Types of Damage in Tires

by Annabelle Brown
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detail of a car tire image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com

For your car to run safely and effectively, it is imperative that your tires be in good condition. However, poor road conditions, shoddy repairs and weather conditions can often cause damage to your tires. Common tire damage occurs on the tire tread, the sidewall and the tire bead.


The tread on a tire helps it to grip the road. It is very important that your tires have enough tread or your car may not brake properly, especially in snowy conditions. To test the tread on your tires, Road and Travel Magazine suggest the penny test. Place a penny in the tread of your tires. If you are unable to read the writing on the penny, then your tires have enough tread. In addition to balding, the tread on your tires can also be punctured. If you inadvertently drive over nails or other sharp objects, they can become embedded in your tire, leaving a large hole through which air can escape. Braking problems can also lead to tread wear. In this case, the tread is not worn down all over the tire but in one spot. If you find this type of tread wear, check that your brakes are working properly. A tread that is worn down in the center is a sign that you have over-inflated your tires. If the tread is worn on both sides but not in the middle, then your tire is under-inflated. Use a tire gauge to determine the amount of air your tires need.


As with the tread, punctures can also occur in the sidewall of your tire. In addition, cracks can form due to weather conditions such as excessive rain or sun. The sidewall can deteriorate due to chemicals used to clean the tire or the use of a pressure washer. Large cracks can also occur in the sidewall when your tire becomes overheated due to a lack of air in the tire. Check your tire pressure to avoid this problem. Hitting a pothole can also cause rips and tears in the sidewall.

Bead Damage

Damage can also occur on the tire bead if there is not enough tire lubrication or if the mounting equipment was used improperly.

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