How To Check the Quality of your Tyres (Cracks, sidewall damage etc)

The condition of your car's tyres is critical to your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians.


The condition of your car's tyres is critical to your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians. Your car is only in contact with the road surface through a very small area when compared to the size of the car itself. In fact, each tyre has a contact area approximately the size of your hand. As small as it is, this area is crucial in terms of the control you have over your vehicle, but it's easily overlooked or neglected.

Some of the most important checks are also the easiest to accomplish. Tyre pressures, tread depth and evenness of wear should be tested on a regular basis, and fortunately this can be done quite easily by the average motorist. Your Owner's Handbook should set out the recommended tyre pressures (which may be different between front and rear tyres), and you can check these at most petrol stations. If your car is equipped with a spare, do remember periodically to check its pressure.

An easy way to check tread depth is to insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves on the tyre. If, once the coin has been placed, you can't see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are safely within the legal limit. If you can see the band, however, the tread depth is questionable and you should consult a specialist like Protyre as soon as possible to determine whether your tyres need replacing. 
 

Still not sure? Book a Free Tyre Check at any of our local garages.

Free Tyre Check

It's equally vital that you inspect the tyre side walls for signs of wear, cracks or bulges, all of which can be very dangerous. While carrying out these checks essentially just involves visually inspecting your tyres, you might not feel very confident about your ability to recognise defects. If so, we at Protyre offer a tyre check free of charge. Simply book online and we will advise you of any issues (including areas which may be more difficult for you to see) and correct them before they escalate. For example, uneven wear might conceivably be caused by badly aligned wheels or suspension, which will continue to cause problems and incur further expense even if you have the tyres replaced. 

As highlighted above, tyres are absolutely central to the level of control you have over your vehicle, and you risk compromising your and other people's safety by using illegal tyres. As a specialist tyre retailer, we at Protyre stock a huge range of competitively priced tyres from all the leading manufacturers and can offer expert advice on your best option, taking into account your driving habits and budget. Our dealers also have the equipment and ability to correct badly aligned wheels on your car. Remember that if you are involved in an accident, your insurance may be invalidated if you are using illegal tyres. Each illegal tyre can also add three penalty points to your licence and make you liable to a fine of £2,500. So it clearly pays to make sure your tyres are legal.
 

About the author

David Sholicar

David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and ...

View author

Related Articles

How far can you drive on your spare tyre?

When was the last time you checked on your spare tyre? When you buy a car or buy car tyres, you may find that spare tyres have changed a little over the years. When you get that new Ford or that new set of Pirelli tyres, you might find that you don’t get a full tyre but a skinny space saver wheel for use if you get a puncture.   THIS PAGE INCLUDES:Safe driving speedCheck owner's handbookGrip and brakingBook with Protyre
Find out more

Can You Fail an MOT or get Fined for Bald Tyres?

If any question has an unequivocal ‘yes’ as the answer it’s whether bald tyres will fail an MOT. In fact, bald tyres are one of the most common reasons for MOT failures.  
Find out more

When should I change my car tyres?

Purchasing new car tyres is something every driver will have to do at some point, regardless of how many miles your vehicle tends to cover. But it’s not always easy to know exactly when to make the change.   THIS PAGE INCLUDES:How long should my tyres last?When they are worn down to the legal limitIf you get a punctureIf your tyre is damagedIf your tyre is showing signs of ageIf you can see abnormal wearBook with Protyre 
Find out more