With tyres now officially the main common cause why cars fail their NCT, we offer five top tips to ensure that your vehicle isn’t among them.
According to 2018 NCT statistics, worn and faulty tyres were the reason for 33,000 cars being taken off the road immediately (dangerous fails). Most of these tyres were worn down below the legal 1.6mm depth, providing little or no grip at all.
In previous years, tyre faults were split into three different categories: tyre condition, tread depth and tyre specification. Even with the three-way split, tyre-related NCT failures always gained a place in the top 5 most common causes of fails.
What Tyre Faults are NCT staff watching out for?
Based on the information provided in NCT staff handbook, we have been able to shortlist the key tyre faults that NCT technicians are advised to look for. Here are the most common reasons for failure, grouped in categories;
- Puncture repair plug in the sidewall.
- Any damage or cut longer than 25mm or 10% of the section width, that is deep enough to reach the ply or cords.
- Tyre incorrectly seated on the rim.
- Damage or distortion of the valve.
- Valve stem rubbing off the valve hole.
- Tread pattern being recut where not suitable.
- Exposure of ply or cord structure, bulge or any other damage or weakness in the structure.
- Tyres fitted on the same axle are not the same type, size etc. (winter/summer, run flat, radial ply, cross ply…)
- Radial ply tyres are fitted on the front axle only, but not on the rear.
- Insufficient speed rating for the maximum legal speed limit.
- Space saver tyre fitted on the car.
- Tyre standing out beyond bodywork.
- Tyres are not fit for purpose. (Trailer use only and similar)
- Tyres fitted wrong way. (Incorrect direction for directional tyres, wrong side out for asymmetrical).
- European E mark not visible on the tyre.
Tyreland’s top 5 good tyre maintenance tips
1. Check your tyre pressures regularly
Correct tyre pressure will protect your tyres from impact damage and reduce the possibility of losing control of your vehicle. It will also increase your car’s fuel efficiency. For best performance and durability, your tyres should be checked as often as once per month and before long journeys. Just bare in mind, not to check your pressures when tyres are hot, or if you do so, add an extra 4-5psi on top of the recommended tyre pressure. Recommended tyre pressures are listed in your car’s handbook. Tyreland is offering free tyre pressure checks 7 days per week, as standard as part of our drive-in service.
2. Tyre rotation
Rotating your tyres (front to rear) can extend the lifetime of your tyres by up to 10,000 km! It is simply due to the fact that front tyres wear twice as fast as rear ones, because of the weight of the engine. Tyre rotation can also be done free of charge in any of Tyreland branches.
3. Monitoring your tread depth
Having a good tyre tread depth is important because it keeps your car under control by removing water between the road and your tyres. Less tread remaining means less water can fit in the tyre grooves. This will automatically increase the risk of aquaplaning. Tyre wear can be accelerated by high-speed driving, hard braking or uneven road surfaces. Therefore, we recommend that you check your tread depths regularly. The legal tyre tread depth limit in Ireland is 1.6mm. The easiest way to monitor your tyre depth is by looking at the tread wear indicator bars which are located on every tyre, inside the grooves. When these bars are at the same level with tread pattern blocks, it then means that your tyres are illegal.
4. Wheel alignment
Regularly performed wheel alignment will ensure that your car is handling at its optimum level. It will also significantly improve tyre durability and reduce your car’s fuel consumption. You should get your wheel alignment checked once every 6 months and every time new tyres are fitted on to your car. For more information on wheel alignment, click here: wheel alignment.
- 5. Regular visits to your local tyre shop
If you are unclear or have any doubts if your tyres are roadworthy, then visit any Tyreland branch for a free tyre check & advice. Buying tyres from a reputable company will also assure that your tyres are the correct specification for your car, have all of necessary European marking and will be correctly fitted.
Tyreland’s Dublin and Navan branches are offering free tyre maintenance all-year-round. So, don’t wait to fail the NCT, call in to us for your regular tyre maintenance. Get in touch
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