You may be surprised to find out there are five different types of tire damage. This article reviews each type and gives you advice about how to recognise and deal with tire damage issues as they appear.
1. Regular wear and tear
The first type of tire damage is regular wear and tear. This is why it is important to rotate your tires. There is no guarantee as to how long your tires will last, because every tire, vehicle and driver are different, but five years is a safe bet.
2. Irregular wear
Failure to rotate tires regularly can result in irregular wear. Tire rotation prevents tires from wearing unevenly due to vehicle weight distribution or tire alignment issues. Irregular wear can increase the likelihood of blow outs on the weaker tires.
3 – 4. Cuts & punctures
Your tires are susceptible to cuts and punctures from road debris. Stones and glass may not always cause a puncture, but it’s a good idea to get your tire checked out if there is visible surface damage due to road debris.
Punctures are quite common and you can have debris, such as a nail or screw, embedded in your tire for quite some time before you notice. If your tire is constantly losing air pressure, then there is a good chance you’ve picked up debris, which has punctured your tire.
If you have a flat tire, we recommend you don’t drive on it, as this may cause permanent damage, requiring a replacement.
If the damage is only on the tread (rather than the tire’s side wall) and it is less than 1/4″, then the damage should be repairable. We offer tire repair services, but if you want to repair the puncture yourself be sure to apply the patch on the inside of the tire, never on the outside.
5. Impact damage
You can spot impact damage by the characteristic bulge you can see in your tire. Impact damage is usually due to pot holes, hitting a curb or a speed bump. The bulge weakens the tire and increases the likelihood of tire failure.
Impact damage can generally be avoided by keeping your eyes peeled for pot holes, driving cautiously and avoiding protruding objects, such as curbs.
Inspecting your tires
You don’t have to leave the health of your tires to chance. You can inspect your tires on a daily basis. Look for any damage or excessive tire wear. If you see any metal coming through the rubber, you have a dangerous tire that needs replacing immediately.
Checking air pressure
Check your air pressure before you drive, or at least three hours after you have been driving. Attach a pressure gauge to the valve of your tire to read the tire’s pressure. Look in your owner’s manual or the sticker on the driver’s side door to find the tire pressure required for your vehicle.
Every car’s weight is different, so don’t just rely on the recommended pressure listed on the tire. If you’re not sure, you can contact us for advice.
If the pressure is lower than recommended, you should top up the tires. If it is too high, you should release some air from the tires.
Once a month, you should check the wear of your tires. Our wear guide gives you instructions about how to check for vehicle wear.