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Checking your tyres for wear

By FaezClutchless on 09 Feb 2012

Attached Image: worn_out_tyre.jpg

I recently experienced some unevenness (car pulling to the right side) feeling while driving my car one day and after parking my car, I checked my tyres. All four tyres looked fine to me and knowing that I am no tyre expert, I took my car to a workshop the next day.

According to the workshop’s tyre guy, my front tyres are under inflated and also the front tyres are showing signs of uneven wear (one sided wear). The front tyre’s unevenness wasn’t too bad and the tyre guy advice me to inflate them to the proper pressure, rotate the tyres and do a wheel alignment. After those rectification works, my car’s handling became much better and later on I did some research on checking for tyre wear and I wish to share with everyone here on what I found out.

Attached Image: fg0_7645_5089_6_1908.jpg

Car owners should check their tyres for wear at least once a month and also before and after a long driving trip. The list below together with the picture above indicates whether you need to change to new tyres, have them balanced, have your wheels aligned or change your driving habits/style.

Both edges worn – under inflation
Add more air and check for leaks.

Centre treads worn – over inflation
Let air out to tyre manufacturer’s recommended air pressure specification.

One sided wear – poor alignment
Have your wheels aligned.

Uneven tread wear with bald spots – wheel imbalance and/or poor alignment
Have your wheels balanced and do an alignment.

Erratically spaced bald spots – wheel imbalance or worn out suspension shocks.
Balanced your wheels or replace your shocks.

Edges of front tyres worn out – taking corners too fast
Please slow down while taking corners.

Saw-toothed wear pattern – poor alignment
Have your wheels aligned.

Whining, thumping and other weird noises – poor alignment, worn tyres and/or shocks
Have your wheels aligned; replace your tyres and/or shocks

Squealing while taking corners – poor alignment or under inflation
Align your wheels or inflate your tyres to the proper pressure.

Attached Image: tyre_tread_wear_indicator_2passdotcodotuk.jpg

Another thing to take note is the tyre’s tread wear indicators. Most new tyres have these indicator built into them. When these indicators become more visible, it is time to replace your tyres.

Other than checking your tyres for wear, you should also check your tyres for air leaks. Air leaks are normally caused by embedded foreign objects or a faulty tyre valve.

If you find a nail punctured into your tyre, it is best to first check that particular tyre’s pressure. If there is a drastic drop, please change to your spare tyre. It is recommended to invest in a tyre pressure gauge and keep it in your car at all times (I bought a digital gauge for less than S$20). If there is a tyre shop nearby, you can also drive there slowly.

If you find no foreign objects embedded in your tyres and your tyres still keep losing pressure, then it could be a faulty tyre valve. To see if it is really a faulty valve, you can try doing this. Remove the valve cap and spray some water and car shampoo solution onto the tyre valve. If you see any bubbles forming, that means air is escaping out of the valve and you should get it changed. A new tyre valve should not cost more than S$5.

It is best to leave any tyre repair work to the professionals.

Photo credit: dummies.com and 2pass.co.uk

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

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