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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Discount Tyres has the best tyre maintenance tips online. Upkeep costs on cars can be kept to a minimum with proper tyre care. We all know running a car is expensive, so follow these tyre care tips and avoid unexpected bills.

Look after your tyres. Ideally a driver gets 20,000 miles out of front tyres on a front-wheel drive car and double that for the rear tyres.

Tyres have to meet a lot of different and sometimes conflicting requirements.

Long-life tyres are manufactured from harder compounds, but these make more noise.

Softer compound tyres generate less noise but will wear out more quickly.

1.The law states that there should be a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. It must be measured across the central 3/4 of the tyre and all the way round it too.

What does this mean in practice?

The first part of the law says there must be a minimum of 1.6mm of tread. This means that the depth of the grooves MUST BE NOT LESS THAN 1.6mm.

(See image 1)

tread depth rule 1

2. The second part of the law says that the 1.6mm measurement must be across the central 3/4 of the tyre.

This means that at any point across the main part of the tyre, the tread depth MUST BE NOT LESS THAN 1.6mm.

(See image 2)

tread depth rule 2

3. The third part of the law says that the 1.6mm measurement must be all the way round the tyre.

This means that there MUST BE NOT LESS THAN 1.6mm of tread all the way round the tyre.

(See image 3)

tread depth rule 3

WHY IS THIS?

Safety:

It’s all about safety. Independent tests commissioned by RoSPA have shown that your stopping distance increases greatly when the depth of your tyres’ tread gets down to the legal minimum.

Legal Minimum:

The legal minimum is just that: an absolute minimum. Your stopping distance in the wet will start to increase dramatically when your tyres’ tread depth gets below 3mm. Of course, this depends on what surface you are driving on and the temperature as well.

RoSPA recommends that for maximum safety you change your tyres when the depth gets to 3mm.

We recommend that you use newer tyres for the rear set, for extra safety in unforeseen or difficult situations (emergency braking, tight bends etc.) particularly on wet surfaces.

Numerous tests have shown that it is easier to control the front wheels than those at the rear.

Front tyres generally wear quicker than those fitted at the rear, particularly on front-wheel-drive cars, which are currently in the majority.

New tyres fitted in front:

  • The behaviour of the car will change, because the front / rear balance will be reversed
  • The driver, used to a car with less grip at the front, will therefore be taken unawares
  • On a slippery road, the rear will lose traction before the front of the vehicle
  • The driver will have no chance of controlling the rear, and will be tempted to accelerate further, which will amplify the spin effect. Only an experienced driver will be able to recover from this dangerous situation...
tyre rear

New tyres fitted at the back:

  • The handling of the vehicle will be similar to that known by the driver before the tyre change, because the traction balance will be the same
  • Rear traction will be better, and the driver will be able to control and steer their vehicle without a problem by decelerating and turning the steering wheel in the direction of the bend

That's why we advise you to reduce the risks you take by fitting new or less worn tyres at the rear of the vehicle for:

  • Better grip on bends
  • Extra safety
tyre front

Ever wondered what the markings on the side of a tyre mean?

205/55 R 16 91V

This information describes the size and characteristics of the tyre:

  • 205: This is the section width of the tyre, which refers to the overall width of the tyre in mm.
  • 55: This is the aspect ratio of the tyre, which is the sidewall height of the tyre as a percentage of the section width.
  • R: This means the tyre is of Radial construction.
  • 16: This is the internal diameter of the tyre.
  • 91: This is the load index: it states how much weight the tyre can carry.
  • V: This is the speed index: the maximum speed the tyre is designed for.
how to read a tyre

The correct pressure is important both for safety and for a long tyre life.

Your tyres must be checked when they are cold (by cold we mean the ambient outside temperature where the tyre is to be used).

Tyre pressures must be checked regularly, about once every two weeks.

A drop in pressure can be caused by:

  • The natural leakage of air through the walls of a tyre
  • Drops in ambient temperature
  • Small perforations that, in a tubeless tyre, may not lead to immediate deflation but rather deflation over time, (a slow leak!). This in turn can lead to irreversible damage due to the tyre running in an under-inflated condition

Why check your tyre pressures?

You will...

  • Maximise tyre life
  • Minimise tyre-related fuel consumption
  • Minimise greenhouse gas emissions
  • Save money!
pressure check

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