Below are some photos of a tyre that would have cost the prior owner over $350 per tyre. As you can see by the severe wear on the inner half of the tyre that the tyre life was dramatically reduced by an alignment issue.
Most people tend to buy a reasonable set of tyres and try to skip the cost of an alignment to save a few dollars. Unfortunately a high percentage of the time it costs you more in premature tyre wear. A good set of tyres should last most people between 40 and 100,000 kilometers if they are looked after.
If that is not happening I have a few tips for you, so you can keep an eye on them and save yourself some money.
When parking the car at home, put your steering wheel to full lock to the right or the left. When you get out of your car, take the time to have a look at the tred of your front tyres. You might need to kneel down or at least bend over so you can have a good look at the face of the car tyre and especially the inner edge. The inner edge is the most difficult to see as it is hidden under the guard and can be missed if you don’t look carefully. Even better if you rub your hand across the face of the tyre as this will potentially highlight other issues that you may not see.
In the case of the tyres above and below you may feel that your tyre has the canvas or wire penetrating the outer casing and could rupture at any time.
The main reason why car tyres wear on the inner edge is due to the alignment of the tyres. This can be a simple adjustment or a sign that there are more serious issues with your front steering and or front and rear suspension.
As you can see in the photos, the car tyres have not only warn prematualy but dangerously. So it is a false econnomy not to have an alignment done at the time of purchase of your new car tyres.
Whilst the above car tyres are an extreme example, this sort of wear is not completely uncommon and in fact on sports cars like the ones these are off, it is more common. The reason for this is that the sports car is much lower to the ground and more difficult to see the tread than a normal family car.
What it does highlight is how many people could be driving on disasters waiting to happen. The above tyres were on his mother’s car and the son thought the car was being looked after by the service agent. Unfortunately, this was not happening for whatever reason and the oversight could have been catastrophic for mum, the family and other drivers.
If the tyres did not explode on the highway, they would have been extremely dangerous in wet weather driving. Low tread depth makes it more difficult for water to be removed from under the tyre which will result in the tyres floating on the water losing all control of the steering. This is called aquaplaning and can happen at any time and any speed without warning.
Checking your rear tyres is a little more difficult as you cannot simply put them on full lock and have a look at them. With the rear tyres you will have to get down an put you head under to inspect them properly. If you can’t do this, the simple way is to ask your local tyre expert to check them for you.
Putting reasonable tyres on your car and spending a few extra dollars to have them aligned properly will not only save you money, it could save you from having a serious accident. If you are about to load the kids in the car and heading off on holidays, stop and take the time to look at you car tyres and make sure there is sufficient even tread across the full face of all your car tyres, there is no splits, cracks or bulges in the sidewall of your tyres including the inner sidewall.
Tyres are the only things that contact the road on your vehicle. Checking them regularly can save lives as poorly maintained tyres can fail at anytime resulting in catastrophic accidents. At the time of purchase make sure that you ask the local tyre expert what the most suitable car tyre for your driving style and car is and don’t just shop on price as not all tyres are made equal.
Insist on a wheel alignment and continue to inspect your tyres, so poor tyre wear or tyre damage is picked up quickly. STAY SAFE & HAPPY DRIVING