Tyres wear through normal use, and you will need to replace them now and then. Not all wear is normal, though. The way your car tyres wear down can alert you to a problem with the vehicle. Here are four things your tyres could tell you about your car.
You're Overinflating Your Tyres
Overinflating is just as bad as underinflating. You will wear the rubber down unevenly, resulting in quicker tyre wear. If the rubber is wearing away in the middle more than at the edges, it is a sign that you're overinflating your tyres. The shape means that only the centre is in contact with the ground.
Likewise, if the wear is on the outside edge, it's a sign that you're underinflating. This is just as bad, and will also lead to more gas usage.
Check your manual to find out how much pressure your tyres need. This may also be noted on the outside of the rubber.
Your Wheels Are Misaligned
There are times that the camber becomes misaligned, meaning the wheels don't sit parallel to each other. Your vehicle isn't straight, and certain wheels will be in contact with the ground more than others. This leads to uneven tyre wear, often on the outside edges or on certain tyres, depending on the severity of the problem.
The life of the rubber will be affected, and your steering response is reduced. You run the risk of a blowout or accident.
Your Suspension Is Damaged
When the rubber has certain sections in the tyres wearing, usually in an on-off pattern, it is referred to as cupping. This is a sign that your suspension is damaged and needs replacing. The most common problem is bad shock absorbers.
The suspension helps to keep all four wheels on the ground, whether you're on a flat or bouncy road. It makes your drive more comfortable, but will start to wear over time. When this happens, your wheels start to bounce on and off the ground, and the tyre cupping appears.
You've Parked for Too Long/You've Skidded
Flat spots can appear on the rubber. These can alert you to two main issues: you either skidded or you've been parked in one place for too long.
There is little you can do about the first problem, but you should change the way you drive. You shorten the life on the tyres when you skid. If you don't have an anti-locking brake system, skidding is common when pressing on the brakes hard.
If it is the second problem, you can change this by driving the car for a short period. This helps to take the weight off the car on the same spots of the wheels. If you can't drive it, switch your tyres around, so you change where the pressure is placed.
Your tyres will tell you a lot more than the way you drive. They tell you if there is an issue with the car that you need to get fixed right away. Look for the wear and tear pattern to make sure it doesn't look abnormal. For more information, contact companies like O'Neills Tyres.