7 Things that Kill Your Tyres
Good tyres don’t come cheap; options of adequate quality represent unavoidable investments that inevitably come as a package deal with car ownership. It goes without saying that we would want to do everything within our ability to maximise its lifespan. Here are some common things that cause uneven or premature tyre wear.
Appearance: It would look like one side of your tyres wears down faster than the other. You may feel your car pulling to one side even though your steering is set straight.
Cause: The car’s camber setting likely needs to be adjusted, as it is causing one tyre to lean too much on one side. If your tyres are constantly making contact with the road at odd angles, it will lead to uneven wear.
How to avoid: Take your car for an alignment adjustment if you notice it veering. Misaligned wheels are inevitable after a period of driving, which is why it is part of your vehicle’s maintenance service.
Appearance: Outer-edge wear occurs, where the edges of your tyres are worn, but the centre is not.
Cause: Too little tyre pressure is one of the most dangerous conditions for a tyre as it will flex more, and its resulting heat buildup can cause a blowout. An underinflated tyre may also damage suspension as it won’t absorb bumps well.
How to avoid: Check your tyre pressure monthly to ensure it is at your car manufacturer’s specific tyre inflation pressure.
Appearance: Centre-tyre wear occurs, but edges are unaffected.
Cause: Too much tyre pressure leads to overinflation, leaving only the centre ring of your tyre in contact with the road. This also means that only a portion of your tyre is in contact with the asphalt, which decreases traction.
How to avoid: Check your tyre pressure, ensuring it is at your car manufacturer’s specific tyre inflation pressure.
Insufficient tyre rotations
Appearance: Feathered ridges; the ramps run front to back along the tyre instead of side to side. The leading edge of the tread blocks will be worn smooth while the trailing edge will be sharp.
Cause: Heel-toe wear is one of the most common tyre wear conditions, as a result of insufficient tyre rotation intervals. Tyres don’t bear equal weight so some will wear out quicker than others.
How to avoid: Changing tyre positions regularly can ensure a relatively even wear, maximising tyre lifespan. Check your car’s maintenance schedule to keep up to date with rotations.
Appearance: ‘Cupping’ or ‘scalloping’; a pattern of alternating hills and valleys.
Cause: Usually indicative of bad or failing shock absorbers, worn or damaged suspension components cause the tyre to bounce as it travels, landing with more impact on some parts of the tyre than others.
How to avoid: Ensure your ride’s suspension is in good condition.
Skidding; leaving your car stationary for too long
Appearance: A portion of the tyre is noticeably more worn than the rest.
Cause: More often caused by skidding—for instance, having to brake suddenly on the highway. Heavy braking cause your tyres to lock up, increasing friction, resulting in a bald spot. Cars parked for extended periods of time also risk getting flat spots as the weight of the car deforms the portion of tyre in contact with the ground through time.
How to avoid: Avoid speeding and keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and take your unused car out for a spin every now and then.
Bad driving habits
The comon culprits are dry steering, braking too hard, revving to a spin when the stop light turns green, and running through potholes or speed bumps. Bad driving habits will also lead to premature tyre wear, so drive smoothly and with care to maximise your tyre’s longevity!