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How to spot tyre damage

Kevin Thorpe | Tuesday 7th September 2021 12:29pm

Damaged tyres with cuts, bulges and nails

Modern life can be busy and many drivers donít think about whether their tyres might be damaged. Often, tyre damage can go unnoticed. However, excessive tyre damage can put you in a dangerous situation when driving. Tyres keep your vehicle in contact with the road so any damage that has occurred can cause serious issues. Continue reading to find out more about the red flags you should be regularly looking out for.

Tyre cuts

Cuts on your tyres can be caused by objects in the roadís surface such as poor road surfaces or debris on the roads. These can damage the surface of the tyre. In unlucky situations, tyre cuts can instantly cause tyre failure. However, this isnít usually the case. Most cuts occur on the tyre sidewalls. If you discover any cuts on your tyres, you should get the tyre examined by a professional.

Tyre bulges

These usually occur as a result of your tyre impacting heavily on a solid object. To avoid tyre bulges, you should avoid hitting the kerb. This may not be noticeable straight away but later you may notice that the tyre is bulging where the impact occurred. This bulge is now a weak spot on the tyre and will need to be checked as soon as possible.

Irregular tyre wear

Tyre wear occurs naturally. The speed that your tyres wear down is due to your driving style and how often you drive. Tyre treads under 1.6mm are below the legal limit and need to be changed. However,  tyres that are under 3mm can wear down rapidly and lose grip.

If your tyres are over or under inflated, they can be subjected to irregular wear, which may mean that your tyre needs to be replaced more sooner than usually necessary.  If your tyres are over-inflated the tyres will wear down more in the centre. As a result, the contact patch between the tyre and the road is reduced. Under-inflated tyres also cause uneven wear but in this case to the edges of the tyre. This means that the fuel economy of your vehicle is reduced and you will have to fill up more often.


Punctures are one of the most common types of tyre damage. When sharp objects from the roadís surface pierce the tyre, this causes air to leak out. The clearest sign of a puncture is a deflated tyre as air has leaked out through the hole in the tyre. Some tyres, such as Continentalís ContiSealô, use modern technology to ensure punctures up to 5mm are sealed, giving you extended mileage so you can safely reach a garage. Other tyres like Continentalís self-supporting Runflats allow the driver to continue driving for up to 50 miles (at a maximum speed of 50mph).

If you have any concerns about your tyres, book a free vehicle safety check at your local Kwik Fit and our team will be happy to help.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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