ERJ staff report (TP)
Letchworth Garden City, UK – New research by British automotive parts repair firm Kwik Fit reveals one in five car owners had to replace a tire in the last year due to sidewall damage.
Due to this type of damage, UK drivers spend more than £439million (€550m) a year replacing otherwise perfectly healthy tires.
Kwik Fit’s report found most sidewall damage is caused by hitting potholes, but some drivers admitted to hitting a kerb.
In the last two years, 53% of all car owners said their tires or wheels suffered damage, 22% said they hit a pothole, and 11% hit debris on the road.
But it’s not just the road surface to blame – 10% admitted to hitting a kerb while parking, while 9% hit a kerb while driving. In addition, 4% of drivers had their tire wall damaged through being under inflated.
Kwik Fit said: “Driving any distance on a flat tire or even one with low pressure can cause severe damage to the structure of the tire wall, so it is vital that drivers keep their tires inflated to the correct levels.”
Despite the number of drivers having experienced damage, only 35% of drivers check their tires’ sidewalls every month.
Kwik Fit urges drivers to perform regular checks with three things in mind.
Roger Griggs, communications director, said: “We recommend drivers check their tires every week, and certainly before making a long journey.
“Drivers should check pressure, tread and sidewalls. These factors are all interlinked – the wrong pressure will lead to uneven tread wear and can damage the sidewalls.
“As a result they will shorten the life of a tire, leading to unnecessary cost, but more importantly reducing the tire’s road holding performance.”