Any experienced driver will tell you there’s a lot that can go wrong with your car. From the gearbox to the clutch, brakes and electrical systems, a number of components can deteriorate over time, or just give up on you suddenly.
But as the only part which comes into direct contact with the road, your tyres are among the most important – and any issues have the potential to become serious safety risks. They could also hinder the performance and efficiency of your vehicle.
The number of car repairs in the UK has actually declined in the last two years, as various levels of travel restrictions have kept us off the road. But with rules now eased and work and leisure travel returning to normal, it’s wise to refresh yourself on the common problems to look out for.
Below, read up on common car tyre issues and how to fix them.
Under or over inflation
First up is incorrect inflation, which can go both ways. But driving with either over or under inflated tyres will hinder your ability to drive safely in all conditions, as well as reducing their lifespan.
You can check how much air is in your tyres at fuel stations or using a home kit. The correct inflation will be recorded in your owner’s manual and isn’t standard across all vehicles or all axles.
Tyre misalignment occurs gradually over time, so it’s not always super easy to spot when things are off. Key signs to look out for include:
- Uneven wear on the inside or outside edges of your tyre, which may be visible or detectable by touch
- Your car pulling to one side on flat roads
- Your steering wheel sitting off centre even when you’re driving straight
It’s best to visit your local garage if you think a tyre is misaligned. Thankfully it’s a relatively quick fix.
Wear and tear
Your tyres naturally come under a lot of pressure, and their polymers will weaken and break down through use. They’re also made from rubber, which naturally degrades over time, even with protective coatings.
Whatever the cause, it’s normal for tyres to need replacing occasionally, and it could even become a legal requirement. Check the AA’s guide on legal tread depth.
You can swap tyres yourself with little more than a jack and some reliable wrenches, or leave it up to your local mechanic.
Car tyres are tougher than your average bike tyre, but punctures still happen due to debris in the road like nails or screws. It’s more common to suffer them in rear tyres, as front tyres flick these objects up to leave their points exposed.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to avoid punctures given these objects are so small and difficult to see. You can check your tyres for evidence though, and may be able to get them repaired, rather than replaced, by a professional.
Is your car not handling how it should? Look out for these common tyre problems to keep your vehicle safe and efficient to drive.