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4 Visible Warning Signs Your Car Tyres Need Replacing

tyres Cars are so well-crafted these days that most of us do not bother making regular maintenance checks on our vehicles. Go back just 50 years and it is an entirely different story, but the increased functionality and durability of modern cars due to inventions such as power steering and the anti-lock braking system mean that in 2022 very few people are popping the hood to check for problems.

While an annual car service from a trusted provider is the best way to ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly, it is well worth doing additional independent checks on your car throughout the year. One of the easiest car parts to check is your tyres, making it ironic that 10% of cars in the UK fail their MOT due to poor quality tyres. Damaged tyres cause reduced control and if left unattended can lead to highly dangerous ‘blowouts’, so look out for these visible warning signs that your car tyres need replacing.

Shallow Tread

The ‘tread’ is the pattern of grooves on your car tyres which improves tyre grip on the surface of the road. All new cars sold in the UK should have a tread depth of 8mm, and although 1.6mm is the legal minimum it is recommended that tyres should be replaced if the tread depth falls below 3mm. Look out for a shiny surface on your tyre, and every two months do the 20p test.

Damaged Sidewall

The ‘sidewall’ is the section of tyre between the tread and the ‘bead’ which connects with the rim of the wheel. The tyre sidewall should be smooth, so watch for any tears or bulges. This type of car tyre damage is common, caused by scraping kerbs and hitting potholes, and reflects serious problems with the internal tyre structure. Catching sidewall damage early will help you to avoid a tyre blowout, a highly dangerous situation which could be fatal if you are travelling at high speed.

Foreign Objects

Most obviously, check for any foreign objects embedded in your tyres. If these objects penetrate too far into the rubber, they will cause punctures and lead to a loss of air pressure or even a completely flat tyre. Typical puncture culprits include nails, glass, and thorns.

Flat Spots

If you keep your vehicle stationary for a long period of time you will likely get flat spots on your tyres because the weight of the car over time causes the tyre to become slightly misshaped. A flat spot will cause vibrations for the first few miles of driving, but these will stop as the tyre evens out again. If the vibrations continue or the air pressure cannot be sustained, the tyre needs to be checked by a professional.


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