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Why are tyres so important?


When you're driving - whatever the speed or conditions - your only contact with the road are the four postcard size 'footprints' of your tyres. Statistics show that almost half of all car accidents are caused when a car skids - tyres are your vital link with the road and it pays to have the best fitted by our professional technicians..


What function does the tyre tread perform?


The purpose of the tread on tyres is to allow the tyre to grip in the wet. Huge volumes of water on the surface of the road have to be squeezed out by the tread grooves. For example, at 60mph, with a water depth of only 3mm, the tyre has to clear over 2 gallons of water per second!


3mm of water on a rainy day is not unusual. In rain puddles, you will often find as much as 8 to 10mm. If this water is not rapidly dispersed, the tyre will begin to "aquaplane" - a sheet of water builds up between the tyre and the road - and the tyre loses all contact with the surface of the road.

This is exceedingly dangerous. The capacity to disperse water is drastically reduced with low and worn tread depth - so carefully monitor the depth of tread on your tyres.


What is the Tyre Tread legal limit?


The law demands that tyres have a tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the centre three quarters of the tyre. These levels represent the absolute minimum and tyres as worn as this should be replaced immediately. To help you judge how much tread you have on your tyres, manufacturers often mould tread bars at roughly 1.6mm.


If you can see these bars your tyres are about to become illegal and unsafe. Recent research conducted by the independent automotive research and testing centre, MIRA, has proved that there is a significant deterioration in wet braking distances when a tyre wears below 3mm.


What causes a tyre to wear prematurely?


Often tyres have to be replaced long before their specified life has been reached principally because of rapid or uneven tread wear.

The most common causes of avoidable tread wear are:

  • Under Inflating - Causing rapid wear along the edges of the tread.
  • Over-Inflating - Causing rapid wear along the centre of the tread.
  • Incorrect wheel alignment or ‘tracking’ - Causing rapid wear along the inside or outside edges of the FRONT tyres.



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