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Tyre Tread Depth


Do you know that you should maintain at least 1.6mm (experts recommend 3mm) tread depth to drive safely? The UK Ministry of Transportation ensures that every single vehicle should have at least 1.6mm tyre tread. If you breach this rule, you might have to pay fines of up to £2500 and receive three penalty points for each tyre which doesn’t meet the minimum requirement.

The current minimum legal requirement is 1.6mm. Take a 20p coin and insert it in your car’s treads. If you can see the coin sides, then it is highly likely that those tyres are about to become illegal and need replacement as soon as possible.

Also, a large number of manufacturers now include a tread wear indicator (TWI) that sits within the grooves of the tyre. These will become more and more visible as the tyre begins to wear down. Always check for TWI along with any signs of cut or bulges on the tyre body.

The lower your tread depth, the lower your tyres grip is on the road. This, in turn, increases your car’s braking distance. If you are concerned, then bring your vehicle to My Oxford Tyres immediately. Our experts will inspect your vehicle and advise on what to do next.

Too shallow tread depth – an accident waiting to happen!

Without the correct tyres, your car will never perform the way it should. That’s why the UK’s laws state that proper, road legal tyres should be on your vehicle, especially in wet or snowy conditions.

Inadequate tread depth can create multiple issues other than low road grip. Let’s take a look at two common complaints that we hear at My Oxford Tyres.

  • Aquaplaning

Aquaplaning occurs when water gets trapped under the wheels of your vehicle and is not able to disperse which results in the tyres losing road contact and traction. A tyre in reasonably good condition can disperse around 15 litres of water per second; however, as it gets worn out, the volume decreases dramatically.

  • Heat buildup

Driving creates friction, and friction generates heat.  When you drive, that unwanted heat is dissipated through the treads as it moves and allows air to flow between the grooves. However, if the tread depth is too shallow, temperatures can climb to unsafe levels. Too much heat can cause a blowout, resulting in loss of control and accidents.

  • Poor handling

With a lack of grooves to increase surface area and to bite down on the road, your car’s tyres will barely provide enough handling and stopping characteristics to call it safe for daily commutes. Remember, on average; it takes 29.5 metres to come to a dead stop if the treads are 8mm deep. This value increases dramatically, to 31.7 metres, with 3mm deep treads and a staggering 39.5 meters with 1.6mm depth.

So, what to do if the tyres wear out?

Don’t worry; we are here to help you out. Our My Oxford Tyres showroom in Oxford offers affordable prices on our entire stock of tyres. We have almost every major manufacturer’s product, for nearly every type of vehicle on the UK’s roads. So pick up your phone and call us to book your appointment today.

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