With over 40 years experience in selling tyres, A-C Tyres and Service Centre believe we can offer the best prices and advice on all makes and tread patterns for Car Tyres, Van Tyres, 4×4 Tyres, Winter Tyres and Caravan Tyres.
We stock most leading brand names along with many economy ranges and our brands at competitive prices.
Checking your Tyres
As the only point of contact with the road, tyres are an extremely important but often overlooked part of any vehicle. We recommend you check your tyres monthly to ensure they are road worthy.
Why is it important to check my tyres regularly?
Neglecting your tyres could not only endanger yourself and your passengers, but also other road users and pedestrians too. It is generally acknowledged that drivers with tyres with a tread below 3mm experience dramatically reduced performance, particularly when braking in wet conditions. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that your insurance becomes invalid if you are driving with illegal tyres. Not to mention, the fines and penalty points you could receive if you are caught by the police. Not only do regularly checked tyres ensure safety, they are also better for the environment and your pocket. Tyres which are not well maintained need to be replaced more often. Similarly, they do not optimise fuel consumption which equates to higher CO2 emissions and more fill ups at the petrol station.
What should I check?
The following checks should be made regularly to ensure your tyres are safe:
- Check the Tyre Pressure
- Tyre pressure can be incorrect without the tyre looking over or under inflated. This is why regular pressure checks should be carried out. To find out the correct pressure for your tyres, consult the vehicle manufacturer. Remember, tyre pressure should only be checked when tyres are cold (i.e. they have not been run for at least an hour) as when tyres are warm pressure can increase by as much as 20% giving misleading readings.
- Look for signs of Irregular Wear
- Is the tyre worn evenly across the surface?
- If not, this could be a sign of wheel misalignment. Kerbing and potholes can cause misalignment which can reduce the lifespan of your tyres so it is worth checking them regularly. Some tyre related problems may only be noticed when the car is in motion. For example, an unbalanced wheel can cause an unusual shaking feeling or a wobble through the steering. Unbalanced wheels can actually cause mechanical damage to the vehicle.
- Check Tyre Depth of Each Tyre
- The legal tyre tread limit in the UK is 1.6mm across 75% of the tyre. To check if your tyres are legal, peer into the bottom of the tread grooves and look for raised rubber strips. These are tyre wear indicators, if your tyre tread wears down to their level on any part of the tread, it’s definitely time for new tyres, because you’re approaching the legal minimum.
- Check the overall condition of the tyre, including side walls, looking for damage etc.
- Look out for cuts, bulges or cracks in the tyre as these cannot only be dangerous but potentially illegal. Also, check for ‘Flat Spots’ which can occur from heavy braking or an emergency stop. It is recommended that you throughly check tyres for damage especially after hard braking.
- Ensure Tyres are Clean
- Clean the dirt from around the valves and fit dust caps to all tyres and remove foreign objects such as stones from the tread.
- Examine the Spare Tyre
- It’s easily forgotten until it’s actually needed but it’s equally important to carry out the same checks to the spare tyre. Check the pressure regularly and make sure it is not damaged or badly worn.
Run Flat Technology
Every day, drivers expect more from their vehicles in terms of safety, comfort and efficiency. Run Flat Tyres are increasingly fitted to the cars of today and tomorrow.
- Safety for you and for other road users.
- Run flat tyres enable you to safely continue your journey even in the case of a sudden loss of air pressure. The Run Flat capability is immediately effective at the moment of pressure loss, keeping the vehicle under control and avoiding potentially fatal situations.
- The End of Dangerous Roadside Tyre Changes.
- Run Flat is able to continue driving in comfort and safety for another 80km at a speed of 80km/hour.
- So you can reach your destination, a safe location
- Increased Efficiency and Comfort
- RFT removes the need to carry a spare tyre, reducing weight and offering the end user more storage space and the car manufacturer more design opportunities.
- **Run Flat Tyres are only suitable for vehicles with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
- We strongly recommend to only fit RFT on a vehicle that is originally equipped with run flat tyres (either standard or as option).
- Vehicles fitting Run Flat Tyres (standard or optional) must always be equipped with a tyre pressure warning system.
It is against the law to have:
- Car tyres with tread worn below 1.6mm
- A mix of radial and cross ply tyres
- Over or under-inflated tyres
- Tyres with cuts, lumps, bulges or tears
- The wrong sort of tyre fitted to a vehicle or trailer
The UK law requires all vehicles are fitted with the correct type of tyre, in the correct size which is fit for the purpose the vehicle is being used. It is therefore, important you ensure you have the right tyres and that they are inflated to the manufacturer recommended level.
The legal minimum depth of thread on your tyre is 1.6mm, across the central 75% of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.
For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3mm as more worn tread increases braking distances. For example, when the tread is 1.6mm it takes an extra car length (8 metres) to stop at 50mph than if the tread was 3mm.
Legally, tyres of different construction types are not fitted to opposite sides of the same axle. The two main tyre types are radial and cross-ply, and these must not be mixed on the same axle. Mixing brands and patterns of the same construction type may be permissible depending on the vehicle type and manufacturers recommendation. Check your vehicle’s handbook for tyre fitment details and options.
It is important to carry out regular checks to ensure your tyres are legal and safe. Remember, for each tyre which does not meet the legal requirements you face a £2,500 fine and also up to 3 penalty points on your license. Also, your insurance is invalid if you have an accident when driving on illegal tyres.
UK and European standards are in place to ensure tyres meet the safety standard. All new tyres must meet European standards for load/speed performance, which is indicated by an ‘E’ or ‘e’ mark on the sidewall.
All retread tyres supplied in the UK must comply with the British Standard AU144e, and be marked with this number. This proves they have been thoroughly tested and meet the same performance standards as new tyres.
Second-hand tyres should only be purchased if they are marked ‘part-worn’ next to the E or BS mark, to show they have been properly checked for faults.
In recent years, tyre manufacturing has become an increasingly technical and proactive industry as manufacturers aim to go beyond traditional boundaries to improve their offering. Technological advances have played an important role in the development of the humble tyre. Here are some of the latest tyre technologies explained in plain English.
- Run Flat Tyres
- Eco Tyres and Silica
Run Flat Tyres
One of the major developments in tyres has been Run Flat Technology which enables vehicles to continue moving despite a loss in tyre pressure. Two different approaches have been developed, the first being Reinforced Tyre Side Walls. The tyre is constructed from a new rubber compound which stops tyre destruction when a puncture occurs. This means that even when there is a complete loss off pressure, the tyre can still support the vehicle’s weight and handling remains unchanged. Manufacturers including Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, GoodYear and Pirelli.
The second approach, pioneered by Michelin, is the rubber clip which prevents the rim from cutting into the tyre when a loss of pressure occurs. All Run Flat Technology must operate in tandem with tyre pressure monitors as these systems have such high levels of safety that sudden drops in pressure may go unnoticed. Pressure monitoring systems warn the driver of pressure changes via a warning indicator.
Eco Tyres and Silica
Eco tyres are known by many names including green tyres, environmentally friendly tyres, fuel saver tyres, low-rolling resistance. Regardless of the name they were developed to do the same thing: reduce fuel consumption without affecting performance or grip.
This is because of the addition of silica to tyres. Engineers are now able to produce tyre tread compounds which enable the tyre to absorb the differing amount of energy required for fuel economy and grip – a task which was previously impossible with a single tyre.
Assuming that correct tyre pressures are maintained and making allowances for varying speeds and different characteristics, Eco-Tyres offer a 20% reduction in rolling resistance which equates to a 5% fuel saving. In the promotion Michelin Energy Tyre, Michelin claim this is a saving of £65 a year for the average motorist, a figure which covers the cost of the tyres over their lifetime.
The use of silica also offers substantial benefits in winter tyres and all-season tyres. Compounds using silica are more elastic and flexible at lower temperatures allowing better grip and braking during wintry weather. Vredestein claim to have improved wet skid performance by as much as 15%, substantially improving braking distances at the same time through the use of silica.
Nitrogen has long ben the accepted gas medium for filling aircraft tyres, racing tyres and heaving mining & construction vehicle tyres. Nitrogen is completely safe and, when mixed with oxygen to inflate car tyres, a constant pressure is maintained.
The rubber tyre is like a membrane, through which oxygen permeates three times faster than nitrogen. The result is that the oxygen slowly leaks out through the rubber walls, and the under-inflation leads to a higher tyre wear with a consequent decrease in safety and comfort, and higher fuel costs.
Having a tyre that does not deflate means you can enjoy improved fuel consumption and a higher level of safety. That’s not to say tyre presure should not be checked regularly of course.
Tyre Wall Markings
The markings on a tyre sidewall may at first sight seem confusing, but once you know what you are looking for it contains a wealth of information. Each marking provides a vital piece of information about the specifications of each tyre. This includes information such as the maximum speed the tyre can safely sustain; the loads it can carry and the safety standards it meets. In short, the numbers and letters correspond to the exact size and specification of the tyre. This includes details of the tyres construction, the speed rating and load index.