Your automobile tires carry a lot of weight, which can eventually lead to wear and tear. While this is a normal process, there are things you can do that actually increase the rate at which your tires deteriorate. If you want to save money by keeping your tires in good condition longer, check out these common causes and signs of worn or damaged tires.
Cause #1: Incorrect Tire Pressure
If you have incorrect tire pressure due to overfilling/under-filling it yourself or from a slow leak, your tires may have too much or too little air inside. When your tires are underinflated, they bend too easily under the pressure of your car. This forces the tire to work harder to rotate, which causes more wear on the thread. Overinflating your tires, can make it difficult for the tires to grip the road, which can lead to slips. Make sure you frequently check your tire pressure.
Cause #2: Driving Fast
The friction created when you drive heats your tires, and the faster you drive, the hotter they get. This puts a lot of strain on the tire, causing it to wear down faster. As your tires get suddenly hot, the treads may separate, reducing the gripping power. In other cases, the suddenly hot tires can lead to immediate reduced air pressure inside the tire. In other situations, driving too fast may cause a blowout, and if you hit a pothole or speedbump at higher speeds, you increase the risk of sudden damage. Make sure to always drive the speed limit, and avoid frequent, long trips on fast highways.
Cause #3: Excess Weight
Most drivers on the road have a normal Class C license, which means you can only drive normal cars, trucks minivans, SUVs, etc. and haul a small amount. Trying to haul too much weight on a regular car or truck can cause serious damage to the tires. Your car's owner manual will tell you the load index, and if you go over the maximum, it may lead to an immediate blowout. However, even hauling around a little excess weight for a long period of time wears your tires faster, so make sure you aren't storing items in your car.
Sign #1: Worn Tread
One glaring sign that your tires need to be replaced is worn tread. The tread on your tires work to grip the road the way you may grip a flat surface with the tips of your fingers. This helps prevent the car from slipping or sliding, especially during bad weather. Your tread will wear down naturally overtime, but once the tires become too smooth, it's time to replace them because they can no longer grip. Don't wait until your tires are bald to replace them. Most tires today have wear bars that start to show when it's time to replace your tires.
Sign #2: Cracks or Bulging
Perhaps the most dangerous signs for which to look are cracking and bulging. Both may occur along the sidewall or on the treads, and it's easy to spot yourself by just glancing at your car. A crack can be signs of normal wear and tear, but it is also likely a slow leak, which will keep your tire pressure low. Bulges are also often caused by slow leaks. Eventually, the air in the tire bulges to one side. In a worst-case scenario, the pressure from the bulge could be too much for the thinning tire, causing it to burst while you are driving.
Sign #3: Vibration While Driving
Vibration while driving can be a sign that your alignment is incorrect (which can also wear down tires faster), but it can also be a sign that your tires need to be replaced. While driving, if you feel abnormal vibrations while driving down a smooth road, it may mean that one of the tires is underinflated, has a bulge, etc. You or a passenger may also feel thumping under a seat. Last, if your tires are causing the vibration, even your steering wheel will vibrate in your hands.
Worn tires can be a major hazard, especially if you experience a blowout at high speeds. To protect your tires, avoid these three common causes for rapid wear, and if you have noticed any of these three signs of damage or worn tires, contact a tire service specialist at businesses like Radial Tire Service.