Road users should always remember the importance of driving a roadworthy vehicle. It is dangerous and illegal to drive with a damaged tyre, or a tyre that is incorrectly fitted to the rim, as these could pose a danger to other road users.
In terms of the law, tyre tread may not be less than 1mm deep across the tyre’s entire width over the full circumference of the tyre, this is the legal limit, but 1.6mm is safer. The steel belting may not be visible on the tyres surface and the sidewalls must be free of deep cuts, lumps or bulges.
A tyre that has insufficient tread, has a cut or is damaged in other ways, decreases its ability to hold the road, thereby compromising the vehicle’s braking system and raising the risk of a tyre bursting while the vehicle is in motion.
Tyres should be inspected often, and the following list highlights some of the faults to be on the lookout for:
Check tyres regularly for punctures, penetrations, cuts and bulges.
Misaligned wheels will lead to excessive wear. Signs of misaligned wheels or improper tyre pressure is as follows:
- One sided wear. A regular smooth band of wear all around the tyre on the inside or outside of the tread is a sign of incorrect camber. Too much toe-in causes irregular one-sided wear.
- Tread-centre wear. This kind of wear is normally a sign of high tyre pressure.
- Inner- and outer-edge wear. If both inner and outer edges are worn, it usually implies the tyres have been run at too low tyre pressure.
- Irregular bald spotting, also known as cupping. This is usually caused by worn shock absorbers, worn suspension bushes or even loose wheel bearings.
Missing valve caps should be replaced, since they are there to prevent dirt from clogging the valves, which could cause a loss of air pressure.
Check for loose or missing wheel nuts / studs. Torque wheel nuts / studs when mounting the spare tyre.
Consult your vehicle manual for the proper size tyre for your vehicle.
Check tread depth on all tyres and replace well before the regulatory depth of 1mm to reduce the risk of aquaplaning on wet roads.
If you are unsure if your vehicle’s tyres are safe we recommend that you bring your vehicle for a free inspection.