Tyre wear. All you need to know



A lot of car parts wear out, but the most noticeable wearing parts are tyres due to their particular use. Each driver has at least once faced such a problem. The solution is easy — just buy new tyres. But next time it is important to determine the reason why it happened.
Much depends on the speed of the vehicle, air temperature, road conditions, pressure the tyres undergo, the degree to which the car is loaded, etc. There are many factors affecting tyre wear, but in any case tyres won’t keep their original appearance during prolonged operation. But if you know how to treat the tyres properly, you can extend their operation life.

The most common reasons of tyre wear:

  • Gradual ageing of rubber. It depends on the conditions of use and storage of tyres. Improper operation and storage under sunlight, in warm, cold or wet room promote tyre wear;
  • One side wear. In this case, the rubber can wear out from the outside, tyre wear from the inside cannot be excluded as well;
  • Use of tyres with wrong pressure;
  • Malfunction of springs, levers, shock absorbers;
  • Improper balance of tyre and wheel;
  • Emergency braking or long idle time can cause a defect.

Types of tyre wear

In general, tyre wear can be divided into two types:

  • Normal wear, when tyres served their operation period;
  • Premature wear, which causes many of the above reasons.

In case of normal wear the operation period of tyres comes to an end and the new ones should be bought. As for premature wear, the following types are distinguished:

  • Damage to the central part of the tread;
  • Bulge on the sidewall;
  • Rubber cracks;
  • Wear of the tyre edges (frequently in trucks);
  • Wear in the form of flat spots;
  • Uneven wear on one side.

All about uneven wear

Tyres often become bald after a couple of thousand kilometres. This is the first sign of uneven wear, which experts call spotty. Mostly, the reason is low quality of tyres, problems with the car or inexperienced driver. Starting with a slip, abrupt braking and aggressive driving style can “kill” any tyres. In such case the car can unexpectedly drive off the road even with winter tyres. You can remedy the situation, if you replace the tyres or adjust them on a special stand on the service station.

There are three main reasons of tyre wear:

  • Lateral force;
  • Dragging;
  • Physical and chemical composition.

The tyres are worn both from the inside and from the outside in case of increased pressure, rapid braking and inept driving. In the event of uneven wear, when one side is worn out more than the other one, the tyres can be swapped, but it must be done by a professional. The most optimal way to remedy the situation is to address to the service station.

Dangers of driving with worn tyres

Each driver decides for himself, whether to drive on worn tyres or to buy new ones, but it is better not to risk your own life and the lives of others. It is recommended to regularly undergo a diagnostics and monitor the condition of the tyres.

Tyres with worn tread can cause an accident at any time of year and in any weather. Thinking that good tyres are required only for driving on ice is a mistake. The worn tread does not provide proper gripping even with high-quality road surface in dry weather. In the rainy weather, the behaviour of the car can be unpredictable. Aquaplaning of bald tyres may lead to an accident.

Braking is also difficult with bald tyres, especially on a slippery surface. Fierce and unexpected turning of the car can lead to an accident. Most often, such situations occur with those dismissing timely diagnostics and the need of buying new high-quality tyres. It is important to note that the average operation period of any tyres is 5 years.

How to determine tyre wear?

The driver must regularly check the degree of tyre wear. Such tyres tend to have punctures, slip on water, lead to an accident, reduced braking and stability on the road. The overall maximum permissible level of wear is 1.6 mm.

Methods of wear determination:

  • Application of special wear indicator;
  • Measurement of the profile depth;

Tire wear indicator

The most optimal and popular way of measuring tyre wear is wear indicator, which is usually located at the bottom of the longitudinal grooves. Each tyre model has its own tread depth, which should be checked using special methods, as it is dangerous to drive on wet, slippery or ice surfaces, when this depth is worn out.

How to determine uneven wear?

It is quicker and easier to determine the depth of tyre wear using technical means. In this case a special device is required. This device can be purchased at any service station or spare parts store.

How to use a special instrument for measuring tyre wear?

It must be placed directly in the groove of the tread and then turned on. Since the instrument is electronic, the digits are displayed on its screen. The optimum value is 2 mm thickness for summer tyres and 5 mm for winter tyres. If figures on a special device are smaller, then it is necessary to change the tyres urgently!

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