Tag Archives: tyre safety

Get your tyres into shape

Spring is finally here, and for many of us, it’s time to get back out on the road. Whether you’re travelling to see friends and family, seeing the countryside or getting out your classic car, it’s vital that you make sure your tyres are in good shape – and road legal.

Tyre care matters
Your tyres are the only part of the vehicle that has contact with the road – so keeping them well maintained is essential. It will make vehicle handling easier, and allow for greater fuel efficiency, as well as cutting down wear and tear – saving you money at the pumps and in maintenance costs. Poorly-maintained tyres could also mean a failed MOT – according to the DVSA, around 10% of all MOT failures are down to poor tyre maintenance.

As well as all this, there are regulations for tyres that you must meet – failure to meet these requirements could lead to a fine or penalty points.

Tyre tread
These are the legal requirements for tyre treads – if your tyres don’t meet these measurements, they are not road legal and need to be replaced.

  • Passenger vehicles for up to 8 seated passengers, good vehicles up to 3,500kg max weight and light trailers up to 3,500kg max weight must have 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • Vehicles larger than 3,500kg or eight seated passengers and motorbikes over 50cc must have 1mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • On mopeds and motorbikes under 50cc, the tread pattern must be visible.

Why is it important? The tyre tread grooves are important for driving in wet weather – something we’re all too familiar with in Britain. The grooves help remove water from the contact area between the tyre and road, allowing you to brake, steer and accelerate properly. Whilst meeting the legal minimum tread depths will stop you from getting in trouble with the law, tests show that when the tread drops below 3mm, it significantly affects the stopping distance when braking.

How to check: a tyre tread gauge is a simple piece of kit, small enough to keep in the glovebox. You can get standalone depth gauges or ones that are integrated with a pressure gauge as well. The RTG2 Tyre and Depth Gauge is a standard set, with analogue kit. Or for an integrated option, look at the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre and Tread Depth Gauge. Just insert the gauge into the tread to take a reading. You need to check the tyre tread regularly.

Tyre pressure

There aren’t any legal requirements for tyre pressure, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Well-inflated tyres will help improve fuel efficiency and make handling easier. Don’t forget – it’s not just under inflated tyres that are dangerous: over-inflated tyres have less contact with the road, which can reduce traction and increase braking distance.

What is my tyre pressure? You can find out what your tyre pressure should be from your vehicle handbook.

How can I check my pressure? The most accurate way to check your tyre pressure is to use a tyre gauge. There are several types – including analogue and digital gauges. Simply insert the gauge into the tyre valve and you’ll have a reading. A simple analogue gauge – like the RTG1 Tyre Gauge – is a good value option to get a reading. However, for a more advanced solution, the RTG7 is a digital gauge that measures tyre pressure and tread depth, and is programmable – so it will store the recommended tyre pressures for your car for future reference.

How can I inflate my tyres at home? We recommend using a tyre inflator to pump up your tyres. These are small, efficient devices that are powered from your in-car 12V socket (cigarette lighter), a mains plug or, in the case of larger models, from the vehicle battery. For regular car tyres, we recommend the Ring RAC610 or RAC660. The RAC610 is a basic inflator with an analogue dial. For a more advanced piece of kit, the RAC660 is a good choice – it inflates a 13″ tyre in under 2 mins with either DC or AC power, has a digital screen, adaptors for bikes, LED light, preset function and case.

Other tyre essentials
If you see anything that looks irregular on your tyre, like lumps, bumps, cuts, tears or anything that looks like it shouldn’t – it’s time to get your tyres looked at. It is also illegal to have different types of tyres fitted to the same axle – don’t mix and match radial and cross-ply tyres. A garage will be able to advise on this.

Check today
Most people wait until they’ve failed their MOT before addressing the health of their tyres. To make sure you’re being safe, don’t wait: have a look at your tyres today.

Want more details? See our full tyre care range. Or see our video on how to inflate a car tyre.

Check your tyre pressure. There’s a lot riding on them

RIng Air Compressor Campaign - 400 x 155px

According to the latest research published by TyreSafe.org*, thousands of British holidaymakers could be putting themselves at risk by failing to check their tyre pressure before setting off on long journeys.

The latest advice has been issued by Tyre Safe, who estimates that approximately 9 million cars in the UK are being driven with seriously or severely under inflated tyres, which can be a major cause of tyre failures, particularly in hot weather or when vehicles are heavily laden.

Figures from the Highway Agency reflect the scale of the potential problem with 8,700 tyre related incidents occurring on its network between July and September 2013.

Research also carried out by Landsdowne Market Research*, stated that 47% of female motorists admit to never checking their tyre pressure.

Making sure your vehicle’s tyres are inflated to the correct pressure before you travel is a simple process and is one of the most important maintenance checks to your vehicle. Tyre Pressure levels are crucial, not only to the longevity of your tyres, but also to your personal safety when using your car. Drivers need to remember that their tyres are the only contact they have with the road.

The legal minimum tread is allowed to be 1.6mm, but this is in the red danger zone for breaking distances.

Under or over inflated tyres suffer more damage than those with the correct pressure and need to be replaced more regularly.

Under inflated tyres can result in imprecise cornering, reduce ability to support the load, incur higher running temperatures, irregular tread wear at the edge of the contact patch, fatigue cracking, overstressing and splitting in the sidewall. Under inflated tyres also increases the rolling resistance that requires more fuel to maintain the same speed.

Over inflating tyres will result in a hard ride through the transmitting of shock loads to the suspension, reduces a tyre’s ability to withstand road impacts, and may cause accelerated tyre wear in the centre of the contact patch.

How Do I Inflate My Tyres to The Correct Pressure?
Every car has recommended tyre pressure levels, which can be found in the owner’s manual. If not, you can always ask at a garage or do a search on the Internet. In most cases, two different pressures are given – one is for driving with a laden vehicle and the other is for ‘normal’ driving conditions.

To help you check your tread depth, you will need a gauge. Ring’s range of tyre pressure gauges will ensure you never exceed the minimum limit of 1.6mm. We offer a variety of analogue and digital gauges to ensure accurate inflation.

Once you know what your tyre pressure should be, set the appropriate PSI/BAR pressure on the machine (there should be instructions on how to do this on the machine and it is usually very easy to do).

Ring has a range of award winning air compressors that can easily be stored in the car to check and inflate your tyres as part of your overall car maintenance before a journey.
Analogue and digital compressors are included to suit individual motorist’s needs from DIY enthusiasts through to professionals.

Our Analogue Air Compressor, RAC620 will inflate your tyres within approximately 4 minutes, and comes with a high intensity LED light and SOS light for night time illumination.

Our award winning Digital Air Compressor, RAC630 enables you to inflate a tyre in less than 3 minutes and includes a pre pressure mode with automatic cut off, so that desired pressure can be pre set and it inflates tyres quickly and automatically switches off when that pressure is reached. Neat tidy storage for fused 12v cigarette lighter plugs and the flexible air hoses means that all the compressors will store away easily in the car.

Attach the air hose to the tube on your tyre – you should be able to see the tube near the outer rim of the wheel. Remove dirt caps if applicable. Repeat until all 4 tyres are correctly inflated.

For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufactures recommend replacing at 3 millimeters.

In the event of an emergency, we also offer our Emergency Tyre Kit which contains essential items such as an air compressor and tyre repair sealant to get you on the move again.

*Research statistics carried out by www.Tyresafe.org, and Landsdowne Research