tyres faq

How often should my tyres be checked?


Ideally your tyres should be inspected at least once a month and before any long journey. Tyre checks should include checking the air pressure, the overall condition and tread depth. Do not forget to check the spare or the compressor and sealant if no spare was fitted.




What should I do when checking my tyres?


Tread depths should be checked to ensure they meet the legal minimum regulations. Pressures should be checked in line with the vehicle manufacturers’ recommended settings. Take care to increase the pressure if the vehicle is heavily loaded as instructed in the manufacturers specifications. The tyre/s should also be given a thorough visual inspection to look for any cuts, lumps or bulges and ensure there are no foreign objects embedded in the tyre/s.




What is the minimum legal tread depth?


Current UK law requires car, van and LCV drivers to have at least 1.6mm of tread across the central three-quarters of the tyre, around its entire circumference. For trucks (vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes g.v.w), current tread depth legislation requires that they must have a minimum of 1mm of tread in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width and over the whole circumference of the tyre. The same regulation applies to regrooved tyres. Meanwhile, for motorcycles over 50cc it is 1mm across ¾ of the width of the tread pattern and with visible tread on the remaining ¼. For motorcycles up to 50cc the law requires that all the grooves of the original tread pattern must be clearly visible.




What are the fines for driving with illegal tyres?


Drivers who fail to comply with the regulations face a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. Do not risk a fine, points or your safety, contact us without delay for all your vehicle requirements.




Why is tyre tread depth important?


Adequate tread depth is essential for good grip on wet roads as the tread pattern helps to remove water from between the tyre and the road surface. Drivers with insufficient tread depth face longer stopping distances, reduced grip and an increased risk of aquaplaning.




Why is correct tyre pressure important?


To ensure your safety on the road your vehicle needs to have the correct tyre pressure. If the tyres are under or over inflated then handling and grip will worsen, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable car behaviour. Tyres with insufficient air are also more likely to suffer from a sudden rapid deflation and will suffer premature wear on the outside edges of the tyre. The wheel rim and tyre will be more susceptible to impact damage. Over-inflation results in less comfortable ride, a reduced area of contact with the road giving less grip in the day and accelerated wear on the tread centre . The benefits of a properly inflated tyre, include reduced running costs and longer tyre life.




Where can I find the correct tyre pressure for my tyres?


The vehicle manufacturers’ handbook contains this information. It is also often displayed inside the fuel filler cap or driver’s door sill for your convenience. We are able to provide this information if you do not have access to this information, contact us with your enquiries.




What causes irregular tyre wear?


Irregular tyre wear can be caused by a variety of contributing factors. Repeated scuffing of tyres against kerbs, aggressive driving, the over or under-inflation of the tyre, worn suspension components and most commonly misaligned geometry, to name a few. We offer a free health check that will provide you with the necessary information to address these issues to eradicate irregular tyre wear and prolong tyre life, saving you money long term. Philips Garage Limited are a leading geometry specialist offering a geometry check free of charge to all customers that will verify any need for adjustment. Component replacement and geometry adjustments are priced on individual requirements following investigation.




What lifespan can I expect from a tyre?


Tyre life is very dependent on the way that they are used. A set of tyres well maintained and used exclusively on motorways can return a much higher mileage against tyres badly maintained and ill-treated in a city centre and urban environment.




How far / fast can I drive with a Run Flat tyre in a deflated condition?


Recommendations in the area may differ from tyre manufacturer to manufacturer and drivers should always consult the vehicle manufacturer’s handbook for the distance that can be travelled and speed driven. Please note that standard tyres should not be run without air or this will cause irreparable damage.




What are winter tyres?


Winter tyres are designed to specifically cope with snow and ice, as well as cold and damp conditions. Below 7 degrees celsius the tread compound in normal tyres begins to harden, providing less grip. Winter tyres use advanced silica compounds so they remain pliant in cold temperatures, giving more grip and shorter stopping distances. They also have specially designed tread patterns to give superior grip on ice and snow.




Should I fit winter tyres in the winter?


In the UK it is not a legal requirement although TyreSafe recommends they are fitted from October to March especially as they are the safest option in snow and ice, plus cold and damp conditions. UK drivers travelling to certain European countries may be required to fit winter tyres and this information is available from the Department for Transport.




What do the sidewall markings mean?


The sidewall markings provide descriptive information about the tyre. The most important markings for drivers in the UK are size and type, aspect ratios load and speed rating. This sequence of numbers on your tyre (for example 255/55 R16) indicates the size of the tyre. This is important as you will need to ensure that any tyres you fit to your vehicle are the correct size as specified in your vehicle handbook. These tyre numbers mean (in relation to the above example): 255 – Tyre Width This indicates the width of the tyre in millimetres from sidewall to sidewall. 55 – Aspect Ratio These digits express the height of the tyre sidewall expressed as a percentage of the tyre width. In this example, the tyre height is 55% of its width. R – Tyre Construction The letter ‘R’ indicates that the tyre is of radial construction, as most tyres manufactured today are. Other types of construction include ‘B’ (bias belt) and ‘D’ (diagonal). 16 – Wheel Diameter This figure signifies the size of the wheel rim in inches that the tyre is intended to be fitted to. When contacting us to order or request an estimate for tyres please ensure you have this number sequence noted from your vehicle to advise our team.




What is tyre labelling and what does it mean?


From 1st November 2012 all new car tyre labels will display three key measures that will rate the tyre’s fuel efficiency, wet braking performance and exterior noise emission characteristics. The labels will help explain to motorists how tyres perform in these three key areas and help them make a more informed choice about safer and more environmentally friendly driving.




Should I fit four new tyres at a time?


It’s better to fit all four tyres at the same time but if that is not possible then fitting two tyres at a time, and as a pair to get the best handling and grip on each axle, is the next best option. As a last resort, then a single tyre can be replaced. In all circumstances, seek our technicians advice before replacing any tyres.




Which is the best axle to place new tyres on?


New tyres on the rear axle provide better driver control on wet roads. This is because tyres with deeper tread are better at displacing water and give better grip. If the new tyres are fitted at the front the car, then it is more likely to oversteer when grip is lost in wet weather, which is much harder to control than understeer. Oversteer is when the rear of the car slides sideways, and understeer is when the front of the car slides.





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