By visually checking your tyres on a regular basis you can help maintain them in good condition throughout their service life and prevent having them changed unnecessarily or even failing prematurely. Check all tyres, including the spare, for these points:


If not removed when embedded in the tread, stones and nails can work into the casing and cause damage, possibly leading to deflation.


Oil, fuel or paint can have a harmful effect on the rubber compound used in tyres. Oil can make the tread rubber swell, reducing the pattern grooves and affecting adhesion. Immediate removal with detergent and plenty of water is recommended.


Damage in any form, e.g. cuts, bulges, vibration or air loss must be examined immediately by a tyre specialist, as they could be signs of potential tyre failure.

Ageing, such as surface cracking or crazing in the sidewall area of the tyre, should also be examined by a tyre specialist as soon as is practical. Cracking and crazing occurs naturally through ozone damage and from over exposure of the tyre to the elements, especially sunshine. To reduce this effect, only wash tyre sidewalls when necessary and then just with water, or as little ‘car wash’ as possible.

This advice applies equally to everyday vehicles as well as to un-run or little-used vehicles such as caravans or motorhomes.


Regular inspection by a tyre specialist is recommended, and tyres which have been in use for five years or more should continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually. Tyres which have been in service for 10 years or more from the date of manufacture should be replaced.

For original equipment tyres, also refer to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations.

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Tyre tread wear should be checked regularly. Abnormal wear is often an indication of a mechanical anomaly with the vehicle, such as incorrect alignment, or problems with the steering or suspension mechanism. Always have the mechanical parts of the vehicle checked and rectified by a professional.


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