It is recommended that you visually inspect your tyres for signs of damage every few weeks, to ensure that your tyres remain safe and legal on the road. Damage can be caused by minor driving annoyances, such as hitting a kerb or driving over a pothole, which you may not even notice at the time so it is important that you regularly check that your tyres have not been damaged.
Damage to Look Out For
Look out for lumps and bulges protruding from the sidewall of the tyre. These indicate a deformation of the rubber and this means that the internal structure of the tyre has suffered damage. Tyres with lumps and bulges cannot be repaired and must not be driven on as the internal damage may leave you at risk of suffering a tyre blowout.
Cuts or tears in the tyre rubber can be caused by debris, pothole, kerbing damage or wear and can sometimes be repaired. You should always contact a tyre specialist if you find cuts in your tyre as the severity of the damage can depend on the size, depth and location of the cut. If you can see the cords of the tyre through the cut, the internal structure of the tyre is compromised and you must not continue to drive on it.
Cracks on the rubber of your tyres can indicate that your tyres have aged and need to be replaced. When tyres age, the rubber on the sidewall becomes more brittle and this negatively affects gripping and handling capabilities. Always have cracked tyres inspected by a tyre specialist.
Beware of Punctures
When visually checking your tyres for damage you should also keep an eye out for any debris such as stones, twigs or gravel. These small bodies can become lodged within the tread and can work in to the casing of the tyre, leading to punctures or other tyre damage. If you do find debris carefully remove it from the tyre.
If you notice that your tyre has suffered a puncture you must contact a tyre specialist as soon as possible and do not continue to drive. If you have a spare tyre or a tyre repair kit, you may wish to fix the damage at home before taking your tyre for inspection.