How to Check
Tyres and Change a wheel

For the practical test, the Tell Me/Show me question :-
Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey

What you have to do :-
Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

For the practical test, the Tell Me/Show me question :-
Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

What you have to do :-
Manufacturer's guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don't forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

For the practical test, the Tell Me/Show me question :-
Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
What you have to do :-
No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.


Caution! Remember tyre age. Never use a tyre over Six Years old, regardless of whether it has been used or not.

To check the age of the tyre look for the DOT number stamped on the sidewall of the tyre, it will look something like "DOT XXXX 3207" and in this example the tyre was manufactured during the 32nd week of 2007.

At least every week check the tyre pressure (including spare). Incorrect tyre pressure may adversely affect tyre life and vehicle handling. Tyre pressure should be checked when tyres are Cold after the vehicle has been parked for three or more hours, or driven less than 1 mile. COLD tyre pressures are shown on garage forecourt. Different vehicles have different tyre pressures so check the charts.
Insufficient pressure can lead to overheating of the tyre and subsequently internal damage. At high speeds, this could result in tread separation and even bursting of the tyre.

tyre Tyres should also be inspected for wear, cracking, bulging, or objects caught in the tread. If excessive wear, cracks, bulging, or deep cuts are found, the tyre should be replaced.
Most new tyres have a built-in tread wear indicator (See diagram RIGHT). When wear indicator is visible, the tyre should be replaced.

In the UK by law, Cars, light vans and light trailers must have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breath of the tread and around the entire circumference.
An easy way to check the tread depth of your tyres if they don't have wear indicators is with the use of a 20 pence coin. Place the coin in the tread and make sure the tread covers the edge as shown in the video below.

Motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger carrying vehicles must have a tread depth of at least 1mm.

WARNING Do not use a deformed wheel even if it has been repaired. Such wheels could have structural damage and could fail without warning.
Unbalanced wheels may affect vehicle handling and tyre life. Even with regular use, wheels can get out of balance. Therefore, they should be balanced as required.

Motorists are failing to check the condition of their tyres, which could have fatal consequences, Although tyres are critical for the safety of all road users, many motorists are in breach of, and, oblivious to, the legal 1.6mm tread depth requirement, and may have tyres classified as severely damaged. With a maximum fine of £2,500 per tyre with discretionary disqualification including three penalty points, motorists could be in for a nasty shock, if caught driving with illegal tyres.

2passShould we use Winter Tyres in the UK


Quick look at the top tips to ensure tyres are legal and in top condition:

  • Examine tyres every two weeks for signs of damage, uneven wear, splits or cracks.
  • Keep track of tyre tread depth by purchasing an easy-to-use tread depth gauge. The legal requirement is 1.6mm, but many manufacturers recommend changing at 2mm or even 3mm.
  • Check tyres are inflated to the correct pressure every week using a reliable gauge. Do this when the tyres are cold.
  • Tyres will wear at different speeds especially between front and back. Don't presume all tyres will be in the same condition.
  • Ask a garage to check the vehicle's tracking every six months, or after any collision or heavy kerb impact. Incorrect tracking leads to uneven and accelerated tyre wear.
  • Aggressive driving styles can take thousand of miles from the life expectancy of tyres. Harsh acceleration and braking will reduce the tread significantly.
  • When changing tyres, never risk buying part worn or second-hand tyres, a brand new tyre or retread is always a safer investment.

How to change a tyre:

We’re learning all the time. So the next time you have a damaged or flat tyre, don’t look for a mechanic. Just follow these simple steps and change it yourself.
When on a motorway:- Never change a flat tyre on the hard shoulder. Breakdown patrols are trained to do roadside repairs safely, while their flashing lights are much more noticeable than your car's hazard lights.
  • Choose a safe place to stop away from the main carrigeway and ensure your passengers get out of the car and wait in a safe area away from other traffic.
  • Switch on the hazard warning lights to alert other road users. Apply the handbrake and engage 1st gear (select 'P' for an automatic transmission)
  • Ensure the jack is positioned on firm, level ground. Do not position the jack on metal gratings or manhole covers.
  • If jacking on a slope, place chocks( a house brick would do) at the front and rear of the wheel diagonally opposite the one to be removed.
  • Before raising the car, remove the wheel trim and use the wheel nut spanner to slacken each of the wheel nuts anti-clockwise.
  • Turn the jack clockwise to raise the car until the tyre is clear of the ground.
  • Remove the wheel nuts and the wheel
  • Fit the spare wheel and tighten the wheel nuts ( domed side towards the wheel) until the wheel is firmly seated.
  • Lower the car and remove the jack and the wheel chocks, then FULLY tighten the wheel nuts in diagonal sequence.
  • Refit the wheel trim.
Its as simple as that!

That's it. The tyres have been checked.

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Collingwood Learner Driver Insurance