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Visually inspecting your tyres for signs of damage can help you to increase their life and improve your safety on the road.
Damage to tyres can be caused from minor incidents such as driving over potholes, kerbing or from impact with debris in the road. The cause of damage may even be so slight that you do not notice it whilst driving. This makes checking your tyres for damage even more important.
Look out for the following:
Sometimes debris from the road becomes lodged within your tyre tread and can lead to punctures. You should check your tyres for any stones, grit or debris and remove if found. If left, these foreign bodies can work their way in to the casing of the tyre and can cause more serious damage to the structure of the tyre.
If you do find a puncture when inspecting your tyres, you should visit a tyre specialist to understand the extent of the damage caused. Some punctures can be repaired but if there is too much damage to the internal structure of the tyre you will need to replace your tyre.
Cracks in the sidewall of tyres are a sign of aging and indicate that they may need to be replaced as aged tyres are stiffer and more brittle, meaning that your gripping capabilities will be reduced and they may not be safe on the road.
Some tyres, however, have a higher content of natural rubber and surface contours on the sidewalls, which makes them develop superficial cracking. This is only aesthetic and is not dangerous.
If you do notice cracking on the surface on your tyres it is recommended that it is inspected by a tyre specialist to decipher the cause of the cracking.
Cuts and Tears
Cuts and tears to the tyre can be caused by general wear such as clipping a kerb or driving over a pothole.
Whilst small cuts may be fairly harmless, it can be dangerous to repair them depending upon where they are situated on the tyre and where the opening of the cut is. If you can see any nylon cords through the cut, then the internal structure of the tyre could be compromised and this means that the tyre cannot be repaired. Always visit a tyre specialist for advice on cuts and tears.
Larger cuts, especially those that leave the cords of the tyre visible, can be extremely dangerous and may even be illegal, so if your tyre suffers this form of damage then you must have it replaced immediately.
Lumps and Bulges
Symptoms of deformation of the rubber, such as lumps or bulges, indicates that the internal structure of the tyre has suffered damage and the components of the tyre have weakened.
Lumps and bulges cannot be repaired and if found should be inspected by a tyre specialist as soon as possible as they could be extremely dangerous and may put you at risk from a tyre blow out on the road.