How to tell if your tyres need changing

25 September 2019 /
Having a car is an expensive addition – with insurance, petrol, annual MOT and service all adding up.
Quite often, we don’t tend to repair or replace car parts until the car breaks down or fails an MOT because of a fault. 

However, it is always better to pre-empt a break-down or failure of a vital part of the car. Otherwise, it could end up causing an accident, injuries or even death. 

One element that can fail an MOT and could be potentially dangerous are tyres.

By law, the tyre treads in the UK and Europe should be 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. Should the tyre tread be less than this across the entire circumference of the tyre, they are not road legal, and are generally referred to as ‘bald’. You will incur penalty points and a £100 fine per illegal tyre if you are pulled over by the police. 

The 20p test is a quick and easy one you can try at home. Take a 20p piece and put it in the tyre tread. If you can’t see the edging on the coin then your tires are fine. 

Although a bald tire will get picked up in the MOT, a bald tyre can go flat or burst at any time. 

Additionally, they stop being effective, especially if you are braking in wet conditions. The thinner the tyre tread, the more the braking distance increases. According to the RAC, this can be an increase of as much as 44%.

As a general rule, it is essential to get the tyres checked annually when they are five years old. And should tyre replacement comes up as an advisory on the MOT they should be replaced sooner rather than later. 

If the tyres are more than ten years old, they should be replaced as a precaution, even if they don’t appear to be below the limit. 

If you are unsure, and just want peace of mind give AutoMax garage a call and get them to check your tyres for you. It is better to be safe than sorry