What Causes Costly Tyre Damage?
Wear and Tear Is Inevitable, But You Can Slow It Down
Most drivers pay little attention to their tyres. If you’re lucky, the first you’ll know that your tyres are damaged is when you are told during a service that you need new tyres. That’s an expense you weren’t expecting. You can delay that expense by understanding what causes tyre damage and how to avoid it.
3 Self-Inflicted Reasons Your Tyre Needs Replacing
Old tyres should be replaced whatever the mileage they have done. This is because over time rubber degrades. Most tyre manufactures recommend that tyres are replaced at least every five or six years. If you are not sure how old your tyres are, read our article ‘How Do You Know How Old Your Tyres Are and If They Need Changing?’
Of course, if your tyre tread is worn to the minimum legal tread depth (1.5mm in Queensland), then you must replace your tyres. Usually this is because of wear and tear, and this is usually because of driving style – the first of our three reasons why your tyres need replacing.
Poor Driving Style
If you brake late and hard, drive too fast, and corner at speed, your tyres will become worn faster than they should. If you kerb your tyres when parking, you risk damaging the sidewall with scrapes and bulges.
The type of road you drive on also makes a difference to your tyre wear. Driving on smooth tarmac is less damaging than driving at speed on roads that have potholes, loose gravel and raised manhole covers. Indeed, driving on potholes can cause damage to the internal of your tyre, and to other parts of your vehicle (such as steering, suspension and wheels).
This reason is particularly relevant to drivers here in Brisbane. When it comes to rubber, heat hurts.
The sun’s UV rays damage the structure of tyre rubber. It degrades in the heat. However, this is not the only way that your tyres heat up.
When you are driving, your tyres get hot, though even if you touch the tyre you probably won’t feel how hot your tyres are. This is because the heat is on the inside. By the time you can feel the heat – or smell it – the damage is probably already done.
Speed is the main cause of hot tyres when driving. If your tyres are carrying too heavy a load, this also puts pressure on the tyre and increases the tyre’s internal temperature. Though it is not the heat itself that damages your tyres. As tyres heat up, the air in them expands. It is this increase in tyre pressure that causes the most damage.
The best way to make sure your tyres don’t overheat is to drive slower and with a lighter load.
The Wrong Tyre Pressure
Whether incorrect tyre pressure is caused by overheating tyres or simply inflating to the wrong pressure, the effect on potential tyre damage can be astounding.
Poorly inflated tyres – whether they are underinflated or overinflated – result in tyre damage. Your tyres must work harder, and that makes them heat up faster. It also wears tread away faster. You’ll be using more fuel to turn the tyres and therefore need to change the tyres sooner. That’s a double pick of your pocket.
If your tyre is worn on both edges, you’ve probably underinflated your tyres. If it is worn down the centre of the tyre, it is overinflated. Uneven wear is also a sign of overinflation (or poor wheel alignment).
Good Habits Help Tyres Last Longer
To make your tyres last longer, you should get into good habits as a driver:
- Check your tyres at least once per week
- Inflate your tyres to the correct tyre pressure when they are cold
- Think about tyre load and adapt tyre pressure accordingly
- Always buy the best tyre you can within your budget
- Store your tyres out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place
Tyres will degrade over time, but the major reason your tyres become damaged is you! Think about your driving style and the loads you are carrying, and make sure you check your tyres regularly. And always drive on tyres that are inflated correctly.
If you are in Brisbane and have a flat tyre or a tyre that keeps losing tyre pressure, contact Darra Tyres today. Don’t be sorry, be safe.
Keeping your family and fleet safe on the road,