The tyres of your vehicle perform the job of absorbing shocks, providing traction and allowing safe handling. Needless to say, they are an essential part of the vehicle and need to be taken care of to the best of your abilities to make sure the performance and safety are not compromised.
There are several factors like improper maintenance, road conditions, and inflation, that can cause damage to the tyres. To avoid driving on tyres that are not 100% fit to be used, you need to be cautious and aware of the condition your tyres are in. Here are some common types of tyre damage that you must be aware of, their causes and things you can do to prevent them.
Punctures/Cuts: Punctures and cuts are the most common types of damage that your car tyres can suffer. Punctures are generally a result of sharp objects like glass, screws or nails, penetrating the tyre. Cuts, on the other hand, are caused by bad road conditions or sharp-edged objects like glass, stones and metal.
Driving slowly around construction sites and uneven or bad roads helps minimize the chances of cuts and punctures happening considerably. In case you notice a puncture in your tyre, you should get it fixed or replaced at the nearest service centre.
Bulge or break: Bulges occur due to impact with objects like curbs, speed bumps, potholes or rocks at a high speed, causing damage to the inner layer of the tyre that causes the air to leak out into the outer layer of the tyre. This creates an egg-shaped bulge on the tyre. Although the tyre can still hold pressure to some extent at this stage, its performance and durability are severely compromised.
This bulge can break at any moment and cause complete deflation of the tyre. Thus, it is not advisable to drive on such tyres for long and you should get it replaced immediately when you spot the bulge. Driving slowly over speed bumps, avoiding potholes and mounting curbs at low speeds can help prevent impact bulges.
Uneven Tread Wear: Unlike punctures and bulges, tread wear is a type of tyre damage that does not occur suddenly but rather happens gradually. While tread wear is normal and sure to occur eventually as you use the tyres longer, uneven or irregular tread wear, is not normal at all and usually means something is wrong.
Tread wear decreases the depth of the tyre reducing the tyre's performance and grip on the road surface leading to a longer braking distance, loss of traction, and an increased risk of aquaplaning. Let us discuss some types of irregular tread wear:
- Flat spots- Generally caused by sudden acceleration and braking, flats spots, as the name suggests, are patches of worn-out tread on the tyre. Although these may be present in small areas, you still need to change the tyre as these worn-out patches provide little to no traction when in contact with the road.
- One-sided shoulder wear- When one shoulder of your tyre is wearing out faster, it means your wheels are out of alignment causing the tyre to lean either inwards or outwards, pressing one shoulder more firmly and thus wearing it faster. Getting a wheel alignment will fix this issue.
- Shoulder tread wear- Worn out shoulder tread is caused by under-inflation of the tyres due to which the centre tread is not pushed into the road as firmly, due to lower pressure. It can also be a result of frequently driving on winding roads. Ensuring your tyres have the recommended level of tyre pressure can help avoid shoulder tread wear.
- Centre tread wear- Centre tread wear is generally a result of over-inflation. Tyres that are over-inflated, bulge in the centre, pushing the tread in that part of the tyre harder into the ground which causes it to wear faster than the rest of the tyre. Check the recommended tyre pressures for your tyre to prevent this.
Monitor your tyre health: As mentioned before, tyres play an immensely important role in the performance and safety of your cars, and they can only perform these tasks when they are in good condition. Tyre health needs to be monitored regularly to check for any signs of tyre damage and to make sure they are taken care of before things get out of hand. Get in touch with our tyre experts at Tempe Tyres as soon as you find the slightest hint of tyre damage and we will take care of the rest. For more tips about tyre health and safety, do read our blog – Tyre Safety Tips.