A typical car tyre is an amazing piece of engineering. You may take it for granted and not realise how many thousands of hours have gone into its design, so that it can look after you and your family in all weather conditions and last for a long time as well. However, the tyre will encounter a lot of abuse in normal driving situations and will degrade. In addition, many owners do not pay enough attention to tyre maintenance and contribute to the problem. You should never take your tyres for granted and should have a good look at them periodically to assess their condition. What are some of the warning signs to look for, in order to take the right action?
Why You Should Inspect
When you first get new tyres, you should familiarise yourself with their appearance so that you know what to look for in the future. Of course, they're not going to look the same when they've been used, but any wear encountered should be equal.
Different Issues to Look for
When you conduct your first inspection, if you can see that there is an abnormal amount of wear on the shoulders this is likely the result of under-inflation. Everything appears to be okay in the centre, but not around the edges and when there is not enough air inside, more of the tyre than is necessary will contact the road surface causing this problem.
Conversely, if you can see that the shoulders appear to be okay but that there is an excess amount of wear in the centre, then this is caused by having too much air inside, or over inflation. This will cause the cover to expand in the centre and most of the weight will be put onto that strip when you're driving.
Next, you may notice a very unusual bald spot in just one location. This is known in the trade as a "flat spot," and is usually caused when the driver skids the car or brakes very heavily in an emergency. Essentially, the part of the tyre that has now disappeared will be eroded by the road surface. Sometimes, this may not be too much of a problem as far as driving is concerned, but other times it can cause an excessive amount of vibration through the steering.
You may also notice that the tread blocks on one side of the tyre appear to be "scuffed" while the opposite counterparts appear to be more protruded. This can be caused by aggressive driving and high-speed cornering and is much to do with the driver behaviour.
What to Do If You're Not Sure
If you're really not sure what you're looking at but want to be as safe as possible, then you should take the vehicle into tyre experts so that they can assess the current condition.