Tire Problems: Major Types, Solutions, and Factors to Consider Before Replacing Tires
Much of your safety and vehicle’s efficiency lies in the state of your tires. Healthy tires ensure driving safety and support your car’s performance. Conversely, old, worn-out, and improperly inflated tires usually prompt road traffic accidents and difficult driving experiences.
Due to the vehicle’s weight and constant touch with the road’s surface, tires can develop faults that can lead to costly repair and maintenance, or worse — fatalities.
Types of Tire Problems
Tires can develop many faults during road use, making driving less comfortable and dangerous.
Therefore, it’ll be best for drivers to look out for these problems to avoid possible adverse outcomes:
Tire manufacturers state recommendations for optimal tire pressure during tire inflation.
Still, certain drivers fail to follow them, over-inflating or under-inflating their tires. Whatever the case, improper tire inflation reduces performance, bolsters safety risks, and diminishes the tire’s lifespan.
Exceeding the recommended tire pressure while inflating causes a quick wearing off of the central tread. Additionally, the tire becomes unable to firmly grip the road surface and has an increased tendency to burst during a drive.
On the other hand, under-inflating your tires makes the shoulder wear off prematurely. Therefore, having your tires checked during tire car maintenance is vital.
Aged and Worn-out Tires
Similar to most equipment, tires get old and degrade. Following consistent usage, the tire tread starts to wear off, reducing its traction. This scenario makes it difficult to apply the brakes and maneuver effectively.
Worn-out tires can take the following forms:
Because tires are made of rubber and bear the entire weight of your vehicle as it constantly rolls in motion, they’re prone to wear off over time. Without adequate checks and maintenance, they’ll wear off prematurely.
To avoid driving with bald tires, take time to inspect your tires daily for any wear. If there’s a worn-out part, take the car to a tire repair specialist for replacement.
Irregular Tread Wear
Sometimes, tire balding can be uneven. The edges can get worn-out, whereas the tread further in is in healthy condition.
The reverse could also be the case at other times.
Unfortunately, this type of wear isn’t easily visible. As a result, consider running your hands around the tires at regular intervals for excessively worn-out parts.
If you encounter irregular tread wear, it’s an indicator of improper vehicle alignment as balanced vehicles don’t cause tires to erode unevenly.
To check irregular tread wears, it’s best to correct your vehicle’s alignment. Using a misaligned vehicle will ruin your tires at a fast rate. Even if you opt for a new set of tires, they’ll be destroyed in months.
Therefore, always check your vehicle’s alignment after changing tires and plan to have a professional assess the alignment annually.
Chopped Up Tire Edges and Flat Sites
Eroding tire surfaces can often take a strange pattern. These erratic designs indicate basic mechanical faults in the car that damage its tires. Chopped-up tire edges often arise from nasty shocks.
On the flip side, parking your car for a long time frame can flatten some parts. However, bad shock absorbers can also have the same effect.
Nails and sharp objects like glass shards on the road are common causes of punctured tires. Punctured tires impact driving as it reduces tire pressure. Most times, punctures make it daunting to handle and control your car, increasing the risks of a crash. Deeper punctures expose the wheels to further damage.
Depending on the damage’s severity, the pierced tire may require repair or total replacement. Here, it’ll be best to consult the services of a tire repair expert for an appropriate solution to the problem.
Unbalanced tires come from a misalignment after fitting new tires on the vehicle.
Common signs include:
- Camber wear
- Bent steering wheel
- Tilted vehicle.
Following a misalignment, tires lose traction and break down prematurely, presenting a safety issue. To avoid further damage, consider sending your car to an expert auto shop for proper alignment.
Tire Cracks and Bulges
Some conditions predispose tires to bulge out or crack around their corners. Running into obstacles or driving fast across bumps and potholes can prompt bulges.
Conversely, cracks stem from exposure to UV rays and elasticity loss due to aging. Also, improper tire inflation can also facilitate the formation of bulges and cracks.
Dealing with cracks and bulges in tires requires help from a professional auto mechanic. These experts will evaluate the crack or buldge sites and decide the best course of action.
Vibrating Steering Wheel at Highway Speed
Occasionally, some drivers may experience a vibration of their steering wheel once they go full throttle.
Usually, unbalanced tires are the primary culprits.
Nonetheless, this problem has an easy fix. Your auto mechanic accesses your car on an alignment machine and restores the balance via counterbalancing weights.
Screeching Sound When Taking Corners
Sometimes, your car may produce odd sounds. Always pay attention to the noises as they’re often signs of an underlying problem.
If your car tires produces a screeching sound; it might be due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Underinflated tires
- Worn-out tire tread
- Improperly balanced tires at the front end
Whatever prompts these weird sounds, never ignore it and consult an expert for tire car maintenance as soon as possible.
Solutions for Defective Tires
Tackling defective tires depends on the type of problem and its severity. However, you’ll need an experienced mechanic to assess the issue and determine the best approach.
Notable approaches taken to fix tire problems include:
- Inflation or deflation of tires to correct the internal pressure
- Repair of mild punctures
- Aligning the tires
- Replacement of the tires
Factors to Consider Before Replacing Faulty Tires
Damaged tires can disrupt driving and lead to harmful scenarios.
Therefore, replacement ranks as the general solution to tire problems.
Nevertheless, before forwarding a call to the tire shop close to you, consider these factors:
Your tire’s tread depth is a crucial determinant to either go ahead with a replacement or continue using it. The tire tread is the surface that comes in contact with the road as you drive. Tires cleared for use must have a tread depth that meets the United State’s legal safety standard of at least 2/32” deep.
If your tires fall below this standard, you must replace them. Also, tires with damaged sidewalls and uneven wear require replacement.
To know whether your tires need replacement or minor repairs, involve a tire car repair professional. However, you can check the tread depth by yourself.
Usually, drivers explore either of these approaches:
Drivers can routinely take a “close look” at their tires. During this process, ensure the tread is deep and even on all sides of the tire. Additionally, you can inspect the sidewalls to ensure there isn’t any noticeable damage.
Visual inspection is easier for DOT-regulated tires. The US Department of Transportation recommends tires with a tread-wear indicator worked into their design.
Using these add-ons termed wear bars, you can tell if the tread is diminishing. The wear bars are at the same level as the tread surface when the tire’s tread is down to 2/32 inches.
The Penny Test
The penny test is simple and less time-consuming.
To determine the tire’s tread depth, do the following:
- Put a penny in your tire’s tread
- Position the penny in a position that sees Lincoln’s head pointing down in the thread
- Check if the top of Lincoln’s head on the penny is entirely covered
If the top is fully covered, your tire is sound. However, if the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, the tread depth is low, and you need to replace the tires.
If your tread depths are fine, conducting the penny test after driving a few thousand miles or monthly is crucial.
Time to Quit Using a Set of Tires
Tires aren’t built to last forever. Eventually, they’ll get old, worn-out, and unfit for road use.
Therefore, you need to change them with a new set.
How do you know it’s time to quit using a set of tires?
Besides monthly checks during tire car maintenance, it’s recommended to have a professional evaluate your tires after five years of usage. Usually, tires produced 10 years back are deemed unfit for use even if they still look new.
Nonetheless, age isn’t the only determinant to consider when changing your tires.
Damages from impact, over-inflation, punctures, and overloading vehicles can necessitate a change before 10 years of use.
Tires to Replace Simultaneously
Although one tire may appear to be in worse condition than the others, it’s best to replace all four tires in one go. Going this route ensures optimal performance and operation of your vehicle.
Also, the new tires must be identical. Varying pairs may result in uneven response and difficulty controlling the vehicle as you drive. Also, installing dissimilar tires can lead to vehicle misalignment.
For specific reasons, an individual might be unable to replace all four tires simultaneously. Here, ensure the new tire set is identical to the old variations.
If you’re changing just two, ensure the new ones go to the rear axle.
On the flip side, if your vehicle has distinct tires in the front and rear, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for a suitable recommendation.
Tire Grade to Use
Car owners often replace their tires either with new or used tires. However, avoid used tires as much as you can.
It’s almost impossible to account for their use history. A large chunk of used tires have been overloaded, used while under-inflated, punctured, or field certain hidden damages
Purchasing and installing these used tires, while being cheap, can prove costly over time. With its many faults, you might need to replace them soon with new ones as they can make driving more challenging.
Verify Tire Recalls
Specific tire batches get recalled over time. As a result, it’d be best to check your tires and ensure they aren’t under recall.
If they’ve been recalled, contact the appropriate party to facilitate a return.
PRO TIP: If you own a car and would like to be in sync with tire recalls as they occur, regularly monitor the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for information.
Expert Opinion on Tire Replacement
The relevance of speaking with a professional can’t be overstated. Contacting a tire repair expert provides the information necessary for making the best choice.
During the interaction, you can information such as the:
- Possibility of getting tire rotation and balancing as part of the package
- Outline of the producer’s warranty and substitution options
- Other unique features the dealer offers
With this data, you can conduct the tire replacement knowing it has some exciting perks in store for you.
Healthy tires are pivotal to your safety as a driver. Also, your driving experience is better with wholesome tires. No matter how great car tires might seem, they tend to develop faults due to certain issues like worn-out tire treads, punctures, misalignment, cracks & bulges, and improper inflation.
Fixing faulty tires warrants a minor repair or complete replacement.
For the latter, consider factors such as the tread depth, number of tires to replace, time frame for replacement, tire grade, and recalls. Additionally, don’t fail to get an expert opinion before making a decision.
For car tire repairs or replacements, it’s best to contact an experienced auto mechanic to evaluate the situation and proffer a suitable solution. Also, develop a habit of checking your tires routinely to ensure that they don’t deteriorate much before fixing the problem.
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