tyre tips

As of 1 November 2012, all passenger tyres sold in the European Union must be labelled with an official EU tyre label. This label contains information about three important criteria that form the basis for evaluating tyre performance: wet grip, fuel efficiency and exterior noise. 

The European Tyre Label is a good indicator of basic tyre performance. However, it is far from the end of the story. Your safety and comfort demand the best performance from your tyres in all conditions and for their entire lifespan.

Which is why Bridgestone pays meticulous attention to many parameters not covered by the new label when designing, developing, testing and constructing its tyres: wet-weather handling, dry braking performance, high-speed stability, resistance to aquaplaning, wear resistance, comfort and interior noise.

In the case of winter tyres, Bridgestone also develops advanced compound and tread technologies to ensure handling characteristics, braking, acceleration and steering response at low temperatures and on snow and ice.

Together, all these criteria tell the real story behind premium tyres, and guide you in buying the suitable tyre for your driving requirements.

From A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) Rolling resistance is one factor of your tyres that can affect your fuel consumption. The lower the rolling resistance, the less fuel is required to move your vehicle forward and the less carbon emissions are generated. The difference in fuel consumption between A and G-rated tyres could be as much as 7.5%*. For an average passenger vehicle, that is around 0.65L per 100km.


Maintaining correct inflation pressure is essential and avoids premature or uneven wear. As tyres naturally lose pressure over time, you need to refill them regularly. Driving on the correct tyre pressure will extend the life of your tyre, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency.

Check your tyre pressure at least once a month, when your tyres are cold, and before long journeys.

Follow Bridgestone’s step-by-step advice on checking your pressures:

  • Find the correct pressures in your vehicle handbook or inside the driver’s door or fuel cap (this will be a figure in psi or bar).
  • Unscrew the plastic cap on the air valve.
  • Press the tyre-pressure gauge against the valve and hold it down firmly. If you hear a hissing noise, you are letting air out. Press down harder.
  • Read the measurement on the gauge.
  • To add air, pump gauge until correct pressure is shown. To deflate, depress the tyre valve.


More tread means more grip. It’s as simple as that. Be aware that even though the legal limit is 1.6mm, anything under 3mm can seriously compromise performance and safety.

  1. Use a dedicated tread gauge – a tool to give you a fast, easy-to-read measurement or
  2. Use your Tread Wear Indicator (TWI) – premium tyre manufacturers such as Bridgestone mould TWI’s into the design of the tyres’ tread pattern. It’s easily identifiable; it’s made up of six or more small rubs across the bottom of the main tread grooves, which are usually 1.6mm to 2mm above the base of the groove. The legal limit of 1.6mm is reached when the tyre is worn to the level of the tread wear indicators in the main groove – as soon as this happens, the tyre should be replaced.

Remember: • Check your tread depth on all four tyres • Check the inner, outer and centre.


The environment is a big issue in society today, so there’s never been a more important time to make a change. Bridgestone’s ‘Make Cars Green Campaign’ helps reduce the impact of cars on the environment (and save you money) – just follow these practical tips to do your part.

  • Buy green – a more efficient car costs less to run. Look out for Bridgestone tyres bearing the ECOPIA mark – they offer low rolling resistance for excellent fuel economy and less CO2 emissions.
  • Plan your journey – and save on fuel and time. Choose the quickest routes with minimal congestion.
  • Check your tyre pressures frequently – a correctly inflated tyre decreases rolling resistance, increases fuel efficiency and gives better grip – making it a greener and safer tyre.
  • Reduce loads and avoid the need for roof racks – heavier cars need more energy to move so carrying excess weight will heighten fuel bills. Remove any unnecessary items.
  • Don’t warm up your engine before starting off – modern cars don’t need to be warmed up before starting off, except in extremely cold conditions.
  • Use air conditioning only when necessary – AC causes your vehicle to consume more fuel so think twice before letting it run continuously. When travelling at slow speeds, it’s more efficient to open the windows.
  • Accelerate gently and keep a constant speed – gentle driving uses less fuel. Avoid abrupt, heavy acceleration as this incurs unnecessary wear on your tyres and brakes.
  • Use engine braking – using the natural braking power of the engine saves on fuel. Releasing the accelerator when recognising the need to slow down stops the fuel supply leading to a 2% increase in fuel efficiency.
  • Don’t idle your engine – whilst the engine is idling the car is still using fuel! Ten minutes of engine idling (in neutral, with AC off) wastes 130cc of fuel.
  • Offset your CO2 emissions – CO2 production as a result of transport is often unavoidable, but if you do drive you can still contribute to CO2 reduction by offsetting emissions.


Four strips of rubber are all that stand between you and potentially life threatening situations on the road. Worn or underinflated tyres increase your stopping distance and risk of skidding, and will result in higher fuel consumption and significantly reduced lifespan.

Check your tread depth – More tread = more grip. Anything under 3mm can compromise performance and safety. Check your tread depth on all four tyres. Bridgestone recommend you check the inner, outer and centre. Use a dedicated tread gauge or the built-in tread wear indicator on your tyres (the legal limit of 1.6mm is reached when the tyre is worn to the level of the tread wear indicators in the main groove).

Check your tyre pressure – Maintaining correct inflation pressure is essential. Tyres naturally lose pressure over time so you need to refill them regularly. Check your tyre pressure at least once a month and when your tyres are cold, and before long journeys.

Check for damage or irregular wear – Your tyres are built to withstand tough treatment, but they’re not indestructible. Poor wheel alignment, prolonged under or over-inflation and harsh road conditions can cause damage that will compromise the reliability of your tyres. Check regularly for uneven wear (on both sides of the tyre), tears, cracks or bulges on the sidewall and damage to the wheel rims.


Your tyres are essential for safe driving; they are the only link between your vehicle and the road – a critical contact area no bigger than the palm of your hand.

Tyres have 4 vital functions:

  • Provide grip for braking and acceleration
  • Maintain steering and directional control
  • Support the weight of the vehicle
  • Act as a shock absorber for vibrations from the road

Don’t take your tyres for granted – for tips on how to look after them visit Bridgestone’s Tyre Safety website www.tyresafety.eu .


Your tyres are the only link between your vehicle and the road – a critical contact area no bigger than the palm of your hand. They provide the vital grip for braking and the control of your steering – essential to you stopping safely in an emergency. The distance it takes you to stop can be the difference between life and death.

It takes longer to stop on worn tyres

A new tyre has about 7-8mm of tread and although the legal minimum is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre, recent research recommends you change your tyres at 3mm for your safety and performance*.

As tread depth decreases, your stopping distance will increase. Incorrect tyre pressures also cause longer braking distances as the tyre’s surface contact with the road is less effective. Make sure your tread is safe and legal.

Keep a safe distance

It is imperative that you leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops. The table below shows how various speeds affect your total stopping distance.

SpeedThinking DistanceBraking DistanceTotal Stopping Distance

Note: these distances are general guides – they will depend on your attention (thinking distance), road surface, weather conditions and condition of your tyres and vehicle at the time. Average car length – 4 metres.**

*RoSPA **Direct.gov


Our weather can be very unpredictable, and if the past few years are anything to go by Winters are getting worse. To prepare you for Winter driving, follow Bridgestone’s safety tips:

  • Be prepared – carry extra clothing, blankets, tow rope, mobile phone and torch in case of breakdown.
  • Check your car – clean lights, top up your screen wash and check antifreeze levels.
  • Check your tyres – the greater the tread depth, the safer. Correct pressures are also vital for grip. At least 4mm of tread is recommended as minimum in Winter*.
  • Clear vision – remove ice/snow and wait for windows to clear before setting off.
  • Take your time – going too fast in poor weather or road conditions is one of the main causes of fatal accidents**.
  • Stopping distances are doubled on wet roads and up to 10 times longer in snow or ice*. Keep your distance.
  • Don’t drive through flood water – but if you have to, check its depth, drive slowly in first or second gear keeping the revs high to prevent stalling. Check your brakes afterwards before resuming speed and use gentle short braking actions to help dry them.
  • Skids can occur when the tyre tread is poor or the tyre is moving too fast to flush water from the road beneath it, rising up on the film of water without being able to grip. Ease off power.
  • Always use gentle manoeuvres and a steady speed. Apply the brakes gently.
  • Remember that fog can also make roads wet, slippery or icy.

*tyresafety.eu **Direct.gov


Fuel is one of the great expenses related to running a car, but the good news is that fuel efficient tyres can help to reduce this cost!
Tyre manufacturers are always looking for ways to reduce rolling resistance (the friction that your tyres create as they move along the road’s surface) to reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions. Good news all round.

If you want fuel efficient tyres, look out for the ratings labels: A signifies the really good ones, while F means the tyre’s fuel efficiency is not so good.