Typical tyre problems that can hinder the performance of your car
Thursday, 12 March 2020
Tyre problems for any road user are no laughing matter. Damage to your car tyres not only reduces the performance and efficiency of your car, but it can pose a serious risk to your safety and that of other road users.
Tyres are some of the most common car parts that encounter wear and tear. The cause of this is down to them being in constant contact with road surfaces – good and bad. Subsequently, tyres will often need periodic attention to prevent permanent tyre damage and having to fork out on unnecessary replacements.
Top 7 Car Tyre Problems
Keen to know the common signs and symptoms of tyre damage? Below is a list of the top seven car tyre problems that you may experience, which can hinder the performance and safety of your vehicle:
Illegal tread depths
If your telematics reveals that your car is struggling to achieve the miles per gallon (MPG) that it should, or your steering is incredibly light, it’s possible the tread depth of your tyres has diminished. The legal minimum tread depth per tyre is 1.6mm.
The ‘20p test’ is the quickest and easiest way to determine if your tyre is above the legal limit. Push a 20p coin into the lowest tread depth of your tyre. If the outer edge of the coin remains visible it needs replacing immediately – or you’ll risk a £2,500 fine if the police catch you driving with illegal tyre tread.
Over and underinflated tyres
Incorrectly inflated tyres can lead to significant tyre damage, restricting their ability to perform safely on all types of roads. Driving with incorrectly inflated tyres can reduce the lifespan of a tyre by as much as 25%.
Underinflated tyres heighten wear and tear on the shoulder of a tyre, while overinflated tyres lead to premature degradation on the middle of a tyre. Both under and overinflated tyres can inhibit the handling of your vehicle.
Unevenly worn tyres
There are times when tyres that are well-inflated still display signs of wear and tear on the outer edges, rather than the middle and inner edges. If that’s the case, the chances are your tyres have issues with their alignment on the wheels. It could also be linked to suspension issues, but we’ll go into misalignments in greater detail shortly…
Tyre bulges and cracks
Bulges and cracks on the sidewalls of your tyres are something you should keep a keen eye on for all your tyres. The growing number of potholes on Britain’s roads means that it’s highly likely that at least one of your tyres could be affected. If you hit a pothole, or even a curb at reasonable speed, it’s possible to pick up impact bulges on the affected tyre.
If you live close to roads with a string of speed bumps, drive carefully over these as speed bumps are another sure-fire way of picking up cracks and bulges in your tyres.
If you begin to notice a difference in the way your vehicle handles over time, it’s possible one or more of your tyres may have a slow puncture. Tell tale signs of a slow puncture include when your car pulls to one particular side while driving. You should also check over your tyres for any foreign bodies stuck into a tyre, such as a nail or screw.
Start to check your tyre’s air pressure daily to see whether one goes down quicker than the rest. Fortunately, some tyres with slow punctures can be repaired, providing the damage hasn’t occurred in the tyre’s sidewall. It may also be due to a faulty tyre valve, which is leaking out air intermittently. In this scenario, a tyre fitter will be able to remove the tyre from its wheel rim and replace the faulty value.
A misaligned tyre will be visibly more worn on one side than the other. For instance, a tyre that is misaligned facing outwards will wear more on the inner shoulders than the outer shoulders and vice versa.
Your nearest garage or tyre fitter should be able to realign your tyres within a matter of minutes for you, balancing them correctly to reduce the risk of premature degradation and reduced traction. This is essential preparation for driving in the colder months of the year.
It’s also common to discover cambered wheels on vehicles. This is where the inside or outside edge of your tyres are considerably more worn than the rest of the tyre. Common causes of camber wear on tyres include misaligned suspension, damaged struts, damaged or broken springs or damaged or broken control arm bushings.
What to do about car tyre problems found?
If you have diagnosed one of the seven car tyre problems listed above with any of your tyres, it’s important that you get it repaired or replaced immediately. If your tyre is beyond repair, a cost-effective way to replace it is to purchase part-worn tyres. These are tyres that have been stripped from written-off, scrapped vehicles that still have excellent tread depths and many miles left in them.
Rather than paying full price for a brand-new tyre, why not pay a fraction of the price for a part-worn tyre that comes with a 90-day guarantee for immediate peace of mind.
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