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How to check the safety of your tyres at home

As winter rolls on, it’s crucial to make sure your car is ready to tackle the challenges that the season brings. And, while we often prepare for winter driving by topping up our antifreeze, defrosting our windscreen and checking our lights before driving in fog, our tyres can sometimes be overlooked.

At Hendy, we understand the importance of tyre safety, and we’re here to guide you through a simple at-home tyre check, so you can hit the road with confidence.

In the video below, one of our expert technicians at Bournemouth Nissan, Ashley, provides his tips on how to check your tyres at home – helping you stay on the straight and narrow this winter.

Watch the video now to see Ashley’s demonstration of the important tyre checks – and keep reading for further details and commonly asked questions about winter driving.

Tyres are essential in keeping you and your family safe and when road surfaces become more challenging in the winter, the condition of your tyres is an even greater priority.

Incorrect pressure, tyre damage or worn tread can cause a safety risk to you, your passengers and other road users. Not only this, but it can also result in a large fine.

So, while it might be tempting to rush out and complete any winter errands swiftly, so you can get back in the warm, pausing to check your tyres – and other key parts – before you set off will help ensure any journeys are completed safely.


1. Visual inspection

If you’d like to carry out a tyre check at home, start with a visual inspection, as Ashley demonstrates above. Check your tyres for any signs of damage, such as cuts, bulges or uneven wear.

These issues could compromise your tyres’ performance and safety. If you notice anything unusual, don’t hesitate to contact us for further assistance.


2. Treading carefully

In the video, Ashley uses a tread depth gauge to measure the tyre; however, you can do a quick check yourself using a 20p piece. In fact, your loose change could save you from a hefty fine and help keep you safe on the roads, too.

The legal minimum tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm for both the front and rear wheels. If your tyres are found to be unsafe, you risk three penalty points on your driving licence and can also be fined up to £2,500 per tyre – a possible total fine of £10,000!

The 20p test is a quick and easy way to see if your tyre tread exceeds the minimum legal tread depth. Take the coin and place it in the outermost groove of the tyre. If the border around the edge of the coin is hidden, the tread is adequate, but if it’s visible, it’s time to get a new tyre.


3. Under pressure

Our expert Hendy technician, Ashley, talks about how to check the correct tyre pressures and sizes for the vehicle. Correct tyre pressure is crucial for optimal performance and safety, especially in winter. Cold weather can cause tyre pressure to drop, so use a reliable pressure gauge to check each tyre. Don’t forget the spare tyre!


Are winter tyres worth it?

As well as questions about winter driving tips and checking the health of your tyres for the colder months, we’re often asked about winter tyres.

These specialist tyres offer enhanced traction and control in colder conditions and can improve stopping distances by up to 11 metres in icy conditions.

But it’s worth noting that they’re more expensive than regular tyres and perform best when temperatures are below 7°C, so you can’t use them year-round.

It’s always worth checking the Met Office long-term forecast to see if you’ll likely be driving in snow or ice during the winter ahead, but for the usual UK winter conditions, making sure your current tyres are in a good condition is the most important step.


Contact Hendy today

Your safety is our top priority at Hendy. By taking a few moments to check your tyres at home, you're not only ensuring a smoother driving experience but also prioritising the safety of you and your loved ones. When was the last time you checked yours?

Should you need any assistance or have questions, our friendly team is always here to help. If you think your tyres need replacing, our expert technicians will fit new ones at a competitive price. With budget, mid-range and premium tyres to choose from, our experts will recommend the right tyres to suit your mileage, lifestyle, vehicle type and price range.

If you’re unsure whether you need new tyres, we also offer a seasonal vehicle health check to inspect your tyre condition, tyre pressures and tread depth and wear.

Our team are also happy to answer any other questions about winter driving – for example, what to pack for an emergency kit or where does antifreeze go?

Drive safely and confidently this winter. That’s Hendy!