When it comes to performing maintenance on your vehicle, the tyres are of particular importance as they're your only points of contact with the road. Tyres that are in poor condition not only reduce performance, they also pose a danger to other road users as your traction and stopping distances are affected significantly. Read on for all you need to know about tyre maintenance.

Legal requirements

The repercussions of driving with unsuitable tyres could be significant, as you'll likely face prosecution if caught. Penalty points or a fine can be expected, and you may invalidate your insurance policy or be denied a claim.

Here's what the law states on road-legal tyre stipulations:

  • all tyres must include a service description i.e. load and speed index;
  • no cuts greater than 25mm or ten percent of the section width of the tyre (whichever is greater) and none that expose the ply or cord;
  • no cuts that expose cords;
  • no lumps, bulges or tears caused by failure or partial separation of tyre structure; and
  • a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread width and around the complete tyre circumference.

Choosing the right tyre

When choosing a location for tyre maintenance, it pays to select a reputable provider. Not only can you expect the highest standards of service and properly fitted tyres, but you'll receive products from only the biggest brands to guarantee their quality. It's also important to consider the road conditions you expect to encounter, and select a tread pattern that best suits the surface and weather conditions.

Your own maintenance

Regular tyre maintenance is recommended to ensure you stay on the right side of the law and preserve your vehicle's performance. You don't always need to visit a garage, as there are a number of steps you can take at home to see if it's time for a change. Perform a regular inspection of your tyres to spot any cuts or bulges which may gradually get worse over time. To ensure you meet the minimum tread requirements, invest in a simple tyre tread depth gauge to quickly check before setting off. It's also worthwhile to ensure tyres are always inflated to the manufacturer's recommendation, which not only reduces stopping distances but improves fuel efficiency.

For all your tyre maintenance and fitting requirements, contact your local Charles Hurst dealership in Northern Ireland today.