Why It's Important to Inspect Your Wheels and Tyres
Politicians always seem to complain about a lack of money and want to cut back on public services as a result. You may have seen evidence of this on the roads in your vicinity, which have not been repaired as conscientiously as you would like and seem to be filled with potholes that are increasingly cavernous. In fact, you almost spilt your coffee when you encountered one of these obstructions recently and feel that you may have picked up some damage as a consequence. Why should you conduct a thorough inspection of your wheels and tyres, and what should you look for?
Consequences of Damage
As you may know, your wheels and tyres are carefully balanced by the fitter whenever you buy some new covers. They should be okay until the next scheduled visit, unless road conditions or poor driving causes an issue. Whenever you drive over a kerb or through a big pothole it can definitely affect the balance, and if you don't take action, this can lead to excess tread wear, increased fuel consumption and other problems. Furthermore, you may pick up damage to the wheel rim or to the rubber, and if it isn't repaired, this could lead to a potential blowout when you're driving at speed.
How to Inspect
When you get back to your garage at home, elevate the car on one side so that you can freely rotate the wheel and tyre in question by hand. You may have to crawl underneath the car to an extent to look at the back wheels, so make sure that everything is safe before you do so. However, you can swivel the front wheels quite freely to get an easier look here.
Inspect the tyre carefully to start off with and look for any bulges in the sidewall. This is an indication that the interior carcass is damaged, and likely as a consequence of hitting that pothole. In other words, the wire frame that holds the tyre in shape is no longer functioning as it should, and you will need to take this in for repair or replacement.
While you are there, look at the tread depth and consistency all around each tyre. If the gaps in between the tread seem to have spread, this is a sign of excess wear, and if you can see more tread damage in one place rather than another, it could indicate that the tyre is out of balance.
Finally, check each wheel rim to check if you can see any cracks where the edge of the rim meets the tyre. These should be fixed as soon as possible because the rubber beading may separate at high speed if the issue develops even further.
Still Not Sure?
If you come across something that looks odd, or you may be unsure how to proceed, err on the side of caution and take the vehicle into a specialist for car service as soon as possible.