Common Car Tyre Problems | What to Look Out For
5 Common Car Tyre Problems You Should Look Out For
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Have you ever experienced a flat tyre when driving? Unfortunately, sometimes there's not much you can do to avoid a nail or sharp object on the road. However, there are other common tyre issues that you may face at some point, that can be easily spotted and fixed.
Tyre problems generally occur due to damage caused by driving or from wear and tear. Typical causes of tyre damage include braking recklessly, suspension and alignment issues or poor steering wheel balance. Of course, it doesn’t help when you go over the inevitable pothole or accidentally hit the kerb when parking.
We’ve put together this guide to help you easily identify the potential problems that you may face when it comes to your car’s tyres. Being able to spot these problems early, will not only help you significantly increase the lifespan of your tyres, but it’ll also ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists.
What are common tyre issues car owners face?
1. Bald or Worn Out Tyres
One of the most common tyre problems caused by wear and tear is balding. It’s not like your tyres have hair, so what does this mean? In short, balding tyres are tyres that have a smooth appearance with minimal or no tread left.
The tyre's tread inevitably wears down as it grazes the rough asphalt roads while you drive. This could also be a sign of improper tyre inflation, wheel misalignment, or constant harsh braking. And because your car's tyres provide the traction you rely on for a safe and smooth drive, bald tyres can be very dangerous to drive with, especially on wet roads.
According to the safety guidelines of the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the minimum tread depth of your car’s tyres should be at least 1.6mm. Otherwise, it is considered illegal to drive your car on Singapore roads until you have your tyres replaced. But you shouldn’t wait until it gets to the bare minimum. We suggest that you check regularly and change your car’s tyres when the tread depth is at 3mm to avoid potential accidents.
2. Overinflated or Underinflated Tyres
The amount of air in your car’s tyres is also something to keep an eye on. Overinflated car tyres have less grip on the road, whereas underinflated tyres cause poor manoeuvring of the car, higher risk of punctures and understeer (when you feel like your car is dragging).
One way to check the air pressure of your car’s tyres is with the air pump at your nearest petrol station. First, locate the PSI (pounds per square inch) label on the tyre, which is usually written on the side of it, then remove the tyre’s air stem cap and fit the air hose tip over it. Read the air pump numbers to see the current PSI level in your tyre, then add or deflate air from it to reach the recommended PSI reading on the tyres.
3. Bulging & Cracked Tyres
Cracks and bulges can appear in your car’s tyres from driving over a pothole or hitting a kerb. Basically, the impact of these minor accidents cause trauma to the sidewall and inner structure of the tyres. Although the tyre’s sidewalls are made to withstand a certain measure of impact, if the inner structure of the tyre becomes damaged, it can result in a crack or bulge, which cannot be repaired.
Cracks may also appear on your car’s tyres due to exposure to extreme heat, water or from degradation over time. This is why it’s important to regularly check your tyres and take them to a mechanic if you spot even the slightest crack or bulge.
If your car tyre is cracked or damaged due to an accident, DirectAsia’s car insurance policies offer a Lifetime Repair Guarantee on all repairs done at partner workshops. Or you could choose to get the tyres repaired at your own preferred workshop, if you have the My Workshop optional benefit as part of your car insurance plan.
4. Misaligned Tyres
Another one of the most common tyre problems is misalignment. It’s not always easy to detect, but here are some key signs that your car’s wheels are misaligned and needs to be corrected immediately:
- Tyres that are unevenly worn out – misaligned tyres often have uneven wear and tear. So, carefully check to see if there are any bald spots on the surface of your tyres even if it doesn’t look too worn out on one side. The tyres would be more evenly worn out if it’s from normal wear and tear, over time.
- Your car pulls to one side when driving – if you find your car automatically steering more towards one side of the road, then your tyres could be misaligned.
- A slanted steering wheel – if you find yourself rotating your steering wheel at an angle to keep straight while driving, this is also a sign of misaligned tyres. However, it could be that the steering wheel is misaligned instead.
5. Cut or Punctured Tyres
As mentioned, cuts and puncture damage usually happens when a sharp object, like a nail or glass penetrates through the tyre’s rubber casing, resulting in a loss of air pressure. This problem can be the hardest to avoid, because foreign objects and road debris are sometimes hard to spot, especially when driving at night or in the rain.
If your car does get punctured while driving, pull over immediately and call a tow truck or your 24-hour breakdown assistance (if this service is included in your car insurance plan). Don’t attempt to continue driving – even for a short distance – with a punctured tyre. This can result in a fatal accident.
Bear in mind that it may be more difficult to spot a nail that may be stuck in your tyres (as shown in the image above), as the air may release slowly over a few hours. This is why we can’t stress enough on how important it is to look out for these common problems as frequently as possible before driving.
Have You Faced Any of These Car Tyre Problems Before?
Car tyres are a crucial component of safe driving. If your car has any of these tyre problems, do not wait to get it checked. Get a professional to look into it, and get it repaired or replaced immediately if you have to. Be careful when buying second-hand tyres as replacements. You should ensure that it is not too worn out or cracked.
Of course, another safety priority is getting good car insurance with the right Optional Benefits that will cover you, should you encounter any of these tyre issues, on or off the road. Get a quick quote online or drop us a note if you have any questions.
Have you experienced any of these car tyre problems before? What did you do? Let us know in the comments section below!