Thursday Tip: Let’s Burn Some Rubber! Tyre Wear

& Why tyres are so important?

How do tyres contribute to safe driving?

The tyres on your vehicle are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road. Therefore, they play a key role in vehicle safety. Between the years 2007 – 2012, An Garda
Síochána reported tyre defects as a factor in 172 collisions. Some of these collisions were fatal, others resulted in serious and minor injuries.

Why is tyre safety so important?

Your safety, along with the safety of your passengers and other road users, could depend directly on the condition of your vehicle’s tyres.

Tyres must:

  • be the right kind and size for your vehicle
  • be properly inflated
  • be free from defects and
  • have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm


Tyre Maintenance

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Correct Inflation Pressure

Correct inflation pressure is important, as the pressurised air inside your tyre has to support the weight of your vehicle and its load. Inflation pressure can also affect your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Tyre pressures vary depending on the vehicle model and the load being carried.

So go to your local service station and check your tyre pressures regularly against the manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle. You’ll find the inflation specifications in your vehicle owner’s handbook.

The following illustrations demonstrate how the effects of correct and incorrect inflation pressure can be seen on your tyre tread pattern.

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Over Inflation


Over-inflated tyres give you a bumpier ride. When a tyre is over-inflated, the outer tread pattern rounds out, which causes the centre of the tyre to wear out much faster than the outer edges.
Overinflated tyres:
  • Have a smaller contact area with the road.
  • May effect breaking
  • Create uneven tread wear – the centre of the tyre wears out faster
  • Compromise handling
  • Creates an unpleasant ride – the tyre is unable to ‘soak up’ the bumps

Under Inflation

Under-inflated tyres are one of the leading causes of tyre failure. Low pressure means that too much of the tyre touches the road, increasing friction and greatly reducing the life of your tyres. A tyre doesn’t need to look a little flat to be under-inflated, so always refer to your owner’s manual for the required tyre pressure level for your car and get testing!
Underinflated tyres:
  • Can increase rolling resistance
  • Increase fuel consumption – due to the rolling resistance, which makes the engine work harder
  • Creates uneven tread wear – the edges of the tyre wear out faster
  • Affect braking performance

The effects of tyre pressure on fuel consumption

Under-inflated tyres increase your vehicle’s drag, which increases fuel consumption. But by how much exactly? A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the USA found that every 1 per cent decrease in tyre pressure correlated to a 0.3 per cent reduction in fuel economy. Under inflation of the tyre by 10 per cent increases fuel consumption by 2 per cent. Twenty per cent under-inflation increases fuel consumption by 4 per cent. With tyre pressure at 40 per cent below the recommended level, the tyre’s fuel consumption increases by 8 per cent.

This can have a significant effect over time as tyres can naturally lose one to two PSI per month. Changes in temperatures can also affect tyre pressure. For every 5 °C drop in temperature, there is a 2 per cent loss in tyre pressure. Your tyre also inflates about 2 per cent with a 5 °C rise in temperature. If the temperature fluctuates throughout the year or even from day to night, the effect can be significant.

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Tyre Defects & Deterioration

If your vehicle’s tyres show signs of deterioration (wear and tear), you should remove them and replace them. Do not drive on the public road with sub-standard tyres on your vehicle.

There are several tell-tale signs you should keep an eye out for:

  • cracking or crazing of the sidewall of the tyre, caused by its flexing
  • distortion of the tyre tread
  • deformation of the main body of the tyre
  • loss of pressure despite regular pumping up
  • deep cuts
  • bulges
  • separated or perished rubber
  • vibrations through the tyres when you drive

Wheel Alignment & Balancing

You may hear the terms ‘wheel alignment’ and ‘wheel balancing’ used interchangeably, but they are separate issues, both important in the upkeep of your tyres and vehicle.

Wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Aligning your wheels can help
maximise tyre life and ensure that your vehicle drives straight and true when on level surfaces.

The effects of tyre misalignment may be detected by either of the following:

  • uneven or rapid tyre wear
  • when driving on a straight flat road the driver can feel the steering wheel pulling to one side (having to exert a slight extra force to keep the vehicle
    driving in a straight line).

Wheel balancing allows the tyres and wheels to spin without causing any vibrations. Your wheels’ balance is gauged by checking for any heavy spots on the wheel-tyre combination and compensating for such flaws by placing a measured balancing weight on the opposite side of the wheel from where the heavy spot is located.

The symptoms of a wheel that is out of balance include:

  • vibration in the steering wheel, seat or floor-pan, usually at motorway speeds
  • ‘scalloped’ or ‘cupped’ wear pattern on the tyres

If your tyres demonstrate any of the symptoms outlined above, we advise that you seek
advice from your local authorised tyre repair centre.

Get Your Tyres Checked!


As we have seen, your car’s tyres are critical to road safety. Therefore, it is imperative that you check your tyres constantly.  As with anything, if problems are left unchecked, no matter how big or small they are, they can wreak havoc on other parts of the car.

Read more tips on tyres

Thursday Tip: 5 steps to tyre safety

Thursday Tip: 5 steps to tyre safety

One of the most important aspects of car maintenance, which is often overlooked, is tyre condition and safety. As, and it can’t be stated often enough, the tyres of your car are the ONLY thing that is on your car that connects with the road. So when you add to this that you have no control over the road condition, you must keep your car tyres in the best shape that you can. There is a 5 point plan that, if you follow, will give you the best chance to keep your tyres in good condition and you safe on the road.

Car Service Tips from Oliver’s Car Services: Checking the depth of your tyre tread

Car Service Tips from Oliver’s Car Services: Checking the depth of your tyre tread

Car Service: Checking Tyre Tread Depth

Why is the depth of tyre tread important? Making sure that your car tyres are legal is a fairly quick and in-expensive operation. It usually involves a visual inspection of your tyres, not just the outside but the inside of the tyres as well. Tyres, if the wheels are not aligned correctly, can wear on either outside rim or across the middle so you need to make sure you check them all over. Any signs of baldness, any sign of wire or flat spots means that the tyre almost certainly needs replacing.

Book your tyre inspection in Gorey with Oliver’s Car Service Centre today!

To book your tyre inspection and test please use the form below.

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“C” No Warranty if the client elects to use non-recommended parts or to omit related recommended services.

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“TB” 5 years/75,000 km, whichever comes first, on parts and labour when the client elects to use the top quality parts and completes the services recommended for the timing belt replacement package.

*Warranty requires compliance with recommended precautions and follow-up procedures. These are written on the invoice when applicable. The client should discuss them with the staff if necessary. When necessary Oliver’s Car Services – We Fix Cars. will arrange low cost, alternate transportation during warranty repairs. This warranty does not extend to consequential damages, or repairs, which have been tampered with by any person not authorized by Oliver’s Car Services – We Fix Cars or abuse or neglect of the vehicle. Warranties do not cover symptoms, which occur above legal speeds.

IMPORTANT: To receive warranty repairs, the client must:

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