Tyres and MOT

A problem with tyres accounts for as many as 14% of MOT fails. Even if what goes on under the bonnet of your car is a complete mystery, a few minutes checking your tyres can be time well spent. If you know you need tyres replaced, you can often negotiate a good deal on the tyres, fitting and MOT all at the same time, check if your vehicle needs an MOT Here. However, if you don’t bother to check your tyres first, you may feel pressured into just accepting the price the garage quotes on the day. Here’s everything you need to know about your tyres.


Tread Depth

Most people are aware that there are rules about minimum tread death on tyres. But do you know how to check? The law states that all tyres on your car or van need a minimum trad depth of 1.6mm. The easiest way to check the depth of your types is by using a 20p coin. Push the coin into the grooves formed by the rubber on the tyre. If the outer band of coin disappears, then your tread is deep enough. There are also special gauges available from garages and motoring stores which can help you get a more accurate measure. Check the depth all the way round the tyre, not just in one place. If the tread is approaching its limit the car might pass its MOT this time, but you’ll have to replace tyres before the following year’s test.


Tread depth isn’t just the only thing you need to consider when it comes to your tyres. The inspector will also be looking to make sure the tyres are wearing evenly. If there are bald patches, or patches where the tyres are wearing more quickly than others, it could be an indication that there is a problem with your wheel alignment. The tyre should also be smooth throughout, without bulges or bumps. This is usually easy to rectify, but might mean a new tyre needed sooner than otherwise.

Matching Tyres

There’s no law which says you have to buy the same brand of tyres for each wheel. However, you do have to make sure that the tyres on the same axel (either front or back) should be the same size and structure. Get advice from a mechanic if you’re not sure. Sizes are usually indicated on the inner edge of the tyres if you need to check. While you are checking the tyres, make sure the pressure is adequate too. Any warning lights on the dashboard is an automatic fail.

Other Wheel Issues

Mechanics will also check the general condition of your wheel. They have to make sure the wheel is fitted properly, and securely attached to your car. You don’t want to fail the MOT for the want of a missing wheel nut. The rim should also be smooth and not distorted. If wheels don’t come up to standard, this could be classed as a “dangerous” fault. This sort of fault has to be rectified right away before you drive the car away.

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