Make sure your tyres aren’t flat as a pancake

05 March 2019 Blog

Check your tyres regularly to make sure you stay as safe as possible on the roads.

This pancake day, take the time to do just a couple of checks on your tyres and keep yourself safe.

Tyre Pressure

Start by checking your tyre pressure. You may need a tyre pressure gauge, which can be purchased online or at a local supermarket. It’s generally recommended that tyres are checked every couple of weeks. Tyres can become deflated if not checked regularly and that can lead to uneven wearing of the tread.

Underinflated tyres can also lead to reduced fuel efficiency, increased CO2 emissions, overheating, poor handling and perhaps even a blowout. On the other hand, if you overinflate your tyres, you will have a smaller contact patch on the road surface.  This leads to a loss of traction, meaning greater braking distances and excessive wear.

It’s best to make a note to regularly check that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure; your vehicle handbook will give you a list of the correct tyre pressures at laden and unladen weights.

Tyre Tread

The second thing to test is your tyre tread. The legal tyre tread depth for cars in the UK and Europe is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. The tread must meet this minimum requirement across its complete circumference as driving below this limit can put you and other motorists at risk. Once tyres are below 3mm, stopping distances increase dramatically. Meanwhile, the difference in wet braking distance between a tyre worn to 3mm and one worn to 1.6mm can be as much as 44%. 

For a quick and simple way to check your tyres, try the 20p test. Take a normal 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves on the tyre. If you can't see the outer band of the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit. It’s best to do this test every couple of weeks and especially before long journeys. It’s also wise to look for signs of bulging, cuts and tears to the tyre wall. If you spot anything unusual, just take your vehicle to your local garage and ask them to check it.

With all of our cars coming in at under 3 years old, many of the cars at Motorpoint now come fitted with automatic checks for your tyre pressure so you’ll always know when you need to take action. Plus, all of our cars are tested to the Motorpoint Standard before we hand over the keys so that’s one less thing to worry about. To find out more, get in touch with us or head down to any one of our 12 branches to speak to a member of the team.