5 Types of Tyre Defects You Should Look Out For
Posted by: Lydia on 29/08/2019
A quality set of tyres is always a critical purchase for your car. Beyond a desire for tyres that are stylish and long-lasting, there’s the safety factor to consider. Tyres are the key point of contact between your car and the road, so a good set can be a lifesaver, while a defective set can pose a major danger.
It’s vital for you to know how to spot defective tyres so your safety isn’t put at risk, and you can avoid buying a set of poorly-made tyres that won’t last half as long as a quality one.
Here are 5 signs of defective tyres that you should watch out for.
1. Inconsistent tread pattern
To petrolheads this will sound obvious, but for more casual drivers, paying particular attention to their tyres' treads may not be a given. Over time, all tyres wear out, and in some circumstances, they may wear unevenly – especially if they're not cared for properly and rotated often. There should be consistent wear and symmetry across all four tyres. If you come across a set that has different tread patterns from one tyre to the next, that's a warning sign.
2. Wear and tear while ‘new’
New tyres should look new. While there’s certainly a strong market for used tyres out there – and it’s perfectly legal for used tyres to be sold, provided they are advertised as
such – there’s absolutely no reason that a set advertised as brand-new should look worn on the shop floor.
If you find a set of tyres in this condition, it’s a worrying sign that they might be defective. It’s certainly possible for tyres to get some very minor nicks and scratches while being rolled around the shop floor to be set up on display, but such minor blemishes are essentially invisible. If you find a set of tyres advertised as ‘new’ that look like they’ve been in a rally, it’s an indicator of a defect in the manufacturing process (or some dubious business practices).
3. Missing components
There are tremendous innovations coming in the world of tyres in the future, from puncture-proof models, to tyres with digital connectivity to their vehicles, among other exciting developments. Until these tyres make it to market though, it can be expected that this current generation will look pretty similar from one brand to the next.
Put simply, all of them should have common features like a tread pattern, tyre wear indicator, and an inner lining. Each tyre brand has elements that make their product unique, so if you find some differences from one set to the next, that may not be an issue in and of itself But if you find multiple features are missing, or something just looks way off, it’s a signal that there could be a safety risk with the set.
4. Tread and steel belt separation
Tread and steel belt separation is a clear sign of a defective tyre, and it can pose a huge danger if it occurs on the road while driving. The manufacturing process of this part of the tyre is more complex than other components. That’s why tyres that are poorly made often have issues with tread and steel belt separation as corners are cut in the manufacturing process. If you notice separation occurring when viewing the tyres, it’s certain they would not be safe for use on the road.
5. Tyres unsuitable for your vehicle
This one isn't a defect, but something to watch out for as you look for tyres. While to the casual eye many types of tyres look similar, in practice there are a huge variety of uses for different types of tyres. In many cases, tyres are interchangeable, even if it's not ideal. For example, while winter tyres are ideal for the cold months, you can use all season tyres just fine from June to August.
There’s a line here, though, when it comes to tyre size and vehicle type. Although the SUV is a very popular vehicle in Australia, tyres suited for off-roading have no business being on a high-performance sports car at the track.
An eye for quality
Preventing tyre defects really begins at the purchase stage. All goods sold in Australia have to abide by strict quality standards. The Australian Consumer Law also demands that sellers of goods act responsibly. Goods sold must be ‘fit for purpose’, and sellers cannot sell a product they know to be faulty.
Further, in the event that something does go wrong, there's also a clear-cut way to go about getting a repair or refund under the law. Buying tyres from some sellers or overseas suppliers may see the law ignored, and a remedy very hard to achieve if something goes wrong. The strong growth the industry is seeing (around 2.4% a year) has had the unfortunate downside of producing some sellers who are just keen on making a quick buck.
This is why it’s critical to ensure you buy your tyres from reputable dealers, because
the old adage ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is' definitely applies here. It may appear that certain sellers offer great value, yet if something goes wrong with your tyres while driving, it can pose a massive risk to your safety – it won't be worth whatever you saved on your tyres.
Beyond this, the value of a reputable tyre team’s expertise can’t be overstated. A good tyre team will help you ensure you have the best tyres for your driving needs and the correct size of tyres for your car. Most of all, they'll be able to guarantee the tyres have been fitted correctly for safe use. So for tyres you can trust, be sure to use a reputable dealer when picking up your next set.
What has been your experience with tyre defects? Let us know in the comments below: