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Your tyres: Watch out for these warning signs

CarSifu logo CarSifu 19/11/2018 dpa
a man sitting in a car: conti © Provided by Star Media Group Berhad conti

BERLIN: If a tyre is damaged or no longer is filled to the proper pressure, then the transfer of force from the vehicle onto the road surface no longer functions properly when accelerating, braking and taking curves.

So, how can you spot tyre damage?

Christian Koch, an expert on tyres and wheels for car inspection company Dekra, says this: “Tyre damage as a rule makes itself noticeable through a sudden change in the sound of the wheels or by a corresponding vibration in the vehicle or steering.” What makes tyre damage so insidious is that “as a rule the driver only notices it when it starts to happen – and then it’s too late.”

Sudden, violent damage to the tyres such as when driving over a large or sharp obstacle usually leaves the driver no time to react. In the opposite instance of slowly emerging damage to the tyres, the driver usually does not immediately notice the tiny changes going on in the car’s performance.

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“For this reason, the tyre pressure control systems that are mandatory for new vehicles are a clear-cut gain for traffic safety,” Koch says, as they warn driver about even the slightest loss of air pressure in the tyre.

However, such systems do not excuse drivers from regularly controlling their tyre pressure and inspecting for possible damage. The best place for such inspections is by experts at a garage.

“Driving over foreign objects such as nails or screws can lead to them becoming stuck in the tyre which then can’t completely close around them,” Koch warns.

At higher speeds the danger arises that centrifugal forces will sling the object away and leave a hole that results in a sudden loss of tyre pressure.

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