Understanding Tyre Wear – Know your tyres!
One of the things every driver is told to look out for is tyre wear as this can be a sign that a tyre is about to fail and be an indication that you need to invest in a new set of tyres. But what does tyre wear look like, and – in the interests of preventing it on our tyres – how is it caused? Let us take a look.
What it Looks Like
Worn patches on tyres will look considerably different to the unworn places. While new tyres have a uniformly shiny black appearance, worn areas lose the shiny look, often lighten in shade to matt dark charcoal grey, and will feel rough or textured under your hand. Where the patches of wear appear will depend on the causes of the wearing – if the whole contact surface of the tyre is evenly worn, then you have used up your tyres ‘correctly’, so to speak, and can reward yourself with a brand-new set of tyres at your earliest convenience! You can now easily buy good quality cheap tyres in Birmingham from Plume Tyres. Enjoy greater variety at lower prices!
Cause: Rough Driving
Sudden acceleration or braking, cornering too fast, driving over potholes and bumps can all cause unique wear patterns. For example, tyres sometimes wear on the outer edges of the contact area from impatient drivers cutting corners in their haste to get to their destination, driving over curbs and wearing that edge of the tyre more than the rest. Skids, drifting, making doughnuts – all of these will rub off layers of rubber, ultimately weakening the tyre’s integrity.
Cause: Incorrect Inflation
If your tyres are wearing on the outsides of the tyre surface, near the sidewall, this can mean that your tyres are underinflated, causing the middle to sag and putting more pressure on the outer edges, where the sidewalls will need to support more weight than is usual. The opposite problem, over-inflation, results in an opposite wear pattern, with a strip of excess wear running around the middle of the tyre, leaving the ‘shoulders’ untouched. This is because the tyre bulges slightly, elevating the middle of the contact area so only that part of the tyre is touching the road and taking the weight of the vehicle.
Cause: Mechanical Issues
Some mechanical issues, from wheels being incorrectly aligned and balanced to issues with the suspension to steering and idler arm problems, can result in directional feathering wear on your tyres. If you rub the tyre from one sidewall to the other, it will feel smooth one way and rough and gritty the other – this could be a sign of a serious issue, and you should immediately get your car checked out by a mechanic who can fix the issue before it grows into a major (costly) operation.