Car Tyres Health Check 101

A person checking their tyres pressure

Antwis Engineering – our guide on how to check your car tyres

A car tyre health check is one of the best things you can do for your vehicle as part of its general maintenance. At Antwis Engineering, we provide free visual inspections of your car tyres in our Sevenoaks garage as well as advice and guidance on tyre maintenance for any vehicle. Tyres are one of the essential parts that keep a car running, but it is also one of the most neglected. From taxis to buses, the tyre is always the mutual component that carries the weight of the vehicle and keeps it on the road. You’ll be at an advantage if you can keep on top of your car tyres health, as it can save you money and keep your vehicle running efficiently. We’ve put together a guide with the best advice to keep your car tyres in great condition!

Check your tyre tread

The legal minimum for a tread depth is 1.6mm but safety experts have advised that it would be better to change your car tyres at 3mm. Why is this? Well, when car tyres have a 3mm tread it takes the car around two car times longer to stop. The best way to measure the tread depth of 3mm is to get a tyre tread depth gauge. They are pretty inexpensive and will allow you to check the tyre’s depth at different points across the whole tyre.

There are also other ways you can check the tread depth to make sure it meets the legal requirement of 1.6mm. One way is by placing your finger in the main tyre groove and then as you run it along you should feel the Tread Wear Indicators (TWI). The TWIs are small notches that are 1.6mm high so when the main tread is flush, it allows you to see when you need to change your tyres. You can also check the tread depth by using a 20p coin. All you have to do is simply place the coin in the groove between the tread blocks. If the rim outside the coin is nowhere to be seen that means that the car tyre has more than 1.6mm of tread.

Check the tyre pressure

Tyre pressure is an important part of keeping your car tyres in check – you can find your car’s tyre pressure in its owner’s manual or online. Did you know that if your car tyres are under inflated by just 20% they lose around ⅕ of their life span? This is due to the increase in rubber in direct contact with the road and is also why it wears down quicker. Moreover, overinflated tyres can cause just as big a problem because they can wear unevenly and result in longer stopping distances. This is due to less rubber exposure on the road.

Use your eyes

In order to check your car tyres, all you have to do is periodically check the sides of your car tyres to make sure there aren’t any lumps or gashes. If you spot anything it could be due to a structural defect which is usually caused by potholes and can result in needing new tyres sooner than expected.

Check your dust caps and condition

Dust caps are important little caps used to prevent small particles of water, dirt and grit from getting onto the valve itself. These tiny caps prevent wear and tear from happening and also acts as a secondary air pressure seal. If the dust caps get lost, it can cause long term damage to your tyre and reduce the pressure in them.

How old are your car tyres?

One consideration people tend to skip over when taking care of their car tyres is the age of them. To some, car tyres are simply circles underneath their car that keep them moving and they don’t realise the impact that happens to car tyres as time goes on. It is highly advised that if you’re travelling between 10,000 and 12,000 miles per year that you get your car tyres changed every three years. This is due to general wear down over time.

Another problem with car tyres is that people assume that if they’re doing fewer miles per year that means that their car tyres will last for longer. But on the contrary, if you don’t use your car very often your tyres will begin to harden. This is because car tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals that slow down the rate of ageing – but this is only released when the vehicle is in motion, so if you don’t use your vehicle often the tyres will harden.

There is our car tyre health check guide in a nutshell, our team at Antwis Engineering recommend that you do all of the above actions to make the most out of your vehicle. If you’re ever unsure about what to look for, give us a call at our Sevenoaks garage or book a visual inspection online.