The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. To help you judge how much tread you have on your car tyres, manufacturers often mould tread bars at roughly 1.6mm.
This information can be found in either the vehicle manufacturer’s handbook or on the sidewall of your existing tyres. If you need help ETB are happy to help - give us a call!
How to check your tyres: Your tyres are the only contact point between your vehicle and the road. They perform a crucial safety roll in acceleration, braking, steering and stopping. Tyres must be in good condition, free from bumps, cuts and bulges. They must be maintained at the correct pressure and have sufficient tread to enable you to stop safety most especially in poor weather and road conditions. The law states the absolute minimum tread depth is 1.6mm of tread across a continuous band of ¾ of the tyre width, around the entire circumference. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to £2,500 & three penalty points per tyre.
In accordance with the tread depth manufacturers operating instructions, place the gauge into the main tread grooves at several places around the circumference of the tyre and across its width. If the gauge records a reading of less than 1.6mm in any location then as stated, the tyre may be illegal and you should get it replaced. It is worth mentioning here that safety is reduced as tread depth decreases, so we’d advise you to give consideration to replacing your tyres well before they reach the legal minimum.
Like tread depths, tyre pressures should be checked at least once a month, or before long journeys, too. Your tyre pressures should be checked against the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended level which can be found in the vehicle handbook and on a plate which is often located inside the fuel filler cap or on the driver’s door sill. Some tips from us: Ensure a reliable and accurate gauge is used. Check the pressure when tyres are cold (i.e. when you have travelled less than two miles). If you are carrying a full load of passengers or luggage or will be towing a trailer or caravan, pressures should be increased in line with the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure you use the correct pressure scale for the gauge being used (I.E. Bar, PSI of KPa). Check the pressure in all four tyres not forgetting the spare as well. When checking pressures, give the rest of the tyre a visual inspection. Remove any stones or other objects embedded in the tread. Look out for any bulges, lumps or cuts, as you would when checking the tread depths. After checking your pressures, be sure to replace the valve cap. If you are unsure on any aspect of tyre pressure or tyre condition, give us a call!
When checking your brakes, just look, listen and feel. Always inspect your brakes when they are cold and allow at least an hour after your journeys end. Firstly, check for wear by looking at your brake pads through the space in the hub or alloy between the wheel's spokes. If you can see the brake pad and it looks less than 3mm in depth, you may want to have your brake pads inspected or replaced. Some brake pads may have a visible wear marker for easy inspection, and some vehicles may require the removal of the wheel for inspection. Please note a thin layer of rust on the discs is not uncommon. If you hear high-pitched screeching sound when you apply your brakes, then you should have your brake pads inspected or replaced. If you experience a grinding or growling noise this may indicate your disc and calliper are rubbing together and your brake pads may be worn away completely. Seek expert help immediately! If your brakes are fading, becoming less responsive or if the pedal sinks, then this could be an indication of a brake fluid leak. If you experience a pulling to one side under braking, then there may be a problem with your brake fluid or uneven brake lining wear. A vibrating brake pedal (excluding when anti-lock brakes are engaged) could indicate you have uneven worn or warped discs which can be a consequence of heavy breaking for long periods such as towing.
This should be the easy one, so long as you can grab a friend or a relative to help out for a second. To make sure that all your lights are working, clean and bright, ask someone to have a look, as it only takes a moment. Please maintain appropriate social distancing during the current crisis if you do, though. If you do need to change a bulb, follow the manufacturers’ handbook or ask one of our stores for help.
Please check your fuel cap is secure and inspect under the vehicle for any tell-tail fluid leaks which form beneath your car when parked. If you detect a leak it is usually best to consult an expert.
Run your finger along the windscreen wiper blades to make sure they are not split and are secure. (Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards). Check washers to make sure they hit the screen and the wipers are generally functioning correctly. Keep an eye on your washer fluid too. It’s a small component in the grand scheme of things, but it makes a huge difference!
Your manufacturer handbook is the best place to start here, as it will tell you what to look for in terms of washer, oil and coolant levels. Alternatively, ask one of our stores for help.
This is a straightforward one and an obvious one to state, but make sure that the belts are staying firm when braking suddenly. You will certainly know if there is an issue here and you should call us ASAP if there is.
A lot of motorists worry about their battery going flat, but it shouldn’t be a common issue to worry about. In simple terms, running the engine keeps your car battery toped up and healthy. Standing idle on your drive for long periods of time is likely to have a detrimental effect on the life of your battery. Where possible, take your vehicle out once a week for an essential journey. If this is not possible then you may need to acquire a battery charger and follow the instructions for keeping your battery charged, if your car is going to be out of action for a sustained period. Our stores are happy to offer a free battery check or advice over the phone during these extraordinary times.
Our Shield Purifier offers a solution to the problem of germs, bacteria, allergens, unpleasant odours and many other air contaminants that accumulate in a car.
The first thing to say is that we’re still open and we’re here to help. We remain open in order to keep essential workers’ vehicles roadworthy. Having an MOT remains the best way to detect any issues with your vehicle and they can still be booked with us, either on-line or by phone. In a message to all delivery drivers, supermarket workers, fuel station attendants, bank workers, teachers, refuse collectors, chemists, the fantastic NHS staff, the thousands of volunteers and ALL ESSENTIAL WORKERS…Your journeys are vital to us all. We thank you. Please know that we are always here to help in your motoring hour of need. But before picking up the phone, take note of the following helpful tips which should assist in keeping your vehicle roadworthy, all done from the sanctuary of home.
There really is truth in the statement ‘you get what you pay for’. When looking at Bridgestone, as an example, they invest over €750 million globally on research and development. Enhanced braking, better steering control and improved wet grip gives an all-round safer driving experience. Bridgestone work closely with vehicle manufacturers and are specified as original equipment in the widest range of makes and models. Fitting our tyres will ensure best compatibility and performance
Yes, in a word! Many all-season products, such as the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 EVO, have been designed to deliver year-round control, safety, and convenience and have even been reengineered to offer additional performance benefits. The Weather Control A005 EVO is capable of handling everyday driving challenges across all four seasons without compromising on wear performance. In fact, the Bridgestone Weather Control A005 EVO offers the same superior wear life as many premium summer tyres. With the UK’s unpredictable weather patterns, we believe an all-season product can be a brilliant solution. You would notice the difference.
For the purposes of this question, let’s say a 205/55 R16 91V: • 205: This is the tyre width in millimeters. • 55: This is the height or profile of the tyre sidewall (aspect ratio), expressed as a percentage of the tread width. In this case, the height of the tyre sidewall is 205×0.55 = 112.75mm. • R16: Here’s the diameter of the wheel rim, measured in inches – the wheel rim is 16″ in this case. • 91: This is the ‘load rating’ of the tyre. It’s a measure of the maximum weight it can support. 91 denotes a load rating of 615kg. • V: The speed rating of the tyre. I.E. the maximum speed at which the tyre can support maximum load. This should be higher than the maximum speed of the car. In this case, ‘V’ means a speed rating of up to 149mph.
If the tyre is a run flat (self-supporting tyre), the tyre will have one of the following markings on the sidewall: RFT - Run Flat Technology RSC - Run Flat System Component BSR - Bridgestone Support Ring. As Bridgestone offers a wide range of OEM tyres, depending upon the vehicle manufacturer and requirements, you may also see the following (homologation) markings on the tyre sidewall: NO, N1, N2, N3 & N4 = Porsche Fitment * (Star marked) = BMW approved MO = Mercedes Original MOE = Mercedes Only Extended AO = Audi Original
Get some premium tyres fitted to your car! We’re stating the obvious when saying that there are only four points of your car that are in contact with the roads at any given time – so make sure that they’re as good as they can be and don’t scrimp by way of budget tyre alternatives. Your stopping distances demand you don’t do this as you pay for what you get. We supply all the leading UK brands of tyres from performance to economy tyres for all makes and models of cars. With over 40 years’ experience of selling tyres we can offer the best prices and advice on all makes (including Bridgestone and Firestone) and tread patterns for car, van, 4x4 and SUV tyres, winter tyres and caravan tyres. We stock most leading big brand names along with many economy ranges and our own house brands all at competitive prices. With over 130,000 tyres in stock at any time we are sure we will have something to suit your tyre needs. And if you live in Worcestershire, you might be able to utilise our mobile tyre fitting service, where we can come to you.
If your vehicle is 3 years or older you are required by law to have an annual safety check, commonly known as an MOT. The purpose of the MOT is to ensure the vehicle meets the minimum safety level required by law. During the MOT the tester will conduct an inspection and a comprehensive series of checks around the vehicle, including the interior, exterior, under the bonnet and under the vehicle. If the vehicle passes all MOT checks, a VT20 MOT certificate is issued. However, if the vehicle fails its MOT checks, a VT30 document is issued. Items that aren’t quite a failure, but will require future attention are listed as ‘advisory’ items. By law, every vehicle over three years old must be subjected to a MOT by a recognised dealer and tester. If your vehicle passes the test, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. You’ll be issued a new certificate that is valid for twelve months before your next MOT check is due again. If it fails, then you must get each problem sorted before the vehicle is retested. If the vehicle has dangerous malfunctions or fails on the day the MOT is due, then you cannot drive the vehicle until a new MOT certificate is issued.
Life is hectic and trying to remember when your next MOT is due can be a little bit of a headache. It couldn’t be easier though – the DVLA GOV.uk website has a simple MOT status check that can give you an exact date to confirm when you need to have your car tested. You can have a MOT test from any registered dealer a month before the due date. It’s always better to book in early to get a MOT off your to-do list!
Calls may be recorded for training and to ensure the best quality customer service.