Tyres are one of the important components of a vehicle, responsible not only for safety but also comfort. Knowing when it’s time to buy new tyres is important, and there are several ways to check, as well as some warning signs to be aware of.
As tyres age, two main things happen: the tread wears down due to contact with the road surface; and the rubber of the tyres hardens. Both of these factors can be exacerbated by the type of conditions the car is driven in, how the car is driven (for example, braking hard and skidding, rather than braking slowly), and how much the car is driven.
The tread on a tyre is what helps give the car grip on the road, which is particularly important in wet weather, as the ridges on the tread will help to disperse water, trying to ensure that the maximum amount of rubber is in contact with the road. As the tread wears out, the car will therefore have more difficulty staying on the road, often resulting in skidding in wet (or even dry) weather.
Thankfully, modern tyres have a little device which can help you monitor the amount of wear. Tread-wear indicators are small pieces of metal or rubber embedded in the grooves of the tread. When the tyres are new, you will notice that the surface of the indicators is well below the surface of the tread. When the tyres have worn down and the surface of the tread is level or almost level with the indicator, then it is time to look for new tyres. One more possible option is car tyre puncture. A lot of drivers don’t realise that repairing a tyre is possible in many cases and doesn’t require a new tyre replacement.
Cracks along the surface
Another way to check if you need new tyres – particularly if they are more than five years old – is whether they have small cracks on the tread or sidewalls. Rubber hardens as it ages, meaning that tyres will not be able to “bounce back” so easily from bumps and will eventually start to crack.
Some other signs to look out for include: uneven tread wear on the tyres, which could be related to poor alignment or inflation (see below); and lots of vibration when driving, even on smooth surfaces.
Several other factors can influence the life of your car’s tyres. One of the main culprits is under- or over-inflation, you need to do a tyre pressure check and determine where not enough or too much air is pumped into the tyres. If there isn’t enough air in the tyres, it can increase the amount of wear on the edges of the tyre, increase braking distance, and result in a reduced cornering ability. If tyres are over-inflated, the tread will wear out in the middle of the tyre, and braking and steering will be negatively affected.
Bumps or other damage
Another factor that can affect the lie of tyres is damage, such as in the wall of the tyres or in the tread. Damage can occur due to the tyre wall hitting the side of a curb or my driving over a rock or nail, or through a pothole or over a bump. While most tyres are able to be retreaded if the tread has worn down or they have suffered damage, if the damage has occurred to the sidewalls, re-treading won’t be possible.
No matter what your tyre needs are, Jim’s Mobile Tyres can help you, so give us a call on 13 15 46.