When should you re­place tyres?

What Car? - - Advice -

Al­though the le­gal limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, many safety or­gan­i­sa­tions and tyre mak­ers rec­om­mend re­plac­ing tyres when the tread reaches 3mm, be­cause their ef­fec­tive­ness – in par­tic­u­lar, their abil­ity to stop a car on a wet sur­face – is re­duced once the tread is be­low this level. they must also have the min­i­mum tread across three­quar­ters of their width, with­out any gaps in it.

The other le­gal re­quire­ments for tyres are that they are in phys­i­cally good con­di­tion – they can’t have any gashes or bulges in the sidewalls – and that they’re in ated to the rec­om­mended pres­sures.the tyres also have to be the same size across both axles, al­though you can t larger tyres on the back or front axle of your car.

Fall foul of any of these rules and you could get three penalty points on your li­cence and a £2500 ne.you could lose your li­cence al­to­gether and be ned £10,000 if all four tyres are be­low the le­gal limit.

Al­though there’s no le­gal re­quire­ment to stick with the brand of tyre tted to your car when it was new, the car maker will have worked closely with the tyre com­pany dur­ing the car’s de­vel­op­ment, so chang­ing to a dif­fer­ent brand or tyre with a dif­fer­ent tread pat­tern could af­fect the car’s han­dling and road noise. How­ever, if you stick with a sim­i­lar tyre from a dif­fer­ent premium or mid-range brand, the dif­fer­ences should be min­i­mal.

One thing you should con­sider do­ing, how­ever, is chang­ing the two front or rear tyres at the same time, un­less you’re re­plac­ing a new tyre that’s been dam­aged. If you change a sin­gle tyre and the new one has 8mm of tread and the one on the other side has 4mm, they won’t pro­vide the same grip. while this isn’t likely to be an is­sue on dry roads, in wet, win­tery con­di­tions the stop­ping dis­tances will in­crease.

You might be able to save money by look­ing for re­tail­ers that of­fer a dis­count for buy­ing more than one tyre.

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