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You should visually inspect your tyres every few weeks - taking care to ensure that there is no damage. It only takes something as small as hitting a kerb or emergency braking to cause damage to your tyres so you may not even notice the damage occur, making it more essential that you check your tyres visually.
What Affects Tyre Condition?
There are a number of factors which can affect the condition of your tyres including the age of the tyre, outdoor temperature and how they are stored. In addition, your driving style, speed and load can put strain on your tyres.
Damage to Look Out For
Lumps and Bulges
Bulges or lumps protruding from the sidewall are caused by air leaking from inside the tyre to the carcass of the tyre and this is usually a result of impact damage such as potholes, speed bumps or kerbs. They indicate deformation of the tyre rubber and this means that the internal structure of the tyre has been damaged. If you find this kind of damage, you must visit a tyre specialist as soon as possible as bulges and lumps could put you at risk from a tyre blowout while driving.
Cuts and Tears
You can easily spot cuts and tears to the tyre when conducting a visual tyre inspection. This kind of damage can be caused by debris and other general wear and can be repaired in some cases. Whilst smaller cuts may be harmless, you should always contact a tyre specialist for guidance. If you can see nylon cords through any tears or cuts to the tyre you must not continue to drive as the internal structure may be compromised.
Debris and Punctures
When checking the condition of your tyres you should ensure that they are free from debris such as stones and grit. These should be removed if found as they can become embedded in the tread and can work into the casing of the tyre which can lead to punctures. If you notice that your tyre is punctured, you should contact a tyre specialist as soon as possible and avoid driving – as there may be a greater extent of damage than it seems.
Abnormal Tread Wear
Uneven tread wear, deformed tread blocks and cracks are all areas for concern when visually inspecting the condition of your tyres. This type of wear can be caused by problems with your brakes or suspension as well as wheel alignment issues. You should have cracks in the tyre checked over by a tyre specialist as this could indicate that the tyre has aged. Ensure that you check your tread depth is still at the legal minimum if you notice that the tyre is particularly worn. A tyre specialist will be able to help you locate the cause of the excessive wear.
If you have discovered potential problems with your tyre condition as a result of your visual tyre checks, find your local Merityre Specialists Branch and contact our tyre specialists with any questions you might have.