Tyred out – 4 typical tyre problems that can affect your car

28th Sep, 2022

Your tyres are amongst the single most safety-critical aspects of your car – and indeed, far more than lots of people still give them credit for! They’re also, crucially, some of the most common parts that encounter wear and tear, since they’re in constant contact with road surfaces (and all the knocks and bumps that entail). That means they’ll likely need several examinations, and maybe even a replacement or two – before you finally decide: I need to scrap my car. Here are a couple of the most common issues to watch out for!

Illegal tread depths

A proper tread depth basically ensures that the car can properly maintain a decent grip on the road. So, if you find that your steering is feeling a bit light, or if the Miles Per Gallon of your car seems to have dropped, it’s possible that your tyres have worn down to an illegal level. That means reduced grip, and potentially slippier movement, even on normal road surfaces – which could all too easily lead to an accident!

One way of checking whether or not the treads are safe is called ‘the 20p test’. All you need to do is push a 20p coin into the lowest tread depth of your tyre, and if you can still see the outer edge, you need to replace it immediately.

Overinflated or under inflated tyres

This is broadly the same kind of issue, and certainly just as serious. Driving with incorrectly inflated tyres can reduce their lifespan by as much as 25%. Under inflated tyres can heighten wear and tear, and in the meantime, it can seriously affect the MPG of your vehicle – which is something that could be especially worrying in a time of rising petrol prices.

Overinflated tyres on the other hand will lead to premature degradation in the middle of the tyre – not to mention heightening the risk of a dangerous blowout. So contrary to what some drivers believe, slightly over inflating them is not always better!

Misaligned and unevenly worn tyres

Even if your tyres are well-inflated, they can still sometimes display signs of wear and tear along the outer edges, rather than in the middle and inner edges. It can sometimes be a bit of a frustrating symptom (as well as a bit confusing at points), but there’s a potentially simple explanation – your tyres could just have problems with alignment.

This is exactly what it sounds like. Essentially, when not all of your tyres are pointing in quite the same direction, you can end up with tyres that are visibly more worn on one side than the other. Happily, it’s a job that takes mere minutes to fix, and one that lots of garages do as part of a standard service.

Slow punctures

You may well have encountered this issue on a bike before, and it’s just as much of a problem on cars. One worrying symptom of this issue that your car might pull to one side when driving, or the MPG of your car might be noticeably affected. If it is something you suspect is happening, one of the first things to do is to check for foreign bodies embedded in the tyre, like a nail or a screw. One of the most reliable ways of catching it is to start checking the air pressure daily. Normally it’s a fairly quick fix, but don’t wait too long to get it sorted, just in case.

Most tyre issues on their own shouldn’t be enough to send your car to the scrapyard – but if they’re forming part of a frequent pattern of repairs, you may eventually start to notice that your car is becoming uneconomical to maintain. If that’s the case, don’t worry – that’s exactly where we can help.

It’s never been easier to scrap your car with us. All you have to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our homepage, and we’ll provide you with an instant scrap car quote! Curious to see how much your car is worth?

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