It’s fair to say many motorists don’t have a clue when to change their tyres. Indeed, the first time many of us realise we’ve worn our rubber to dangerous levels is when we find our cars doing a 360-degree pirouette towards oncoming traffic.
Fortunately, a new tyre concept, known as the Discolor Tyre, uses a very simple system to indicate when a trip to Kwif Fit is needed. Beneath the usual black rubber at a precise depth, the Discolor tyre has a bright layer of rubber which becomes visible as the tyre wears down.
The designers of the tyre claim their rubber will go over 12,000 miles before the subdermal layer begins to show through. And if for some reason you’ve damaged the tyre before it reaches the end of its natural life, the bright coloured layer should make it slightly easier to spot tears or leaks.
It’s a fantastic idea, but Discolor Tyre may never see the light of day. Stringent tyre safety laws have inhibited previous advancements in wear indicators, according to AOL Cars, so it could remain firmly on the drawing board.
Naturally, the non-profit organisation TyreSafe welcomes the news with open arms. “Anything that raises awareness of tyre safety is a good thing. Drivers tend not to understand tyre technology or they don’t want to know,” the spokesperson told AOL Cars. “They fit and forget.”
“But tread depth is just one of a number of key issues when it comes to tyre safety. There isn’t a substitute for getting down and dirty, checking the state of your tyres regularly. Particularly with the current state of UK roads,” the organisation added.
It may seem like tyre maintenance is a minor issue but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Those four rubbery corners are the only contact you have with the road surface and failure to look after them can have serious consequences ─ not just for you and your passengers but also other road users. This is especially true in adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow where grip is already at a premium.
Besides the safety aspect, worn down tyres can impact your fuel economy, and uneven wear can result in an unnecessarily short tyre lifetime. Spot an issue early enough and you could rotate the tyres to save yourselfa bit of money.
Until inventions like the Discolor Tyre hit the shops, if you are unsure whether your tyres are road safe you are best off asking a third-party such as a local mechanic or garage to have a look for you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry especially when it’s a criminal offence to drive with illegal tyres and the punishment can be up three points for each offending wheel and a fine of £2,500.
Via: AOL Cars