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Tyre and tyre pressure checks
Routine maintenance and servicing / Tyre and tyre pressure checks

1 Periodic inspection of the tyres may spare you from the inconvenience of being stranded with a flat tyre. It can also provide you with vital information regarding possible problems in the steering and suspension systems before major damage occurs.

2 The original tyres on this vehicle are equipped with tread wear indicator (TWI) bands, which will appear when the tread depth reaches approximately 1.6 mm. Most tyres have a mark around the tyre at regular intervals to indicate the location of the tread wear indicators, the mark being TWI, an arrow, or the tyre manufacturerТs symbol (see illustration).

4.2A The TWI mark on the side of the tyre shows the position of the tread
4.2A The TWI mark on the side of the tyre shows the position of the tread wear indicator bands

Tread wear can also be monitored with a simple inexpensive device known as a tread depth indicator gauge (see illustration).

4.2B A tyre tread depth indicator should be used to monitor tyre wear - they
4.2B A tyre tread depth indicator should be used to monitor tyre wear - they are available at accessory shops and service stations, and cost very little

3 Ensure that tyre pressures are checked regularly and maintained correctly (see the Specifications at the beginning of this Chapter for pressures). Checking should be carried out with the tyres cold, and not immediately after the vehicle has been in use. If the pressures are checked with the tyres hot, an apparentlyhigh reading will be obtained, owing to heat expansion. Under no circumstances should an attempt be made to reduce the pressures to the quoted cold reading in this instance, or effective under-inflation will result.

4 Note any abnormal tread wear (see illustration). Tread pattern irregularities such as feathering, flat spots, and more wear on one side than the other, are indications of front wheel alignment and/or balance problems. If any of these conditions are noted, they should be rectified as soon as possible.

5 Under-inflation will cause overheating of the tyre, owing to excessive flexing of the casing, and the tread will not sit correctly on the road surface. This will cause a consequent loss of adhesion and excessive wear, not to mention the danger of sudden tyre failure due to heat build-up.

6 Over-inflation will cause rapid wear of the centre part of the tyre tread, coupled with reduced adhesion, harder ride, and the danger of damage occurring in the tyre casing.

7 Regularly check the tyres for damage in the form of cuts or bulges, especially in the sidewalls. Remove any nails or stones embedded in the tread, before they penetrate the tyre to cause deflation. If removal of a nail reveals that the tyre has been punctured, refit the nail, so that its point of penetration is marked. Then immediately change the wheel, and have the tyre repaired by a tyre dealer. Do not drive on a tyre in such a condition. If in any doubt as to the possible consequences of any damage found, consult your local tyre dealer for advice.

8 General tyre wear is influenced to a large degree by driving style - harsh braking and acceleration, or fast cornering, will all produce more rapid tyre wear. Interchanging of tyres may result in more even wear; however, it is worth bearing in mind that if this is completely effective, the added expense is incurred of replacing simultaneously a complete set of tyres, which may prove financially restrictive for many owners.

9 Front tyres may wear unevenly as a result of wheel misalignment. The front wheels should always be correctly aligned according to the settings specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

10 DonТt forget to check the spare tyre for condition and pressure.

11 Legal restrictions apply to many aspects of tyre fitting and usage, and in the UK this information is contained in the Motor Vehicle Construction and Use Regulations. It is suggested that a copy of these regulations is obtained from your local police, if in doubt as to current legal requirements with regard to tyre type and condition, minimum tread depth, etc.

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