Drivers face an increasing assault on their pockets with the overall cost of motoring and just keeping a vehicle on the road seemingly always on the rise. It is inevitable with money being tight generally that many motorists will be tempted to buy budget or part worn tyres as an alternative to the branded higher priced tyres you would probably be offered at a main dealer.
The dangers of a worn out or damaged tyre
It is important to inspect your tyres on a regular basis for any bulges, cracks, splits or signs of abnormal wear. Some damage can occur within the actual body of the tyre without it being visible through an external inspection. The signs that you may have a damaged tyre even if you are unable to see any obvious damage or wear, is if you notice any unusual noise or vibration, or notice that the vehicle is not handling as well as it should do.
Causes of damage
There are a number of possible causes of damage and these include misalignment, under or over inflation using the wrong pressure, overloading, damage caused by a minor impact such as hitting a kerb and possible separation within the actual tyre body. All of these factors which result in a damaged tyre will create a situation where you could experience sudden tyre destruction, which of course would be catastrophic whilst driving and would put you and your passengers at risk of serious injury or even death as a result of an accident caused by damaged tyres.
As worn out and damaged tyres are a danger to you and other road users, you should conduct regular maintenance of your tyres including checking whether there is sufficient legal tread remaining. All tyres should contain Wear Bars” which are in the grooves of the tyre tread and are designed to become visible when you reach the minimum acceptable level of tread remaining which 1.6mm. You should check the pressure in your tyres on a weekly basis at least and whilst doing so, look for any damage and confirm that the amount of tread remaining is within the legal limit. You should check the tyre pressures when they are cold and especially before you take a longer than normal journey
Dangers of worn or damaged tyres
Correct tyre pressures are especially important when driving at high speed such as on motorways as you reduce your chances of avoiding a sudden hazard, your ability to handle the vehicle safely is reduced and the reaction time available in a dangerous driving situation is seriously impaired if you are trying to bring the vehicle to a safe standstill using damaged, worn or incorrectly inflated tyres.
Are part worn tyres worth the savings?
When you consider the trust that you put into your tyres to convey you safely along the road, you should consider whether the cheaper alternative of part worn tyres are worth the savings that you will make on the cost compared to new and more expensive ones.
An investigation conducted by “Tyresafe” actually showed that when you compared the average cost per mm of useable tread on a part worn tyre, which came out at £6.33, this turned out to be 16% more expensive than the equivalent cost of a new tyre at £5.32, so their research seemed to prove that it was a false economy in monetary as well as safety terms.
Deciding which tyre to choose
When it comes to price, as with many things, it is all very well agreeing that the most expensive tyre available maybe the best and safest tyre, but as most of us have to work within a budget, it is normally the case that a compromise has to be found. The problem that you face with part worn tyres is that it is virtually impossible to know the previous history of the tyre that you are considering fitting to your car, meaning that you cannot be completely sure about its internal condition and standard or safety. With a new tyre straight from the manufacturer you are almost certainly guaranteed a high level of safety and performance as each tyre will have been subjected to rigorous safety checks and has to adhere to industry standards in general.
If you have the full facts available to you about the tyre you are considering buying you can at least make an informed decision about the safety aspects and then make a decision that is based on price once you have eliminated the type of tyre that you would probably not feel comfortable using, when you consider the safety of you and your passengers is such an important consideration.
Saving money is important to all of us but saving lives and preventing accidents is an extremely significant a factor as well, so try to get the best tyres that you can and then look after them with regular maintenance, so that you hopefully get the full value from your purchase.