How To Guides
These short guides are designed to help you stay safe on the road and improve the performance of your tyres.
How to Check Your Tyres
Vehicle safety and performance depend on the area of your tyres that is in contact with the road. Even driving over kerbs or speed humps at a low speed could weaken or cause damage. Going off road will place additional stress on the tyre.
Checking your tyres only takes a few minutes. It is a few minutes very well spent when you consider that tyres are the only thing that is connecting your vehicles and your passengers to the road. Driving with tyres in poor condition is also a violation. In the UAE it is punishable by a fine of AED500, four black points and your vehicle being impounded for seven days.
When to Check Your Tyres
Blacklion has developed a simple five-point check for your tyres. You should check your tyres:
- At least once a month.
- Before any long journey.
- After any severe impact to the tyre.
If your tyres are coming to the end of their life they should be checked more regularly.
The Blacklion Five-Point Tyre Check
1. Visual inspection
Inspect your tyres with your eyes, taking a minute to study their general appearance. Does anything look out of place? Tyres should not hold surprises, so if something appears strange then it usually indicates you have a problem. When inspecting, ask yourself:
- Does the tyre have any strange lumps or bulges?
- Are there cracks or cuts on the side of the tyre?
- Are there cracks or cuts on the tread?
While you are checking, remove stones and any others objects that are embedded in the tread.
2. Tyre Tread Depth
The legal limit for tyre tread depth in the UAE and Oman is 1.6mm. Most new tyres start with a tread depth of 8mm, with some starting at more than 10mm. The general rule is that if the tyre appear too thin then they probably need replacing, even if they are above the legal minimum.
Every tyre has a Tread Wear Indicator (TWI), with small marking that show the level of tread remaining. You should be able to see a step in the grooves around the TWI. If you don’t, and the tread has been worn down to the Tread Wear Indicator marking, you need to replace your tyres.
- Tyres with very low tread depth have very little grip. This makes your vehicle handle poorly and require greater distance in order to stop.
- As the tyre tread gets lower it increases the risk of a puncture or tyre blowout. It also increases the potential of cracks in the rubber.
- Tyres with very low tread require more fuel.
- If the tread has been run bare or you can see a canvas patch on your tyre then the tyre is both dangerous and illegal. It must be changed immediately.
Another simple method for checking tyre tread depth is to use a one dirham coin. Insert the coin into the major tread grooves. If it doesn’t stay in place then replace your tyre immediately. If it does, check to see how much of the jug is visible above the tyre tread. At least some of the jug should be hidden within the tyre groove; if the whole jug is visible then replace your tyre.
3. Tyre Pressure
Properly inflated tyres reduce your vehicle’s running costs and increase the life of the tyre. Incorrect tyre pressure also affects your vehicle’s handling and makes it unstable.
- You can check and change your tyre pressure at most garages.
- The optimum tyre pressure for your tyres will be detailed in your vehicle handbook. It is also shown on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door.
- Tyre pressure should be tested when your tyres are cold. Check them at the start of your journey, not the end.
4. Irregular Wear
Irregular wear can be caused by many reasons: misaligned steering, worn suspension, aggressive driving, scuffing and jumping over kerbs, and the over or under inflation of the tyre.
Your tyres should wear evenly. Examine if one part of the tyre is worn more than the rest.
- Follow the tread around the tyre’s diameter. Is it the same?
- Check the wear across the tyre’s width. Is it the same?
- If your tyre is wearing more on the outer edges then they have probably been under-inflated.
- If your tyre is more worn down in the centre than it is likely that they have been over-inflated.
- If your tyre is worn on just one side then this commonly indicates a problem with the suspension, or that the angle the wheel sits need adjusting (the camber).
- If your tyres are wearing unevenly and randomly then your wheel alignment is probably wrong. This is very common on front tyres.
5. Remember the Spare Tyre
You should always have five tyres. Not just four. So when performing your checks, remember the spare tyre.
How to care for your tyres
Caring for your tyres is straightforward. With a few simple techniques you can increase the life of your tyres, improve the safety and performance of your vehicle, and ultimately, save money.
Blacklion has developed a five-point tyre optimisation checklist.
Blacklion Five-Point Tyre Optimisation Checklist
1. Regular Checking
Checking your tyres is the number one way to care for them. Use Blacklion’s five-point tyre check – it takes less than five minutes.
2. Wheel Alignment (tracking)
You can easily check your wheel alignment when driving. If your car is pulling to one side then your tracking or wheel alignment is probably incorrect. Wheel alignment problems often occur when you run over something with force, such as a kerb or rock.
Incorrect wheel alignment causes your tyres to wear on one side. And if you notice tyres wearing on one side then you should immediately have your tracking realigned. Most mechanics can do this quickly and easily. Some offer this service for free.
Poor wheel alignment increases rolling resistance on the road and can affect handling and safety. Proper wheel alignment extends the length of your tyres.
3. Wheel Balancing
When you turn the wheel the weight of your vehicle should be evenly balanced. Wheels that are incorrectly balanced produce vibration, especially at high speed. A common sign is that the steering wheel starts wobbling when you are driving above a certain speed. This often makes driving uncomfortable.
Proper wheel balance results in a smoother drive. It also helps the tyres wear evenly, which increases their life.
4. Tyre Rotation
Tyres will wear differently dependent on where they are fitted on your car. Front tyres usually wear quicker than rear tyres as they have to do more work. If your wheel alignment or wheel balancing has been off then your tyres will have worn unevenly in different places.
By rotating your tyres regularly you can even out the wear across all your tyres. Common best practice is to rotate your tyres every 6 months or every 6000 kilometres, whichever comes first. Proper tyre rotation can extend the life of your tyres by up to 12,000 kilometres!
Tyre rotation involves removing every tyre and refitting it in a different position. Where you rotate them to depends on your vehicle.
- Front tyres: Move to rear and keep on the same side.
- Rear tyres: Move to front and switch sides.
- Front tyres: Move to rear and switch sides.
- Rear tyres: Move to front and keep on the same side.
- Front tyres: Move to rear and switch sides.
- Rear tyres: Move to front and switch sides.
5. Storing Tyres
Tyres naturally wear when they are fitted to your vehicle. You don’t want your tyres to wear any further when they are not being used.
- Before removing tyres note their position on your car. Then you can rotate them when they are refitted.
- Remove any stones or debris embedded in the tread.
- Use water to clean your tyres and dry them to stop corrosion and rusting.
- Make sure the storage space is clean from grease, petrol or solvents.
- Keep your tyres away from sources of heat, like pipes and generators.
- Do not stack tyres over long periods and don’t crush them under heavy objects.
- A cool, clean and dry storage space is optimal.
When to Replace Your Tyre
All tyres will eventually need replacing. We would prefer that you replace your tyres less often.
How do you know when is the right time to buy a new set of tyres in the Middle East? Blacklion has a five-point checklist to guide you.
Blacklion Five-Point Tyre Replacement Indicator
1. Regular Checking Preserves the Durability of Your Tyre
Checking your tyres ensures you pick up on minor damage and anything that might be harmful to their long-term durability. Follow Blacklion’s five-point tyre optimisation checklist and you can keep using the same tyres for longer.
All Blacklion tyres come with a three-year warranty. Tyres deteriorate quicker in hot weather and Blacklion tyres have been specially formulated for the conditions. However, as per UAE regulations, it is advised to check and replace tyres after three years in order to prevent blowouts.
The age of a tyre can also be measured in number of kilometres. All tyres have an international treadwear rating that provides an indication as to how long they will last. For example, tyres with a rating of 720 can cover more miles than those with a 300 rating. You can check the treadwear rating of all Blacklion tyres on this page, as well as compare them against other brands.
Upon purchasing your tyres, the dealer will inform you of the estimated number of kilometres the tyres can be sustained. When they have reached this milestone, you should start considering new tyres.
You should inspect your tyres at least every month. Blacklion has a five-point checklist you can follow. If your tyres look strange then they might need replacing. Check them for:
- Tread depth. If any parts of the tyre are bare or the tread is less than 1.6mm then your tyres are illegal in the UAE and Oman.
- Bulges and blisters on the sidewall of the tyre. These can lead to a dangerous tyre blow out. It does not necessarily mean the tyre needs replacing but you must get them checked.
- Lacerations. If the tyre has any significant visible damage, like lacerations or tears, it will need replacing.
Not all tyres need to be replaced after a puncture. If the puncture is smaller than 6.4mm then a tyre specialist may be able to fix the puncture and recover your tyre. You will need a new tyre when:
- A sidewall or tread puncture is larger than 6.4mm.
- Any part of the punctured tyre tread has been worn below 1.6mm.
- The tyre has gone flat due to a blow out.
5. Performance Upgrade
High-quality tyres improve your drive and is the first step to optimising the performance of your vehicle. Driving with degraded or poor-quality tyres will make if difficult to maximise your vehicle’s performance features.
High-quality tyres provide greater traction, decreased breaking distance, a smoother and quieter ride, along with enhanced performance in differing conditions.
Explore the tyre catalogue to discover how a performance upgrade can enhance the quality of your drive.