Did you know that you could actually be driving on illegal tyres without realising it? This could land you a hefty fine and will most likely see your car fail its next MOT if you don’t do something about it!
Don’t get caught out. Read on and learn what makes your tyres illegal, and what you can do to resolve this.
Are Your Tyres Illegal?
Not only are the aforementioned issues of a costly fine and MOT failure something to consider, but no one wants to drive a car that could become dangerous to control. Given that your tyres support the rest of your vehicle, you certainly don’t want to leave your safety up to chance.
To keep your tyres legal, there are a few things you can do to make sure that they stay in the best possible condition.
How Is Your Tyre Tread Depth?
Your tyre tread is made up of little grooves that surround the surface of your tyres. These indentations help your car to grip the ground effectively, making for a smooth driving experience. The legal tread depth requirement for your car in the UK is 1.6mm across the middle three-quarters of the tyre – by law, your tyres must meet this standard.
Over time, the tread on your tyres begins to wear away as it makes contact with the road’s surface. As you can imagine, this lack of tread depth means that your car will lose traction and you will in turn struggle to maintain control of your car’s movements. Worn tyre tread is one reason why your tyres may be considered illegal.
When your tyre tread depth is at the correct level, your tyres should be able to take water into the grooves, thereby keeping your car in contact with the road’s surface. In wet or icy driving conditions, worn tyre tread can cause you to lose control, as this water can build up underneath the tyres and make it more likely that your car will skid. If you think your tyre tread is low, you should definitely get this checked out by a professional mechanic to avoid any nasty surprises.
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How Inflated Are Your Tyres?
Your tyres could be considered illegal if they aren’t inflated correctly. This is for your own safety, as overinflated or underinflated tyres can pose dangers for your vehicle. There will be less traction between your tyre and the road if it is overinflated, which could cause your car to skid, or result in an unexpected tyre blowout. Similarly, an underinflated tyre can reduce the handling of your car, as the grip your tyres have on the road becomes too strong, thereby giving you less control when you want to change direction. This is why it's so important that you regularly check your tyre pressure is at the correct level.
Are Your Tyres Worn Out?
Tyre wear can be caused by anything from problems with wheel alignment to issues with tyre pressure. When your wheels are out of alignment, this can also cause damage to your suspension and steering, which could be expensive to fix.
What’s more, uneven tyre wear and damage to the tyre sidewall can eventually lead to tyre blowout. There are ways to test whether or not your tyre tread is the correct depth, but if you notice any damage to your tyres, it is extremely important that you get this checked out as soon as possible. The slightest impact from something as insignificant as a small stone can cause tyre blowout, and you don’t want to find this out whilst driving at speed!
Whatever the cause of tyre wear, it is always better to be on the safe side by having them looked at by a professional garage. Other than the issues focused on in this blog, your tyres could be deemed illegal if they aren’t suited to the vehicle you drive, or if a mix of different tyres are being used, so you should always make sure that you use tyres that are the right size and type for your car.
When Should You Change Your Tyres?
You should change your tyres when the tread depth is approaching 3mm, or if any of the issues raised in this article become apparent. When in doubt, it is always better to have a part as important as your tyres looked at by a professional mechanic.
To stay safe, you should have your tyres replaced when they are beginning to wear out. If you need new tyres, buy them through BookMyGarage today. It is always best to have a job like this done as effectively as possible. Trust a professional garage to take care of your tyres.
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