Wheels and tyres 101 | 3 tips to tell the state of your tyres

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The tyre is the only part of the car that comes into contact with the road. That makes it an extremely valuable asset. Once these tyres are worn out, a lot can go wrong. The vehicle becomes tougher to steer, and the grip on the road lessens. Driving such tyres raises your risks of getting into an accident. To avoid such catastrophes, you need to have your tyres checked every time you go for a car servicing. But there are some hints you can use to alert you on the state of your wheels before you hit the road. Here are a few of them.

Check the tread levels

When checking the tread levels, don't simply rely on guesswork. Use a tread depth gauge for accuracy. Place the gauge on the tread line and push down its base. Remove the gauge and take the readings of the depth levels.

The legal requirements of the tread depth is 1.5mm, so if your measurement was less than that, you need to change your tyres. Remember, low tread depth levels cause water to surround the tyres and reduce the traction levels. The vehicle therefore responds poorly to braking or steering. You don't want to be driving such tyres in the streets.

Check the wear patterns

How your tyres wear out speak volumes on the state of your wheels. If the tread patterns at the centre are worn out more than the others, then the problem is that you've been using over-inflated tyres. The over-inflation causes only the centre ring to be in contact with the road. Check your manufacturer's specifications on the pressure levels required and let the air out to that level. However, if the wear patterns are on the edges, then your tyres are under-inflated.

One-sided wear of the tyres shows that your wheels are not well-aligned. The poor alignment causes only one side of the tyre to be in contact with the road, and that is what wears it out. Taking your vehicle for wheel alignment should solve this issue.

Inspect your tyres for cupping (scalloping)

Scalloping on your tyres is not so hard to figure out. It expresses itself as a series of alternating ups and downs on your tyre. Scalloping occurs when some areas of the tyres bounce and come down harder than others. This normally occurs as a result of damaged shock absorbers. Take the vehicle to a reputable mechanic and have the shock absorbers inspected. The problem may also originate from any of the connectors that link up the car and the wheel.