Simple Guide to Tyres

 are the only point of contact between your car and the road so it is important you look after them

Tyres are a key component of the safety of any vehicle and the condition of tyres is a vital factor in preventing road accidents. It is worth remembering that the only part of a vehicle touching the road are the tyres and acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on them.


So what exactly do tyres do?

Tyres have four basic functions to perform:

  1. Transferring traction and braking forces to the road surface:
  2. Changing and maintaining direction of travel:
  3. Supporting the load of the vehicle and its contents
  4. Absorbing road shocks.

To make sure your tyres are safe, carry out these simple checks:

Check the pressure of the tyre, if you don’t know the correct pressure consult the owner’s manual don’t rely on the service station’s gauges, get your own and check with that.  You should aim to check your tyres every two weeks but a minimum would be monthly. Only check the pressure when the tyre is cool. And don’t forget to check your spare!


The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm however this is the bare minimum and it is strongly recommended that tyres are changed when the tread is reduced to 2-3mm. While examining the tread, also look for signs of uneven wear or damage such as cuts, cracks, splits, punctures and bulges.


Sometimes irregular tyre wear can be corrected by rotating your tyres. Refer to
your vehicle owner’s manual, or consult the tyre manufacturer dealer for the
appropriate rotation pattern for your vehicle.


Never fit tyres that are the wrong size. Example a  215/45/17 tyre size

So this tyre is 215mm wide. Simple, right? Or maybe not…

The 45 stands for 45% of the width – so the 215/45 tyre is 215mm wide and has a sidewall of 96.75mm.

And if that wasn’t confusing enough – 17 stands for the wheel diameter…. in inches!

But don’t worry. All you really need to know is the size of your own tyres – which is always printed on the side in the above format. You can search for tyres by size of by car make and model here and


For more information on Tyres and tyre safety 

How old are my tyres

Tyres and Tribulations – Punctures and how to avoid them

Budget tyres or premium brands: Does it really matter?

It’s time to get a grip on safety with good tyres


20th June, 2016

Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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