Tyre Care, Are Your Tyres Up To Scratch?

Making sure that the tyres on your car or van have adequate read depth and are within the law, can be a matter of life or death. Tyres with less than the legal minimum of 1.6 mm can compromise your safety on the road and potentially lead to an accident.

The UK tyre law, and that for all EU nations, is the same, 1.6 mm of tread across the central three quarters of the width of the tyre in a continuous band around the circumference of the tyre. However, some European countries do have additional tyre law requirements and these can be checked prior to travelling by calling into your local reputable tyre dealer for advice.

The tyre law of 1.6 mm is, of course, the minimum and most tyre safety experts advise that when the tread depth falls below 3 mm, at which point wet weather grip is dramatically reduced, then drivers should consider replacement.

But how do you check the tread depth on your tyres?

The simplest way is of course to buy a tread depth gauge from your local motor accessory shop and check all four tyres, and don’t forget the spare, on a regular basis. Another way, and not readily appreciated by drivers, is to check the sidewall of a tyre where you will find the three letters TWI, which stands for Tread Wear Indicators. Adjacent to those letters, and positioned in the grooves of the tread, are bars of rubber set at 1.6 mm. If those bars are flush with the tread then to tyre are close to being illegal and must be replaced.

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Should checking your tyres be inconvenient as part of your vehicle maintenance, or just too difficult, all reputable tyre dealers will be happy to undertake a simple tyre safety check which will include tread depth, pressure and general tyre condition.

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About the author

David Sholicar

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

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