Tyres are one of the most critical components of your vehicle, and it is important to ensure that they are in good condition for safe driving. Regular tyre inspections can help prevent accidents and prolong the life of your tyres. In this article, we will discuss the importance of inspecting your tyres, how often you should inspect them, and what to look for during a tyre inspection.
Why is it important to inspect your tyres?
Tyres are the only part of your vehicle that makes contact with the road, and as such, they are critical for your safety. Worn or damaged tyres can lead to poor traction, loss of control, and even blowouts, which can cause accidents. Regular tyre inspections can help detect issues before they become serious, and they can also help prolong the life of your tyres, saving you money in the long run.
How often should you inspect your tyres?
Tyre inspections should be carried out on a regular basis, ideally once a month, or before long journeys. However, you should also inspect your tyres after hitting a pothole or other significant impact, as this can cause damage that may not be immediately apparent.
What to look for during a tyre inspection?
- Tread depth
The tread depth is the depth of the grooves in the tyre that provide grip on the road surface. The legal minimum tread depth in Ireland is 1.6mm, but it is recommended that you replace your tyres once the tread depth reaches 3mm. To check the tread depth, you can use a tread depth gauge, or you can use the wear indicator bars that are built into the tyre. If the tread depth is below the legal minimum or the wear indicator bars are showing, it’s time to replace your tyres.
- Tyre pressure
Tyre pressure is crucial for safe and efficient driving. Tyres that are underinflated can cause poor handling, increased fuel consumption, and premature tyre wear, while overinflated tyres can reduce traction and increase the risk of blowouts. You should check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before long journeys. The recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door or fuel filler cap.
- Visible damage
Tyres can be damaged by potholes, kerbs, and other road hazards. You should inspect your tyres for cuts, bulges, and other signs of damage regularly. If you notice any damage, it is recommended that you have your tyres checked by a professional, as damage can weaken the tyre and increase the risk of a blowout.
Tyres age, even if they are not used. The rubber in tyres can degrade over time, which can cause the tyre to fail. Tyres should be replaced after six years, regardless of the tread depth, as recommended by the Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA).
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