March 28th-April 3rd 2016.
So, you’ve decided to replace your tyres. Good choice! The next step is choosing the right tyres for you. Here are our top 3 tips for choosing your tyres.
Know your Size
You should first and foremost know what size tyres you need. While some tyre sizes are interchangeable, for the best and most reliable performance, you should stick to the standard size for your vehicle. This can be found on the sidewall of the tyre itself and will be set out like this: 225/50 R17 98H. To find out how to decipher the size, here is a very useful article.
If you have a lower budget, it can be easy to opt for cheaper or part worn tyres, but we recommend looking at your tyres as an investment, both for your car and for your safety. Choosing tyres from a well-known quality brand, such as Bridgestone means you will be getting a reliable set of tyres which will last longer between replacements. We’d recommend the Bridgestone Dueler D-Sport, an exceptional summer tyre which boasts ultra high performance on wet and dry surfaces. It also has a specially formulated tread which maximises grip and shortens braking distances.
Don’t Mix and Match
To make the most of your tyres and to get the best performance, it’s recommended that you either change your tyres in pairs (on the same axle) or all four together, making sure that all your tyres are the same size and type. You should also ensure you fit tyres with the same speed ratings.
For a full range of Bridgestone tyres, take a look at the ASDA tyres website.