It's easy to forget about your vehicle’s tyres when you are constantly on the go, but keeping them in good condition will help you to not only stay safe on the roads but also get the most out of your tyres.
Many of us are guilty of neglecting our tyres and only checking them when we have to – like when you get a pesky flat tyre – but tyre care and maintenance should be something you do regularly.
The tyres on your car, van or motorbike are the only contacts between you and the road; they provide grip as well as directional control, comfort and support the weight of the vehicle. Poorly maintained tyres can also impact your vehicle’s performance and fuel efficiency (read our blog for more tips on how to save fuel).
So, we’ve put together a handy list of tyre wear and maintenance tips to ensure your tyres are road-ready. But first, let’s answer a couple of commonly-asked tyre care questions:
How long should tyres last?
Sadly, there is not a definitive tyre lifespan. How long your tyres last depends on the quality of your tyres, what road surfaces they are used on, how often you use your car, your driving style and how well they are maintained.
After you’ve had your tyres for five years or more, we recommend getting them serviced by a professional technician every year. Once they are more than ten years old, we recommend getting them replaced. We offer tyre checks and replacements if needed at our car service garages across the UK.
How many miles do tyres last?
Whilst there is no magic number for tyre mileage, experts generally predict that front tyres will last around 20,000 miles and rear tyres will last twice as long at around 40,000 miles.
How to check tyre age?
If you’re wondering, “how old are my tyres?”, you can quickly and easily check the tyre sidewall to find information about the manufacturer and when they were made. Every tyre has DOT (Department of Transport) then a four-digit number written on them. The first pair of numbers denote the week and the second pair denotes the year.
Check your tyre pressure
Tyre pressure has a huge impact on the general handling of your car including braking, steering, and even mileage. Tyres naturally lose pressure over time so check your pressures every month to not only ensure the longevity of your tyres, but to avoid any dangerous consequences of incorrect pressures, such as a blowout.
Underinflated tyres can increase your fuel usage and cause tyre wear on the outside edge, whereas overinflated tyres can cause wear on the inside edge of the tyre tread and reduce their grip.
How to check tyre pressure?
If you’re unsure how to check your tyre pressure, use a pressure gauge which you can buy yourself or find at a garage. They are simple to use and your vehicle handbook will tell you exactly what pressure your tyres should be.
Check your tyre treads
Tyre treads are essential for your safety and should be checked frequently. First, search for any visible signs of wear on your tyres, then use the ‘20p check’ (below) to ensure that they adhere to the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
How to check tyre tread?
Simply stand a 20p coin upright between the grooves of your tyre and if your tread doesn’t obscure the coin’s border, it’s likely they need to be replaced. If you are concerned about tyre tread wear, book an appointment at your local garage immediately.
Ensure correct wheel alignment
Did you know that having wheels that are incorrectly aligned can cause your tyres to wear unevenly, and cause increased fuel consumption and excess damage?
If you notice one pair of tyres wearing faster than the other, book in with your local Eurorepar centre and get one of our friendly experts to check your alignment. It’s better to check it than chance it.
Rotate your tyres
Having front or rear wheel drive also affects tyre wear and causes tyres to wear unevenly and at different rates. Avoid this by rotating your front and back tyres every 2,000 – 3,000 miles.
Although, it’s worth noting that some vehicles have different sized tyres that cannot be rotated.
Avoid the kerb
It may seem obvious, but don’t rush to mount the kerb! This can cause unnecessary friction on the tyre wall and lead to tears or even blowouts over time. Instead, be mindful of how you angle the car when driving onto the kerb to stop the tyres scraping against the concrete. Avoid parking close to it where possible – try to leave a foot’s distance between the kerb and your wheels.
Use seasonal tyres
A simple tyre care tip is to use seasonal tyres. This means swapping to summer tyres in summer and winter tyres in the – yep, you guessed it - winter. Summer tyres deliver grip on wet and dry roads and perform well at higher temperatures. If used when it’s too cold, they can harden and become dangerous to drive.
Conversely, if winter tyres are used when temperatures are above seven degrees, they heat up too quickly which can significantly increase tyre wear. It’s a common misconception that winter tyres are only needed for snowy and icy conditions. They are made with special rubber compounds that stay elastic at cooler temperatures and will decrease wear. Rotating your tyres with the seasons could help them to last much longer.
Hard braking, wheel-spinning and speeding can all cause tyre wear, so it’s important to cultivate good driving habits to help keep your tyres at their best, wherever the road takes you. Try to avoid sharp cornering and late braking, leave a larger distance between you and the vehicle in front, and be mindful of your speed. Your tyres will thank you.
We hope these tyre care and maintenance tips have been useful, but if you are worried about your tyres, you should get them checked out by a professional. We offer tyre repairs and replacements as well as servicing and MOTs. Find your nearest Eurorepar centre and book online today.