Your tyres are your only contact with the road and each tyre touches an area roughly the size of your hand. Our specialists advise and guide you in considering the right choice of tyre, offer brand names at attractive prices and check all safety components during the course of tyre fitting.
Safer tyres mean safer driving
Tyres are a key safety feature of your vehicle, e.g. worn tyres could mean that your braking distance could increase by up to 70% on a wet road. The correct tyres, pressures and wear levels ensure that your vehicle performs properly in all conditions.
Stay on the right side of UK tyre law
To protect driver safety, the Government has introduced several laws relating to tyre choice and wear.
It is illegal to use unsuitable tyres
The law requires that you fit your vehicle with the correct type and size of tyre for the kind of vehicle you’re driving and the purpose for which you’re using it. This also means ensuring that they’re inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure.
It is illegal to use over-worn tyres
The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 mm across the central three quarters of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.
For safety reasons, Ford Motor Company recommends that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached, and preferably at 3 mm (78% worn) as tyre tread depth has a huge impact on braking distance.
If you’re found to have tyres fitted that are worn beyond the legal minimum limit, you could be penalised with three penalty points and a £2,500 fine. Another good reason why we recommend regular tyre checks.
It is illegal to mix tyres of different types
The law states that tyres that are constructed differently must not be fitted to opposite sides of the same axle. The two main tyre types are radial and cross-ply.
You’re allowed to mix brands and patterns of the same tyre type, so long as it’s appropriate for your vehicle and meets with the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Look after your tyres, shock absorbers and brakes
Your tyres form an interconnected ‘safety triangle’ with your shock absorbers and brakes. But if any element is not functioning correctly, your safety triangle becomes a warning triangle that’s not to be ignored.
It’s easy to overlook shock absorbers, but they’re absolutely crucial for safety.
Of course, they do wear out though. Signs of worn shock absorbers include longer braking distances, bouncing at the front of the vehicle when you brake hard, ‘swinging’ as you corner and uneven tyre wear.
Shock absorbers that are 50% worn can increase your stopping distance at 30 mph by half a vehicle’s length, while ABS and ESP won’t work properly either. And since tyres, brakes, wheel bearings, steering components, engine mounts and drive shafts are linked together, one worn component can result in all the others being affected.
If your brakes have become worn, tell-tale signs include: your brakes feeling soft, your wheels locking more quickly than usual, having to press the pedal down further than usual for the brakes to work, your brakes being noisy when you apply them and the brake fluid level dropping in the reservoir.
Keep air pressure at the right level
Having the correct air pressure is vital to the performance of your car. Too little or too much air reduces road contact, wears your tyres out faster and makes you use more fuel.
So to save money and protect yourself and your passengers, it’s very important that you check your tyre pressure every two weeks. Never wait for it to get too low.
Check them when they're cold, as measurements aren't accurate after long journeys at high speed. Always screw the valve cap on tight and replace lost caps immediately, otherwise the valves will begin to leak. Also check valves and valve seals for damage.
To find out how much air pressure your tyres need, check in your owner’s manual. It can vary depending on load, speed and types of tyres, so if you’re not sure, just ask your Ford Dealer.
You should always fill your spare tyre with 0.1 to 0.3 bar extra pressure. However, pressure should never exceed the maximum level for driving with a full load. You can find the correct air pressure levels in your owner's manual.
Check your tyres' tread depth
Wear indicators in the tyre grooves will show you if the tread has reached the legal absolute minimum of 1.6 mm. Standard summer tyres should be changed when the tread is lower than 3 mm (78% worn). If the tread on your winter tyres is below 4 mm, they could lose grip when driving on snow. Don’t let your tyre tread get too worn
Worn tyres affect your vehicle's handling, making it hard to gauge how it will react when you’re driving. And on a wet road they could increase your braking distance by up to 70%.
8 mm tread depth = 140 feet braking distance*
3 mm tread depth = 173 feet braking distance*
Less than 1.6 mm tread depth = 240 feet braking distance*
*From a speed of 50 miles per hour down to 0 miles per hour.
As well as being dangerous, you’re breaking the law if you drive with a tread depth of 1.6 mm or less. It’s another reason you should regularly check your tyres.
Repair tyre damage as soon as possible
You can easily damage your tyres by driving up onto the curb, for example. This can lead to loss of air or corrosion in the tyre belt. Tread flaking can also occur and is very dangerous, especially when driving at high speed.
This is why you should check your tyres for damage regularly or take them to a Ford Dealer. Suspect signs are cracks, buckling, or pieces of tread sticking out. And, of course, look out for foreign bodies such as nails.
Uneven tread wear can be an indication of interior damage, so if you notice any, ask one of our technicians to take a look. The problem often lies in the chassis or steering, but brakes or an out of balance wheel can also be the cause.
Don’t overload your tyres
Your car has been built to take a certain amount of weight - you’ll find the maximum in your owner’s manual.
If you overload your car, you can affect its performance. If you stack your roof rack too highly, for example, your car will be more exposed to side winds and it can also put extra strain on your brakes.
But it will be your tyres that will bear the brunt if your car is overloaded, which can result in them wearing out faster and becoming dangerous. It’s much safer to stay within the stated weight limit.
Haynes Brothers Limited
Haynes House 23 Ashford Road, Maidstone,
Registered in England No. 00048511
Main Switchboard: 01622 625525
New Car Sales: 01622 625508
Used Car Sales: 01622 625559
Car Service Bookings: 01622 625561
Ford Parts Department: 01622 625535
Accident Repair Centre: 01622 755726
Accounts Department: 01622 625502