Do you want to know the most common signs and symptoms of tyre damage? The following are the top seven car tyre problems that you may encounter, which can impair your vehicle's performance and safety:
1. Illegal tread depths
If your telematics show that your car isn't getting the miles per gallon (MPG) it should, or if your steering is extremely light, it's possible that the tread depth on your tyres has decreased. The required tread depth per tyre is 1.6mm.
The '20p test' is the quickest and simplest way to see if your tyre is over the legal limit. Insert a 20p coin into the tyre's lowest tread depth. If the coin's outer edge is visible, it must be replaced immediately, or you risk a £2,500 fine if the police catch you driving with illegal tyre tread.
2. Over and underinflated tyres
Unsatisfactorily inflated tyres can cause significant tyre damage, limiting their ability to perform safely on all types of roads. Driving with incorrectly inflated tyres can reduce a tyre's lifespan by up to 25%.
Underinflated tyres increase wear and tear on the tyre's shoulder, while overinflated tyres cause premature deterioration in the tyre's centre. Underinflated and overinflated tyres can both impair vehicle handling.
3. Unevenly worn tyres
Even when tyres are properly inflated, they may show signs of wear and tear on the outer edges rather than the middle and inner edges. If this is the case, your tyres are most likely out of alignment with the wheels. It could also be related to suspension issues, but we'll go over misalignments in more detail later...
4. Tyre bulges and cracks
Bulges and cracks on your tyre sidewalls are something you should keep an eye out for on all of your tyres. Because of the increasing number of potholes on British roads, at least one of your tyres is likely to be damaged. If you hit a pothole or even a curb at a reasonable speed, you may get impact bulges on the affected tyre.
If you live near a road with a series of speed bumps, drive carefully over them because speed bumps are another sure way to pick up cracks and bulges in your tyres.
5. Slow punctures
If you notice a change in the way your vehicle handles over time, one or more of your tyres may have a slow puncture. When your car pulls to one side while driving, this is an indication of a slow puncture. You should also inspect your tyres for any foreign objects, such as a nail or screw.
Begin checking your tyres' air pressure on a daily basis to see if one drops faster than the others. Fortunately, some slow punctured tyres can be repaired, as long as the damage does not occur in the tyre's sidewall. It could also be due to a faulty tyre valve that is intermittently leaking air. A tyre fitter will be able to remove the tyre from its wheel rim and replace the faulty value in this case.
6 Misaligned tyres
A misaligned tyre will show signs of wear on one side more than the other. A misaligned tyre, for example, will wear more on the inner shoulders than the outer shoulders, and vice versa.
Your local garage or tyre fitter should be able to realign and balance your tyres in a matter of minutes, reducing the risk of premature degradation and reduced traction. This is essential preparation for driving during the winter months.
7. Camber wear
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.