Far too many car owners ignore problems with their car’s tyres, simply because they assume they can still drive their car with poor-quality tyres; they may not realise how important those tyres are to their overall safety and to how well they can handle the car. It’s good to note that your tyres are vitally important when you’re driving; if they’re worn, bald, underinflated or overinflated, or otherwise need repair or replacement, your car could pull or skid when you brake and fail to stop altogether. You may also be at risk for a blowout. Note a few tips for diagnosing common problems with car tyres so you know what needs repair and replacement with your car.
One worn spot
If you notice that a tyre has one worn or flat spot, this is usually the fault of a very intense skid—if you saw a deer or needed to avoid an accident and slammed on your brakes, that could put pressure on that one spot of the rubber that slid across the pavement, wearing it down. This is not something to ignore or overlook, as that worn or flat spot can then slide over the road when it hits the pavement. Don’t assume that it’s not dangerous since it’s just one part of your tyre but have it replaced if you see this damage.
Wear on one side
Underinflated tyres may get wear on both sides, as this under-inflation causes the centre of the rubber to not hit the pavement as much as the outside edges. However, if there is wear on just one side of the tyre, this often means that there is a problem with the ball joints or tie rods of your car. The ball joints are inside the tyres and allow them to spin; when these joints are damaged, the tyre will lean to one side, causing this uneven wear. The tie rods connect the tyres to the steering column; if one rod is bent, this too will cause the tyre to lean in or out and there will be uneven wear. You need to correct these problems before replacing the tyre or this uneven wear will just keep repeating itself.
Ridges between the tread blocks
When you see what appear to be ridges or blocks of rubber between the blocks of tread, these are probably wear indicators. These are meant to alert you to when the rubber of the tyres has worn down and they need replacing. You typically cannot see them but when the rubber wears away, they become exposed, and it’s time for a new set of tyres.