posted 5 years ago

Tyre Maintenance Madness Risking Lives

TyreSafe Stresses The Importance Of Maintenance

Motorists that fail to maintain and replace tyres risk their lives and those of others, TyreSafe has warned. This non-profit organisation has emphasised this point now as it recently received pictures of a tyre – that was removed from a high performance BMW 3 Series – which is so worn that there is no remaining tread. This ensures it is virtually useless in the rain and snow. Equally concerning, wear on the shoulder is so severe that the carcass is damaged. TyreSafe's representative called it “an accident waiting to happen”. Now, tyres are far more important than some motorists recognise. They are, after all, the only parts of a vehicle that are in contact the surface of the road. Furthermore, as they revolve only a small part of each touches the tarmac at one time – and of these chunks have been removed to form the pattern that clears rain water, etc. Despite this motorists expect their tyres – without exception – to smoothly translate engine power into momentum and help vehicles brake and steer. These tasks must be performed in conditions such as extreme heat in the summer, rain in the autumn and snow in the winter. As such, drivers should frequently check their tyres are fit for purpose.

How To Check  A Tyre

Checking a tyre is legal/safe is a simple process. As a rule, complete this task at least once per-month unless there is a specific problem that needs more frequent monitoring. The first consideration is the pressure that influences how the vehicle corners, brakes, rides and steers. Incorrect pressure – either to high or to low - can also damage the tyre. The correct pressure can be confirmed via a sticker which tends to be stuck on the driver-side b-pillar. If not, refer to the manual. And remember that cars often require different pressures at the front/back and while heavily laden. The next consideration is tread depth. The legal minimum is 1.6mm across the central 75% of the tyre's width and around its circumference. This can be checked via a gauge or the wear indicators that (most) tyres have within their tread. However, to maintain the vehicle's performance it is best to replace a tyre when its tread hits 3mm. Furthermore, check all around for tears, punctures, bulges and cracking which could compromise the tyre's integrity. Plus, of course, if there is any doubt that the tyre is fit for purpose have it checked by a mechanic. 


The ware on an outer inch of the tyre is not usually as some suggest due to fast cornering, but the vehicle being out of track, and usually toeing in. This can happen with either tyre and the condition can be caused by hitting a curb or pot hole. Some of the more unscrupulous tyre companies will tell you that the tyre is illegal, its not*** if the tread complies along 75% of the tyre, in such a case the vehicle only needs re-tracking, which at about £15 quid is much cheaper than a new tyre, and quite safe to run on when the vehicle and its steering are both pointing in the same direction.

You must be back wards if you can't check a tyre. How on earth did you pass your driving test? Checking your tyres is in the highway code.

Another little supprise as I read some time ago that its on the cards that the EU are going to bring us in line with the continent, and make it illegal to run a tyre below 3mm (we have no choice in this as the EU now make all our laws)

Most people do not where their tyres are. As to aquaplaning. The cause of this is driving too fast as with all accidents.. As in the code states ,drive too conditions not to your feelings.

As a tyre fitting company, we have about 60 tyres a week that we remove from customers cars that have no tread, canvas and wires showing, or both. we are a small family business, so you could times this by about 1000 every week.Safe driving folks

Having worked in the car industry for some time I have realised that a lot of people driving on Britans roads spend mor than they can afford on their cars and don't take into consideration the cost of care and maintenance .

From experience I will never let the tyres go below 3mm depth. 1.6mm was ok for narrow tyres of the 60's but too shallow for modern wide tyres. Worn wide tyres aquaplan at very easily. I have been informed that 3mm is the limit in France and Germany when you risk prosecution.

every time i take my car in to main dealers they carnt fix the fault but...... they always say tyres are illegal at 4mm at £300 a corner nice earner no wander some people run till last moment before tyres is below limit we dont trust garages but its easy to check weekly yourself

Cars sales men and tyre fitters will always disagree, i've had the same, the reason, money. Despite the legal depth i wouldn't drive on anything less than 2mm or older than 5 yrs, rubber hardens up over time.

Legally, it only has to be a minimum of 1.6mm across the central 75%. I've seen cars parked up with the outer inch or so worn completely smooth. If they are under inflated and with fast cornering (which this typically indicates) sooner or later you are going off, particularly in the wet. Roughly 4 square inches per tyre is all that is between you and disaster. Why would anyone take the risk?

My last car (rover 75)had a dodgy tyre on when i purchased it,the salesman said that it was legal,anyways i took it to a tyre company to change the said tyre,who said it was knackered and they should of replaced it for me!??

Totally agree. The most important items for safety on a vehicle have to be tyres, brakes & steering.

I was told the tread had to be legal across the total width, not 75%.