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.