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Get a grip on worn tyres

It's now several years since the start of the national policing initiative to increase awareness of tyre safety on Britain’s roads.

Now it's routine for tyres to be included on the list of recommended visual vehicle checks carried out by police officers.

Correct tyre care and maintenance is critical for your safety, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving. Basic checks can help prolong the life of your tyres, reduce your fuel bills and CO2 emissions, and ensure your vehicle can brake, accelerate and corner properly.

Not only are worn tyres a safety risk, but the risk of a £2,500 fine and three penalty points is also a possibility. That’s per tyre, too. If all four tyres are worn below the legal limit, you could potentially lose your licence and face a £10,000 fine.

So, stay safe and on the right side of the law with our tyre safety FAQs.

Q. How do I check that my tyres are safe?

A. Remember to ACT! Check your tyre’s Air pressure, Condition and Tread depth.

Air pressure – A vehicle’s tyre pressure will almost certainly need to be increased when it’s fully loaded. You’ll find the correct levels in the door shut, fuel filler cap or the owner’s manual.

Condition – Check all tyres for any lumps, bumps or cracking in the sidewall, along with any objects, like nails, which may be embedded. If you see any of these issues, contact a professional who can advise you whether the tyre needs replacing.

Tread – Insert a 20p coin into the tread groove of your car’s wheel. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyre is above the legal limit. If you can see the band, you should get them replaced. Alternatively, use a tread depth gauge. These specifically designed rulers provide accurate measurement of your tyre tread. If in doubt, ask one of our technicians. Taking the time to visit one of our showrooms will give you peace of mind.

Q. What should my correct tyre pressure be?

A. The vehicle manufacturer decides what the correct tyre pressure should be after rigorous testing. You’ll find the correct pressure for your vehicle on the inside of your petrol cap, inside the door pillar and in the vehicle handbook. You should check your tyre pressure at least once a month to ensure your tyres are safe at all times even if your vehicle has a TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system).

Q. I need to order new tyres – but what tyre size do I need?

A. You’ll find the tyre size on the side of your current tyres. It’s important to check both front and rear tyres as sizes can be different.

Understanding tyre sizes

The tyre size is embossed on to the side wall of your tyre. It will look something like this - 225/45R18 91W.

That's the number you need to quote when buying new tyres. But what do the numbers mean?
This example shows...

225 - the width of the tyre in mm
45 - the sidewall depth
R18 - the rim (in this case 18")
91W - the load rating and speed

But don't worry, our Service Centres will know all this when you quote the size code!

Staff at the JCB Group can also help you find these – simply contact any one of our dealerships and our helpful staff will gladly show you a range of tyres suitable for your vehicle or order online at our Tyre Shop and pay on fitting.

Q. What should I do if I hit a kerb?

A. The most common damage is to the side of the tyre and it gets ‘pinched’ between the wheel rim and the kerb. Check for scuff marks but be aware severe damage can create bulges due to the tyre being weakened substantially. If all appears to be OK, you should check your tyres every day following the incident just in case there is a loss of pressure from damage which can’t be seen. Check with a professional if any of these issues appear or if the car is pulling to one side as the alignment or balance may have been affected.

Q. Why does my steering wheel vibrate at higher speeds?

A. The most common cause is likely to be an imbalance in a wheel/tyre combination or tyre wear, although wheel alignment is also possible. If you notice a vibration, it’s important you ask a garage to check this for you. If left unchecked, the long-term effect could be damage to suspension components, higher fuel consumption, steering and braking problems.

Q. Do I need to carry a spare tyre?

A. Surprisingly, very few cars are now sold with a spare wheel – in fact, it’s only about 8%. Instead, ‘space-saver’ wheels can be fitted or even temporary puncture repair kits to get you to the nearest JCB Group garage. You should be familiar with whichever of these is in your vehicle, so check before you go on your next journey. If you do have a spare, then ensure it’s in good condition and at the right pressure when you check your other tyres.