The government has postponed the MOT test due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite this, it’s still our duty to ensure our cars remain roadworthy. And if your car needs replacement tyres, it definitely isn’t roadworthy.
Are garages still open?
The MOT might have been postponed but garages can still open. This is so they can keep the cars of key workers running and attend to cars that are no longer roadworthy – such as those that need replacement tyres.
When to get replacement tyres?
As part of your regular maintenance while your car isn’t being used that much, you should check your tyres over.
The legal minimum tread depth for car tyres is 1.6mm. However, when your car is put through its MOT, it will fail for other tyre-related reasons too. These include the tyre being cut, cracked or otherwise damaged.
This damage might be in the form of lumps. These occur when the internal structure of the tyre fails, perhaps through whacking a kerb or hitting a pothole at speed. The reason these are so dangerous is because they can cause the tyre to fail suddenly and unexpectedly at speed, known as a blow-out.
Why are replacement tyres important?
It’s frequently said, and worth repeating, that tyres are a car’s only physical contact with the surface it’s driving along. As a result, having tyres that are in the best possible condition is important. Tyres that have worn down beyond the 1.6mm tread depth legal limit won’t be able to grip the road as well as those with more tread depth.
In addition to lacking grip going round corners, worn tyres won’t be able to displace water as efficiently as those with more tread depth. Many tyre makers say you should replace tyres when the tread depth is down to 3mm. Beyond that, performance ‑ particularly stopping distance on a wet surface – is significantly impaired. The film below by Continental tyres below shows how.
Where to go?
In additional to traditional garages, mobile tyre fitting services are still operational. If you’re worried about social distancing, these are a great way to get your tyres replaced as the operator will come to your home and work on your car without you having to go anywhere. And as well as independents, large companies such as KwikFit have vans-based mobile operators.
If you do go to a garage or tyre specialist, we explain how you can do so safely here.