Guidance on how to ensure your tyres remain in good condition
Tyre condition has a significant impact on your vehicle’s performance, fuel efficiency and your safety.
This fact sheet offers some straightforward guidance on tyre maintenance to help you ensure they remain in good condition, legal and safe.
What’s the law on tyre tread depth?
The minimum legal tread depth for a car tyre is 1.6mm. This depth must be maintained across the central ¾ of the breadth of tread in a continuous band around the full circumference of the tyre.
At Volvo Car Leasing, we recommend a tread depth of no less than 2mm and to change tyres when they reach this level to maintain driver safety and vehicle performance.
What are the penalties?
Using a vehicle that has defective tyres on the road can result in:
• A fine, up to £2,500 per tyre
• Three penalty points on your licence
We would recommend that you check your tyre pressures and tread depths regularly. The correct tyre pressures for your vehicle can be found in the manufacturer’s handbook.
Tyres are the only contact you have with the road; therefore it’s vitally important you regularly check their condition to make sure all tyres are legal and safe. The next page recommends a six point tyre check to ensure your tyres remain in good condition.
We recommend regular checks of tyre condition and pressure in line with your manufacturer’s recommendations to prolong the life of your tyres and improve vehicle safety.
The minimum legal tread depth for a car tyre is 1.6mm.
Six point tyre check
A full check of your tyres on a regular basis is recommended to help keep them in good condition. Check all tyres, including the spare for these points:
1. Tyre pressure and valves – maintaining the correct tyre pressure is an important factor for safety and longevity of tyres. The incorrect amount of air and pressure can increase wear, alter vehicle handling and reduce the tyre’s performance. We advise you check your tyres monthly and before any long trips when the tyres are cold. Tyre pressure limits can be found in your driver manual. Make sure tyre valves and caps are all present and in good condition. They play an important role in the tyre’s ability to maintain air pressure, tyre service-life and vehicle safety
2. Stones or nails – If not removed from the tread, stones and nails can cause damage and possibly lead to deflation. However, we recommend that nails and stones deeply embedded within the tyre are not removed and are checked over by a tyre specialist, as removing them could possibly lead to a slow puncture
3. Oil, fuel or paint – these substances can have harmful effects on the rubber compound used in tyres. Immediate removal with detergent and water is recommended
4. Damage and ageing – any sort of damage such as cuts, bulges, vibration or air loss must be checked out by a tyre specialist to avoid potential damage. Ageing, such as surface cracking and crazing occurs naturally by continual exposure to the elements. To reduce the ageing process, only wash tyre sidewalls when necessary with water
5. Tyre service life – regular inspection by a tyre specialist is recommended and tyres which have been in use for five or more years should be checked annually. Tyres which are 10 years old should be replaced
6. Tyre tread wear – this should be checked regularly. Abnormal wear is often an indication of a mechanical abnormality such as incorrect alignment or problems with steering or suspension
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