Tyre Tread and the 20 Pence Coin Test

What are Tyre Treads?

The tread of the tyre refers to the rubber placed on its perimeter that is in continuous contact with the surface. They possess grooves that help in removal of water from beneath the tyre and prevent aquaplaning. The tread offers traction and allows the tyre to grip the surface better. Without these treads, your car will lack control, especially during braking and cornering. Subject to surrounding conditions, better the quality and thickness of the tread, better the grip of the tyres on the surface, along with improved braking distance. As you use the tyre, its tread will gradually wear off, limiting its effectiveness in providing grip and traction. Moreover, driving in cold and wet road conditions can be challenging on tyres with insufficient tread depth.

The Recommended Tyre Tread Depth

Currently, the legal limit of the tread depth you can drive your car on is 1.6mm. Driving on tyres with tread depth below this level is unsafe and illegal. You may be subjected to a hefty fine of £2500 and three penalty points on your license per tyre if caught driving with such tyres. Vehicles with tread depth below 1.6mm also fail the MOT test immediately.

Though the minimum tread level is 1.6mm, many tyre experts deem it to be too low. Most experts recommend changing the tyres when tread depth reaches down to 3mm. Below 3mm, the ability of the tyre to grip to the surface dampens exponentially, thereby increasing the probability of dangerous accidents.

Here is a quick and easy way for you to identify the state of the tread depth, and know when it is time to change your car tyres.

Quick and Easy 20 Pence Coin Test

The 20p test is one of the most straightforward methods of checking the tyre tread depth that can be carried out anytime, at any place. You do not need anything else except a 20p coin with you to validate the tread depth of the tyre.

Set the coin in the grooves running through the length of the tyre. Repeat this step a number of times placing the coin at various points of the tyre. If the outer band of the coin is visible, then it means that the tread is too shallow and below 1.6mm limit. You must replace the tyre, and do so immediately.

Speak to the Experts

If you are not sure about your tyre tread depth or if you think something is wrong with it, get in touch with our tyre experts at Phillips Tyres.

Phillips Tyres is one of the best car service providers and Tyre Suppliers based in Oxford, UK.

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