Where do I find the right Tyre size?
Your tyre size is the string of letters and numbers that runs along the sidewall of the tyres you currently have fitted to your vehicle.
- Width is the first 3 numbers and represents the width of the tyre in millimetres.
- Profile is the next 2 digits, often separated by a slash. The profile of a tyre is the height of the sidewall, as a percentage of the overall width.
- Rim size follows as the next 2 digits, usually following "R" and is the inner diameter of the tyre measured in inches.
- Speed rating is the final letter, and indicates the maximum speed the tyre is approved for.
What is the EU Tyre label?
The EU tyre label runs on a scale from "A" to "G" with "A" representing the best rating and "G" the worst. This allows drivers a better comparison between the different tyres that available to be fitted on their car.
- Fuel Efficiency: A tyre's fuel rolling resistance affects your fuel consumption. An A-rated tyre is saving fuel and money over time.
- Wet Grip: A tyre's wet grip performance is rated from "A" to "G". The rating classifies a tyre's braking ability in wet conditions. An A-rated tyre can stop over a much shorter distance than one that's G rated.
- Noise Level: A tyre's noise levels is measured and displayed in decibels. The rating indicates how loud the rolling noise of the tyre is. The lower the number, the quieter the tyre.
When should I get new Tyres fitted?
The most straight forward reason, why new tyres need to be fitted is visible damage. This can be a puncture coming from contact with sharp objects like nails or when you have driven through rubble or debris. Other visible damages to your tyres can be cuts or bulges in the sidewall, which can be the result of sharp contacts with the kerb.
Another important reason, why your car needs new tyres is the depth of the tyre tread. The legal requirement for the tread is to be at least 1.6 mm deep to ensure enough traction on the road. You can measure the depth of the tyre tread by inserting a 20p coin into the grooves of the tyres. If the outer band of the coin is visible, the tyres might be unsafe for the road and should be changed or at least checked by a mechanic.
How long do Tyres last?
Tyres are made to last and the guidance manufactures give on the maximum lifetime of your tyres lies around the 10-year mark. If your tyres have reached 5 years of rolling, it is recommended to check them more frequently and thoroughly.
What happens if I drive on low Tyre tread?
Driving on low tyre tread is putting yourself and other road users at risk. Your tyres are no longer able to gain enough traction and braking efficiently and quickly will be impacted. You will also notice that handling your car on icy or wet roads becomes increasingly difficult, so much that you can lose control of your car through hydroplaning during heavy rainfall.
With decreasing tyre tread depth, the likeliness of damages like cuts and punctures increases the more the rubber wears off.
If you continue to drive with a tyre tread below the legal threshold or even worse, bald tyres, you will risk fines up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points on your license. That is per tyre, so if all four tyres don't meet the legal requirement and are deemed dangerous this means fines up to £10,000 and 12 points.
How can I extend the lifetime of my Tyres?
- Regularly check your tyre pressure. Under inflated tyres not only increase the wear and tear but also have an impact on braking and accelerating. Plus, you'll need more diesel or petrol to move your car on not correctly inflated tyres.
- Have your wheel balancing checked. If you experience vibrating at a speed of 40mph and above or see uneven use of your tyre tread, it is likely your wheels need re-balancing.
- Make sure your wheels are aligned. Mounting the kerb or bumping your wheels into objects can damage your tyres and knock your wheels out of alignment. Driving with misaligned wheels leads to fast wear of your tyres and is a danger for you and your fellow road users.
- Avoid potholes and drive carefully on damaged roads. Sharp edges are the nemesis of your tyres, causing cuts and punctures.
- Drive calmly and relaxed. The rubber on your tyres wears down quicker if you perform a lot of emergency brakes or start off fast. Constant speeding up and abrupt braking is contributing to a declining tyre lifetime.
- Empty your car. Your wheels and tyres already have a lot of weight to carry, adding more unnecessary weight, e.g. through a permanently loaded boot leads to faster wear and tear of the rubber between you and the street.
What are the differences between Winter Tyres and Summer Tyres?
Summer tyres are fitted as standard to most cars and are perfect for the summer months. Up to a certain point, they are fine for other seasons as well. Summer tyres are made to perform well in normal and warm temperatures. Once temperatures drop to 7C and below the summer tyres will start to lose traction with the road surface, making your car less stable and comfortable to drive.
Winter tyres are designed to work in low temperatures around and below the freezing point. They come with a deeper tread and are made from softer rubber for more traction and to provide better grip in cold and freezing conditions which is especially important when it comes to driving and braking on snow and ice.