Tire Wear Types: How to Recognize it?

How to Recognize it? Using excessively worn tires are dangerous, so you should check their condition regularly.

Tire Wear Types Recognize the Type of Tire Wear

Tire Wear Types: How to Recognize it? Using excessively worn tires are dangerous, so you should check their condition regularly. From our guide, you will learn, among other things, what to look out for in your daily life and how to measure the tread.

What tires are considered worn?

  • Damaged tires that prevent further use
  • cracked tires that, due to their age, can no longer be used
  • tires in which the minimum allowable tread thickness has been reached

What type of wear precludes tires from further use?

  • a worn tire with less than 1.6 millimeters of tread
  • Separation of components, including detached tread
  • Deformation or uncovering of the beading wire (the element on which the tire is mounted on the rim) Stains, wounds on the inside of the tire on the butyl layer (mottled wear)
  • bumps, sidewall deformations associated with cracking of the carcass threads
  • any cuts or cracks in the rubber (even superficial ones)

If you notice any of the above symptoms, seek professional advice. Both summer and winter tires should be checked regularly. Please note that tire abrasion from the inside is also a problem. Therefore, tires should be checked at least once a season.

What are the types of tire wear and how do I recognize them?

We can name the following types of tread wear:

  • normal wear - occurs when the rubber is used evenly across the entire width and circumference,
  • non-symmetrical wear - that is, uneven wear of the tires occurs when one side has deteriorated faster than the other or the so-called shearing of the tires. This can be caused by misalignment of the wheels,
  • Circular (shoulder) wear - is manifested by a higher tread height in the center than in the shoulders
  • Central (concave) wear - occurs when we drive with overinflated tires. The contact area is limited to the central part of the tread, which causes rapid tread wear. This can be caused, for example, by sudden braking on locked wheels in the case of cars not equipped with ABS or by problems with the quality of the tire.
  • Local wear,
  • sawtooth wear.

Sawtooth wear

A common form of wear is called "sawtooth wear". It is manifested by uneven abrasion of the tread blocks in the form of teeth. Its "teeth" are visible and palpable to the touch. This phenomenon is essentially unavoidable, however, its intensity can vary and depends on many factors, such as

  • the proper fitment of a specific tire model to the car and its suspension type,
  • incorrect pressure and load on the vehicle,
  • wrong speed and load capacity ratings of the car,
  • the condition of the suspension components.

Highly serrated tires can be difficult to use because of the noise and vibration generated. To reduce the extent of the problem, change tire positions every 10,000 km, take care to observe the correct pressure and load, and also take care of the condition of the suspension elements.

Tread depth and tire grip

Tires with the minimum allowed tread depth are incomparably worse than those with full tread, especially regarding aquaplaning and wet driving reliability.

The permitted tread depth of 1.6 mm on a wet surface provides only 40% of the grip of a new example. Because of this, the recommended tread thickness for the summer tire is different from that of the winter tire.

Minimum tread height for winter and summer tires

For tires to provide a safe threshold, the tread must be checked regularly. You can find depth markers at six locations, marked with the abbreviation TWI (Treadwear Indicator). They indicate a permissible treadwear of 1.6 mm. When the block height reaches the indicator level, replace the tires with new ones.

How do I measure tread? Accurate TWI measurements can be made using special tools, as well as a coin or match.

Worn tires and accidents

The impact of tire wear on safety can be seen in two ways:

  • First: influence on the behavior of the tire and its parameters. A shallow tread is more likely to result in problems controlling the car, especially on a wet road, and therefore a greater susceptibility to aquaplaning,
  • Secondly, the probability of an accident resulting from poor wheel condition also increases. These include cracks, tread separation, slippage, etc.

On our website, we have repeatedly drawn attention to when tires should be changed and the risks associated with driving on old rubber. ADAC has calculated that approximately 7-8% of the technical interventions performed on vehicles immobilized on the road concern tire failures. On the other hand, research by the DEKRA organization has shown that 37% of accidents in Germany resulting from technical defects in vehicles were due to tire failures.

To avoid unpleasant surprises on the road, it is best to check the condition of the tires at least once a week, or even before a long trip, by measuring the tire tread and taking care to maintain the proper pressure level.

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How do I take care of my tires?

The wear of summer, winter, or all-season tires depends to a large extent on the driver. How long will they be used without fail and will the reason for replacement be tread wear or tire failure? This is related to the following factors:

  • proper pressure,
  • respect to the maximum load,
  • conditions of use (city, extra-urban road, mountain areas, number of turns),
  • driving style, hard braking, acceleration,
  • adequate seasonal storage (appropriate conditions and position)
  • avoidance of violent attacks from obstacles (potholes, curbs),
  • check the technical condition of the vehicle (geometry, camber, suspension).

When should I change my tires?

The answer to this question is not without ambiguity. Several factors determine the need to change tires, including age, technical condition, or simply the preferences of each driver. A regular check of the tread is a basic requirement.

The durability of winter and all-season tires varies. Winter tires are composed of other compounds that are less resistant to abrasion. It is estimated that the mileage of winter tires can be 15 to 30% less than their summer counterparts. In addition, these mileages can be shortened when the tires are used in temperatures above 10°C. As for all-season tires, very similar criteria are used, and their durability is between those of seasonal tires.

The most general rule of thumb for tire use is not to use equipment that is older than 10 years. You can drive with rubber older than 10 years, but it is much more dangerous.

Remember that taking care of the technical condition of your car is a sign of concern not only for your safety but also for the safety of passengers.

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