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Pirelli: Get a grip this winter, check your tyre tread

Pirelli is urging motorists to check the tread on their tyres this winter in preparation for the wet, slippery conditions that are the norm for this time of year.

"It is important to have sufficient tread on your tyres, this is what gives you grip on the roads, and it is grip that helps prevent accidents in the wet," Pirelli Tyres Brand Ambassador and V8 Supercar Champion Craig Lowndes said.

"Pirelli recommends that the tyre tread be around 3-4mm deep in winter - anything less and you're looking for trouble."

Tread depth is something that is rarely considered by most people and Pirelli wants to change this attitude.

"A lot of research goes into Pirelli's tread design to ensure you have maximum grip with the road in a variety of conditions," Lowndes said.

"Sufficient tread depth allows dirt and water to be ejected from the tyre so that contact can be maintained."

"A worn tyre is a concern in the best of conditions, but in the wet it can be extremely dangerous," Lowndes added.

Regular tyre rotation can also help reduce irregular tyre wear prolonging the life of the tyre, and maintains safe tread depths.

"Rotating the tyres regularly is a very simple, effective procedure that helps extend the life of your tyres," Lowndes said.

"Of course sometimes rapid tyre wear occurs when a vehicle is not mechanically sound. This can be averted with regular servicing.

Pirelli Brand Ambassador and V8 Supercar Champion Craig Lowndes

To ensure that the tyretread depth of your vehicle is safe and that the overall tyre condition is up to scratch, Pirellisuggests the following five-point safety check be performed this winter.

  1. Inspect all tyres, including the spare;
  2. Ensure that tread depth across the tread face of the tyreis not less than a match head deep; ie. 1.6mm.
  3. Make sure there are no cuts, cracks or bulges to the outside sidewall of the tyre;
  4. Check that the inflation pressures are in accordance with the recommendations of the car manufacturer (details can be found on the vehicle's tyre placard usually located in the glove box or on the front door pillar);
  5. Make sure that tyres are fitted with metal or hard plastic valve caps (with a rubber seal) to prevent dirt and debris jamming the valve and causing a slow leak of air

The Five-Point Safety Check is done best when the tyres are cold, so ideally in your driveway at home

June 2008