Tire Defects

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that has contact with the rough and often bumpy road. Because of this, they are critical to the safety of your vehicle. Unfortunately, sometimes manufacturers or repair men make mistakes, and defective tires are the result. There are three main types of tire defects: tread separation, expired tires, and conicity. Tire defects can cause blow outs, roll overs, and accidents that all can result in very serious injuries to those involved, but thankfully, there are a few signs of each defect that you can watch out for.

Tread separation happens when the outer most layer of your tire comes off of the rest of the tire. The tread of the tire is incredibly important, as it is the portion that maintains grip on the road. Without proper grip, you will not be able to maintain good control over your vehicle. Tread separation can be caused by the manufacturer improperly sealing the layers of your tires together, or if a hole was not plugged properly. Some early signs of tread separation include bumps or blisters on your tires, slight to severe vibration while driving, side wall cracks, and uneven or thin tread.

Tires have an expiration date just like food and medicine, although most people do not check their tires for this. Some companies that sell tires do not check for this either, and leave tires for sale on the shelves for much longer than they should. An expired tire can blow out suddenly and without warning, causing accidents or rollovers. To check your tires for their expiration date, you just have to look for a long number that is printed on your tire walls. The last four numbers stand for the week of the year and the year that the tire was manufactured. Generally, tires expire approximately six years after they are made.

Conicity is when tires have slightly angled edges, or hold more of a cone shape rather than a cylinder. This happens when the tires are manufactured and parts of the layers are not centered properly. What results is a tire that will always pull in one direction or the other. The pull can be minor to severe, and even if it doesn’t cause accident or injury, it can cause difficult driving conditions. You may be able to see the altered shape, or you may not. If your car is pulling one way or the other immediately after getting new tires, it is a good idea to have them checked for conicity.

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