How to Spot the Signs of Tyre Damage


How to Spot the Signs of Tyre Damage

For maximum handling, performance, and safety, it’s crucial to drive on tyres that are in good condition. As car owners, it’s important to be vigilant and perform regular inspections of our tyres to check for any issues and signs of damage that may compromise tyre integrity. The trouble is, most of us aren’t tyre experts so we can’t always tell if something’s not right. Read on to learn more about the major types of tyre damage, what to look out for, and a few things you can do to help avoid damage in the first place.

Irregular Tread Wear

Irregular tread wear occurs gradually, and often isn’t noticed until the tyre is already severely compromised. There are a few different types of treadwear:

Centre tread wear – When the centre portion of the tread is worn in excess of the shoulder areas throughout the circumference of the tyre. This is usually a sign of over-inflation. Over-inflated tyres typically bulge in the centre, pressing that part of the tread more firmly into the road and wearing it out faster.

Heel/toe tread wear – This happens when one side of the tread blocks is wearing faster than the other side. When you run your hand over the tread blocks, they will feel like saw teeth. This typically occurs in a shoulder rib and is often caused by excessive positive or negative toe.

One-sided shoulder tread wear – This is where the inside or outside shoulder rib of the tread is significantly more worn than the others. Also known as camber wear, excessive positive or negative camber often causes this type of wear. This is a clear indication that your suspension is out of alignment.

Flat spots – These are patches of horizontal wear, usually caused by aggressive driving. Flat spots can be incredibly dangerous and should be repaired promptly. The Solution? Slow down! And avoid overly aggressive braking and acceleration.

Tips for minimising irregular tyre wear:
• Keep an eye on the pressure – If your tyres are inflated at the correct level, they will wear evenly. Not only will they be much safer, but they will be more fuel efficient too.
• Have a yearly wheel alignment – If your car’s wheel alignment is incorrect it will result in uneven tyre wear. As a result there will be less tread and grip on one side of your tyre.
• Invest in premium tyres – Cheaper tyres often have an inferior rubber composition, so they might wear faster than those from premium tyre brands, like Bridgestone, Good Year and Michelin.

Sidewall Damage

Tyre sidewalls keep your car stable, and they are built to be strong and to withstand the extreme forces and pressures experienced while driving. Inspect your tyres regularly for any tears, cuts, nicks, or bulges in the sidewall. While a tyre may still hold pressure, it’s likely that its integrity has been seriously compromised, and this can seriously impact the safety of your car. If you notice any signs of sidewall damage, have it checked by an expert immediately.

How to avoid sidewall damage?
• Avoid any contact with roadside kerbs.
• Avoid potholes as often as possible.
• Keep your tyres clean – Prolonged exposure to solvents and oils found in dirty water softens the rubber and can subsequently damage the tyre sidewall structure.


Punctures are the result of sudden distress, caused by sharp objects, such as nails, screws, and glass, piercing the tyre. If the puncture is deep enough, the tyre could begin to lose air pressure. If you find that one of your tyres is continuously losing pressure, or if you discover a nail or screw embedded in the tread, then visit your local tyre specialist as soon as possible to it repaired or replaced.

How to avoid punctures?
• Always drive slowly around construction sites – Driving slowly over screws and nails reduces the chance of flicking them up into the tyre.
• Regularly check for foreign objects in the treads – Prise any objects out and keep an eye on the situation. If you’re in any doubt at all, get the tyre checked by a professional.

Make it a Habit to Check Your Tyres

Tyres are constantly exposed to the elements and road conditions. They are designed to keep us safe, but they can only do this if they are in optimal condition. It’s vital to frequently check them for any tell-tale signs of wear and tear and have them professional inspected if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

Seek Expert Advice From Elite Tyres

If you’re in any doubt about what you’ve seen during your tyre check, speak to one of our tyre experts today. As an experienced local tyre service, Melton car owners rely on us for genuine advice, affordable prices, and an extensive range of premium tyres from industry-leading brands. Stop searching for ‘tires near me’, visit us in Melton or Sunbury, or book an appointment online now.


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November 2022