mechanic leaning over a car
lower part of banner


Article ilustration

It should go without saying that your tyres are a fundamental part of your vehicle. They are, after all, the only part of the vehicle that has contact with the road. Your tyres may have already saved you and your vehicle from sustaining serious damage or worse, many times over.

It is a fact, however, that they are often poorly maintained and seldom checked, sometimes inspected only during routine servicing or an NCT test.

Checking and maintaining your tyres on a regular basis is relatively straightforward and not particularly time-consuming.

With a few simple tips and explanations, we hope to provide you with the knowledge needed to ensure that you achieve the best performance, the maximum wear and of course, the safest possible motoring.

There isn't really any better way than to have the road wheel raised from the ground in order to check all parts of the tyre, but we accept that this requires safe lifting equipment and quite a lot of time. You can still carry out a perfectly good overall check without going to these measures!

Important: Many modern vehicles have particularly wide tyres. The innermost edge of the tyre can often wear away completely, while the remaining visible part of the tyre surface will appear faultless. Please check carefully – both inner and outer part of the tyre.


Older tyres and tyres which have stood for some time can suffer from material degradation. Examine carefully around the shoulders and within the grooves for signs of cracking and perishing.

The walls are prone to damage from impacts, chafing along curbs, under inflation and tearing. Look for abrasions, cuts or missing rubber. If you can see an abrasion mark running the entire circumference and it has worn away part of the letters and numbers, there's a good chance that the tyre has a puncture or has been run under inflated for some time! This is caused when the tyre is 'pinched' between the wheel and the road surface (ran flat)

By running the flat of your hand over the entire surface of the sidewall, you will be able to detect any bulges (a section where the rubber is protruding from the rest of the wall). Caused by impact, a bulge represents serious damage to the structural integrity of the tyre.

Within the outer rim of the wheel, you will find the valve. As much importance should be placed on this component as the tyre itself. If your vehicle has rubber type valves fitted, check for deterioration of the material. By gently moving the valve stem from side to side, look for cracking of the rubber around the base. Ensure that caps are fitted.

Repeat this process for each tyre (don't forget the spare) and pay attention to the areas that cannot normally be easily seen.

(c) 2011 Link Road Motors