How to Check the Health of Your Tyres

Considering how big a role tyres play not just in the way a car feels to drive, but also in its safety, they are too often overlooked when it comes to servicing. Whether it’s because it’s kind of hard to determine when a tyre has gone bad, or because they are costly to replace, many people often fail to pay proper attention to the health of their tyres. It’s a shame, because this short-sightedness could have terrible consequences.

You only have hang around a tyre shop for five minutes to be regaled by tales of accidents that could have been avoided if only the driver had taken some time to make sure his tyres where in proper working order. Granted, it is not easy to tell when the right time to get a new set of tyres is, but there is no excuse for missing out the obvious signs that anyone can detect if only they take the time to check for them. There is also no excuse as to the time it takes to go down to the tyre shop because these days you can buy them safely online. Vendors like even supply you with a handy tool to make sure you get the right size tyre for your car. So even those who know nothing about how a tyre is measured cannot possibly go wrong.


As for what you need to look for on regular basis to eliminate, or at least lower the chance of occurring, incidents that have to do with a faulty tyre, here are some of the most glaring. The first and foremost sign of a tyre being on its last legs is the depth of its tread. Most experts will tell you that when the tread is down to 3 or 4 millimeters you need to start thinking about set. But recent independent tests have shown that you are OK down to 2mm. At any rate, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Now, not everyone has the measuring tools to gauge the depth of tread on a tyre. No worries, though, because all you need to make an educated guess is a small coin, a 20p or a nickel or whatever is considered small change in your neck of the woods. Just slide the coin into the tread. If the image on the coin disappears into the rubber, you are more than fine. But if more than half of the coin sticks out, that means the tyre has lost way too much meat. You should also keep an eye out for uneven wear, caused by bad alignment or steering system, or general suspension issues.

What you want to do is turn the front wheels all the way to one side and have a good look all around the tyre, especially the inner walls, then turn them to the other side and repeat the process. And while you are at it, also see if you can spot any chunks missing from the rubber or any unusual indentations.  These are caused by potholes and they tend to happen on the inside of the tyre out of direct sight, which makes them difficult to spot. That is why you need to make a habit of thoroughly checking the tyres every once in a while. When checking for these faults, you may see foreign objects lodged inside the treads. They may not seem like a big deal, but take them out as over time with the tread getting thinner they could end up causing a puncture or at the very least let the air out of the tyre little by little. And that brings us to the most obvious advice of them all: keep your tyres properly inflated at all times.

It pays to remember these tips when one is buying a second-hand car. As far as maintenance costs go, tyres are often at the top of the list. They are costly items, so it helps if you don’t have to worry about them for a time. What’s more, wretched tyres could tell you a lot about the overall condition of the car and how it was treated by the previous owner.

Last but not least, keep an eye out for the expiry date on your tyres, especially if you own or want to get an older car. Yes, tyres do have them and they are written clearly on the sidewall for a reason. Not taking the usage into account, tyres are usually good for between four to six years.