Tyre Safety Month: Are your tyres ready for action?

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Tyres are often forgotten by motorists when it comes to car maintenance; yet as the only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, it is imperative that they’re inspected regularly by a qualified technician. General wear and tear, as well as many hazards your tyres face as you drive, can affect their condition and performance and eventually lead to safety risks if left for too long. TyreSafe aims to raise awareness of this, as well as the importance of checking three key components of your tyres; air pressure, condition and tread.

As October is often the turning point for the weather in the UK, TyreSafe has created Tyre Safety Month to keep you and your vehicle safe over the wet, windy, and ice-ridden winter season. Here we’ll highlight how to keep your tyres in optimal condition throughout the year for your peace of mind and safety of you and your passengers.

Air pressure

Tyre pressure is an important aspect of your tyres as it affects how your car drives and the fuel economy it can achieve. If a tyre is significantly below or above the recommended air pressure level, it can make the vehicle unsafe and more likely to experience a blow-out, so it’s recommended that you check each tyre’s air pressure at least once per month.

The easiest way to do this is through an accurate tyre pressure gauge. Check the manufacturer’s recommended PSI or BAR before you start so you know what number is required – this can be found in your vehicle handbook and often inside your door sill or fuel filler cap.

If you find that a tyre is under the recommended pressure, use an air-compressor to refill to the required PSI or BAR. To release air from an over-inflated tyre, press the metal pin in the valve stem with a small object such as a pin and re-test to see if is on the correct level. Book an appointment at your local Listers centre if you aren't confident to do so and would like to this to be done professionally and free.


Another component of your tyres that is often neglected is their condition. This refers to any cracking, cuts, tears or bulges, which can all lead to tyre failure if not checked quickly. In addition, check for stones and nails in the tyres as these can compromise the safety of a tyre as well. If you notice any of these abnormalities, it’s important to act quickly and seek professional advice.

The condition of your tyres will deteriorate the longer they are on your wheels, so keep this in mind when checking over them. As a general rule, we recommend replacing your tyres after no more than 5-6 years, even if they have a healthy amount of tread left. This is because tyres become perished with age and are more at risk of failure; caravan tyres are especially prone to this due to a lack of use. Our trained technicians are experts when it comes to tyres, and will be able to offer free, professional advice on the condition of your tyres if you have any concerns.


The little grooves and ridges that run along the circumference of a tyre’s rubber are what make up a tyre tread. These grooves and ridges are essential to the performance of a tyre, as they offer grip to the road surface when accelerating, braking, or manoeuvring. As a tyre’s tread begins to decrease, so too does its performance – meaning the risk of greater stopping distances and reduced control of the vehicle. If left for too long, your tyres may reach a point where the level of tread (under 1.6mm) is illegal, so it’s important to check you tread depths regularly.

A tyre tread depth gauge is the most accurate method of checking your tyre’s tread and is a purpose-made tool that is used across our Listers workshops. Our workshop teams will happily test your tyre tread depth free-of-charge in order to provide an accurate reading.

An alternative method is to check the tyre’s tread wear indicators (TWI). You should be able to see these evenly spaced through the main grooves in the tyre tread, allowing a visual reading to be taken. If the indicator is on-line with the tread level, then the tyre should be replaced.

If your tyres don’t have TWIs, an easily performed alternative is the 20p test. Insert a 20p coin into the multiple large grooves that travel across the circumference of the tyre; if the outer band of the coin face is visible when the 20p is inserted into a groove, this may mean the tread depth is below the legal limit and needs changing.

For when you need professional assistance

If you’d like your tyres to be inspected professionally, our Listers workshops can take the hassle and confusion away, and inspect your tyres absolutely free of charge. If they need changing, no worries. We can supply and fit tyres from all major manufacturers at very competitive prices. We offer a price match against the likes of Kwik – Fit and Black Circles to ensure we offer the very best pricing! Please get in touch below or contact your local Listers Centre to book an appointment.

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