How to check your tyre pressure & tread depth - try the ‘20p test’!
Although to some, checking your tyre pressure and inflating your tyres comes easily and is a regular part of your car maintenance routine – we find that many drivers still find this a daunting task, usually for fear of getting it wrong or simply because they do not have the time.
Incorrect tyre pressure will reduce the life of your tyres and cause uneven wear which will mean you
will need to replace your tyres more often, can lead to higher fuel consumption and cause damage
to other components which ultimately will cost more money to fix over time.
Most petrol stations will have a dedicated tyre pressure machine or you or someone you know may
have their own gauge
1) Check your tyres when they are cold. When the gas in a tyre heats up it will expand and the
pressure will change giving a higher reading
2) Locate the correct pressures for your car. They are usually found in the handbook, on the
inside ledge of one of the doors or inside the petrol flap.
3) Remove the dust cap keeping it safe and clean.
4) Attach the tyre pressure gauge to the valve and push down. This will give you the current
pressure of your tyre. Don’t forget that sometimes the front and back tyres will require
5) If you are using a tyre pressure machine at a petrol station, to inflate the tyre you will need
to press down fully on the trigger releasing and checking at regular intervals until you have
reached the correct pressure.
6) If you need to deflate your tyre you can press lightly on the trigger and this will allow air to
7) Once you have reached the desired pressure, remove the gauge from the valve and recheck
8) Replace the dust cap and repeat for all the tyres.
OR pop in to Queens Park Garage and we will check your tyres for free!!
Whilst checking your tyre pressure, it is also good practice to give them a good visual inspection too,
making sure there are no nasty bulges or sharp objects in the tyres. If you notice any damage, you
should ask an expert to look at them straight away as damaged tyres can blow without warning and
can be quite dangerous.
Reduced tread depth can also be dangerous as this is what causes your tyre to grip to the road
surface. Without the grooves in your tyres that help also to disperse water on the road in wet
conditions, you would simply lose control of your car. The law requires a minimum tread depth of
1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. You can regularly check
this in 3 ways:
1. Most manufacturers leave a visual aid in the form of a line at the minimum requirement of
1.6mm, so once the depth goes below this line you can see easily.
2. You can measure it with a depth gauge
3. You can measure it with a 20 pence coin – keep a 20p coin in your car at all times so you can
regularly check your tread depth. Place the 20p coin into the grooves of your tyre at various
points all the way round and if at any point you can see the inside edge of the outer band of
the coin, your tread depth is too shallow.