Signs of Tire Damage: Cuts, Punctures, and Impact
In our last article, we talked about irregular tire damage. But tires can also become damaged without the driver’s knowledge. The most common damages are caused by cuts, punctures, and impact.
Cuts are tears in your tire tread. Cuts are the result of an external influence, such as potholes, protruding bodywork parts, or sharp, foreign objects like stones or glass. The best way to avoid these is to steer clear of rough or unpaved roads; if you have to take an unpaved road, avoid driving aggressively. If you discover a cut damage on the tire surface, you should get your tires checked by a technician immediately.
Punctures result from sharp objects on the road like screws, nails or glass which create a hole in the tire. Punctures typically damage both the tread and the inner liner causing the tire to lose pressure. If you notice that one or more of your tires continuously loses pressure, or you discover a screw or nail in the tread, you should call your mechanic immediately. If your tire becomes underinflated it may be unsafe to drive on it, and doing so could damage peripheral parts.
Impact breaks are the most preventable kind of damage. They’re usually caused by driving over objects – like curbs or speed bumps – at excessive speed and/or at the wrong angle. This stresses the carcass and can cause individual cords to break. An externally visible bulge on the sidewall of the tire will indicate that the cords inside the carcass have been destroyed, and should be addressed immediately. Damages to the sidewall of a tire are very dangerous and increase the risk of tire failure.
The best way to avoid each of these is to drive carefully, avoiding potholes and obstructions. If you do have to drive over an obstacle, like a curbstone or speed bump, approach it slowly and drive over at an obtuse angle. Check your tires regularly for exterior damage such as cuts, cracks or bulges. If you do discover or suspect damage, have the tire inspected without delay by a tire service professional. At V&Fll of our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.