Tyres wear down for a variety of reasons and it’s important to understand the different types of tyre wear in order to maintain your safety on the road, and maximise your tyre life. Uneven tyre wear can be caused by different factors, this guide explains what they might be and how it may affect you.
Why is it important to understand tyre wear?
People often neglect one of the most important safety aspects of a car – tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the road, and they are the key safety proponent when cornering and braking, even more so in wet weather. Having said all this, people still have trouble realising when their tyres are worn out and no longer provide an adequate level of safety. There are many horror stories of people who have left tyres too long in between changes and have ended up involved in a car accident.
Overly worn tyres are extremely dangerous because of the fact that they perform significantly worse due to the tyre tread having worn away, and creating balding/flat surfaces that do not provide nearly enough grip to keep the car safely on the road in all conditions.
So how can you tell if your tires are worn out?
The first thing you should do when trying to figure out if your tyres need replacing is park somewhere with adequate light, and analyise the tyre wear by looking at the tyre tread depth. Within the grooves in your tyres, you will find small protrusions at equal points around the tyre. When the tread wears down to the same level as these indicators, it means that the tread is at 1.5mm or less; and that it’s time to get a new set.
It’s actually best practice to replace tyres before the tyre tread reaches the same height as the tyre wear indicators in order to maintain the same safety levels. If you need further assistance in knowing when your tyres need replacing, visit read our blog on when you should get your tyres replaced to learn more. For a more in depth guide, read our guide on when to know when your tyres need replacing.
What is Tyre Wear and how does it occur
Tyres don’t always wear down in the same fashion – there are multiple factors which can affect the way the tyres wear down, this is also known as the ‘tyre wear pattern’. Some of these factors include underinflation, overinflation and poor wheel alignment. See the visual below for further explanation of these factors, and how to read them. Others include types of roads the vehicle frequents, wheels being out of balance and bent or worn suspension components.
How do you check tyre wear? Tyre Wear Patterns & How to Read Them
This simple infographic below explains tyre wear patterns.
Tyre pressures below the recommended level will increase braking distance, reduce cornering ability and increase fuel use and wear on the outer edges of the tread. Check out our guide on why it’s dangerous to drive with under-inflated tyres.
Over-inflated tyres will reduce steering and braking performance and wear out in the middle of the tread. Over-inflation will also make for a bumpy ride. Learn more on how to get the ideal pressure for your car.
Your car’s wheel alignment can be knocked out when the tyres bump a fixed object, such as the curb during parking. Having poor or incorrect wheel alignment can make the car less stable to drive and increase tyre wear and fuel consumption.
How to maximise the performance and lifespan of your tyres?
Even though tyres are said to last around 40,000 kilometers, it is nearly impossible to estimate exactly how long they will last given the different factors at play that affect the tyres lifespan. However, if you want to maximise their life, here is a list of things you can do to
- Drive carefully and stay cautious about random objects
- Maintain proper and correct tyre pressures
- Check your tyre pressure frequently
- Stop driving if you feel a tyre is punctured
- Call professional tyre fitters to ensure proper mounting safety
- Reduce driving speed when on bad roads, speed breakers and potholes
- Get your tyres rotated regularly
Get your tyres replaced
Remember, if you see that your tyres are getting close to the wear indicators, it can pay to change them early. Studies have proven that your stopping distance increases vastly with every millimeter of tread that wears off your tyres. If you have gotten to the end of this article and since realised your tyres are overdue for a change, visit Mobile Tyre Shop to get your next set of tyres.