How to check your winter tyres

Author Name – Jack Underwood


While winter tyres are not mandatory in the UK, they can significantly improve the grip and traction of your car, especially on slippery roads. In this article, we will discuss how to check your winter tyres and make sure they are in good condition before and during the winter season.

winter tyre checks

1. Check the tread depth of your winter tyres

The tread depth of your tyres is an important factor to consider when checking their condition. It refers to the amount of tread, or grooves, on the tyre surface that helps to improve traction on the road. The deeper the tread, the more grip your tyres will have.

To check the tread depth of your winter tyres, you will need a tread depth gauge. Simply insert the gauge into the tread grooves on your tyre and check the reading.

The UK government state, the minimum legal tread depth for car tyres is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around the entire circumference.

We recommend that if the tread depth on your winter tyres is less than 3mm, it is time to replace them. Driving on tyres with a low tread depth can be dangerous, as they are more prone to aquaplaning and have less grip on the road.

2. Inspect the tyre sidewalls for cracks or bulges

In addition to checking the tread depth, you should also inspect the tyre sidewalls for any cracks or bulges. These can indicate that the tyre has been damaged or is starting to age, which can affect its performance on the road.

To check the tyre sidewalls, simply run your hand over the tyre surface and look for any abnormalities. If you notice any cracks or bulges, it is a good idea to have your tyres inspected by your local National branch.

3. Check the tyre pressure

Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is essential for ensuring the safety and performance of your vehicle. Overinflated or underinflated tyres can affect the grip and handling of your car, especially in cold weather.

You can find the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle in the owner’s manual or on the tyre sidewall. It is important to check the tyre pressure regularly, as it can change due to factors such as temperature and driving conditions.

4. Check for any visible damage

In addition to checking the tread depth, sidewalls, and tyre pressure, it is also a good idea to visually inspect your winter tyres for any visible damage. This can include cuts, punctures, or other visible signs of wear and tear.

To check for visible damage, simply walk around your vehicle and inspect the tyre surface for any abnormalities. If you notice any cuts or punctures, it is important to have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid any potential accidents on the road.

5. Have your tyres balanced and aligned

Balancing and aligning your tyres is an important part of tyre maintenance. It ensures that your tyres wear evenly and have the correct balance and alignment to improve the handling and performance of your vehicle.


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