Tyres and what you need to know
Tyres form an integral part of the car and the type of tyres recommended along with the permitted wear and depths are there for the safety of the driver, passengers and other road users. Most people will replace worn tyres with new rather than second-hand, which could be as bad or worse than those being replaced in some instances! There is currently pressure on the Spanish Government to ban the sale of used tyres due to fears for safety from professionals.
Tyres are routinely inspected at each ITV for sizing and tyre depth but the police may also when stopping you inspect your tyres and if they are not in compliance with the current depth measurement of 1,6 millimetres across the central part of the tyre. If your tyres are more worn than this then you can be fined 200 euros per tyre! This could be a very costly outcome if you thought you were saving money when changing tyres for second-hand ones.
Tyres of course must be of the correct size and fit for the vehicle and information about any options (if any exist) to those currently fitted to your car can be found on your Ficha Tecnica. It is also important to make sure that the tyre pressures are correct in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines. Often you will find a sticker on the car’s door or centre post showing recommended tyre pressures or you can always ask you mechanic or look them up online.
Although the minimum depth permitted by law is 1,6 millimetres, most manufacturers recommend changing when the tyres are worn down to 3 millimetres. This ensures that the car remains safe and is able to stop in the required time and distance. Differing weather conditions affect stopping distances etc. i.e. in wet conditions it would take a car with a tread of 1,6 millimetres an extra 8 metres to stop when travelling at 70 km/h than if the tread was 3 millimetres.
Quite often just by looking yourself at your tyres you would be able to identify badly worn tyres as there would be much slimmer grooves on the tyre these are known as principal grooves. The weight of the vehicle and the number of passengers and or goods i.e. shopping, furniture etc. being carried will also affect how quickly one can stop in the event of an impending incident. It is important then to always leave what is generally known as a safety gap from the car in front of you and to take care when driving in differing conditions. Very bright sunlight can sometime affect you vision and things like this must be taken into account when driving.
When considering purchasing new tyres be aware of their date of manufacture which will be shown on the tyre for example 5215 means that the tyres were made in week 52 of the year 2015 so although they are new, often being sold as on offer, they can be quite old with possible degradation to the rubber.
Most reputable garages and tyre companies will ensure the best deals for their customers but if buying second hand tyres the above information may be quite useful to you. Ask to see and inspect any purchase of second-hand tyres to ensure the depths are within the legal limits and are not too old.