Different types of tire damage: Accurately assess and diagnose tire damage
Tire punctures are not only a serious safety issue, they can also be very inconvenient. The five most common types of tire damage are: punctures, cracks, irregular tread wear, sidewall damage and blowouts.
Australian tire recycler and founder of Branigans Tyres, Chris Lett discusses each of these types of tire failure and advises, above all, to inspect the vehicle’s tires regularly, monitor tire performance and anticipate potential concerns.
Punctures are caused by sharp objects penetrating towards the outer walls of the tire. Breakdowns can be caused by loose nails and screws, cracked asphalt and broken glass, and many other sharp objects left on the road. Should a puncture from a sharp object go deep into the tire, it can deflate and cause many problems from reduced vehicle handling to loss of grip.
“Punctures usually show up in two ways; fast punctures and slow punctures. Rapid punctures have an immediate effect and severely impair the ability to drive. Tire pressure is lost quickly, which immediately affects driver control. Slow punctures are more noticeable because the tires appear deflated or have dirt stuck to them when inspected,” Lett says. A punctured tire should either be removed immediately and replaced with the spare tire first, or temporarily repaired with a puncture repair kit. The damaged tire should be replaced as soon as possible.
“Cracks can occur on the part of the tire that makes the most road contact, as well as on the sidewalls of the tires. The side of the crack can range in width from less than a millimeter to well over a centimeter. The wider the tire crack, the more urgent a tire change is,” says Lett. Cracks can be caused by general wear and tear, bad roads, or even excessive UV exposure. When evaluating tires for …