Tread Depth: Its Importance and How to Keep it in Check?

New car tyres generally come with a tread depth of 8mm. As you drive, the tyres wear, and their tread depth reduce over time.

Thus, you have to replace them after a covering specific distance. Now, there is massive disagreement about the range – some say 10,000 miles, some 20,000 miles, others even 50,000 miles.

Hence, it is wise to look out for the tread depth. You need to replace your car tyres if the tread depth goes lower than 1.6 mm.

Why so? Well, 1.6mm is the legal tread depth of vehicle tyres set by the UK Government.

Consequences of Illegal Tread Depth

A lower tread depth will cause you to fail an MOT test. Further, driving without an MOT certificate can lead you to pay a fine of £1000 to £2500 and also 3 penalty points per fault in your vehicle.

Also, you may end up paying a fine of up to £2500 just by driving with illegal tread depth. Further, you will receive 3 penalty points for each tyre with illegal tread depth.

Hence, always check that your vehicle Tyres Northampton have the right tread depth.

How to Check Tread Depth?

Do the 20p test.

Take a 20p coin and insert it into the tyre tread. Observe the outer rim of the coin. If visible, you have to replace your vehicle tyres.

What Causes Tyres to Wear?

Other than general driving, various other factors can cause your vehicle tyres to wear like driving habits, road conditions, etc.

However, the following types of problems can cause tyres to wear prematurely:

  1. Wheel Misalignment

Misaligned wheels means that they are not parallel to each other and perpendicular to the road. Driving with improper wheel alignment can lead to feathered tyre wear – one side of a tyre is worn and while the other remains smooth.

In such situations, you can take a wheel alignment service from Superior Cars in Northampton. They also provide a multitude of other car-related services including pre and post MOT checks.

Garages perform the following 3 types of wheel alignment:

  1. Camber

Camber alignment makes your vehicle wheels perpendicular to the surface. Negative camber means the wheels tilt inwards while positive camber indicates the wheels tilt outwards.

  1. Toe

Toe alignment makes the wheels parallel to each other. While toe in means the wheels point inwards, toe out indicates the wheels point outwards.

  1. Caster

Caster alignment adjusts the position of a steering axle attached to a wheel. Negative caster indicates the axle tilts towards the front of the vehicle while positive caster means it leans towards the driver.

  1. Imbalanced wheels

Generally, new wheels may be imbalanced – the weight is not proportional throughout its circumference. Hence, it can cause a tyre to wobble or bounce which can further lead to premature wear.

Professional car garages use a static or dynamic wheel balancer to address this issue. They add extra weight to a wheel to counter the imbalance.

Also, keep your tyres inflated properly at all times. Driving with low air pressure can also lead to tyre wear, and you to fail the MOT Northampton.

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