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06.10.2015 How to check your tyres are safe

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It’s a scary thought, but an estimated 36 per cent of all the tyres on the UK’s roads are dangerously underinflated. And when you consider that incorrectly inflated, bald or damaged tyres can lead to crashes and cost owners a fortune in wasted fuel, you realise just how important it is to keep your tyres pumped up.

Plus, if you’re caught driving around on illegal rubber, you could face a fine of up to £2,500 and three points on your licence. And that’s for each tyre.

You’ll find what your tyre pressures should be in your car’s handbook; the info is often on one of the front door shuts, inside the glove box or on the back of the sun visor. Spending just five minutes checking your tyres every couple of weeks might just save your life.

How to check your tyres

  • Make sure your tyres are cold by doing these checks before you drive it anywhere. Make sure your car is parked on level ground.
  • Get your fuel gauge; you can buy one for about a tenner or, alternatively, you can use the air machine at a garage.
  • Check each tyre for damage such as cuts, bulges and nails or screws.
  • Look for uneven tyre wear, which could be a sign of a problem. You can always drop in and ask for advice at a reputable tyre fitter, who should normally give advice for free.
  • See how much tread is left. Look for the small blocks set every so often within the tread; when these are flush, the tyre needs replacing as it’s down to the 1.6mm legal limit. You should replace tyres in pairs ideally.
  • An easy way to check a tyre’s tread depth is to insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves. If the outer rim of the coin is covered by the tread, your tyres are good to go, but if the outer rim is visible, you need new tyres.

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