Tire Wear Causes Pollution: Things To Know About It

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A British study by Emissions Analytics, an independent research firm, shows it clearly: car tires produce up to 1,000 times more particulate matter than gasoline and diesel engines. An impressive figure. The harmful particles from tires are therefore a serious problem. The increasing popularity of large and heavy SUVs is adding to this problem. The batteries of electric cars also create an additional burden. A Dutch study shows that every year 17 million kilograms of tire grindings end up in the environment. About 1 million kilograms of this ends up in surface water and almost as much goes up into the air as fine dust.

Under-inflation exacerbates the problem

Driving with under-inflated tires wears out more quickly. The greater the underinflation, the faster the tires wear out. Moreover, this creates extra particulate matter in the air. If you inflate your tires correctly, for example with the Coolado tPump X, you prevent rapid wear. You extend the life of your tires and limit the emission of particulates. The fine dust from tire wear cannot be filtered out, so you really do make a difference. 

Know that nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter are the major contributors to poor air quality, smog and respiratory problems. In the table below you can immediately see the impact of under-pressure on NOx and particulates (TNO research, November 2011).

The conclusion is clear: if you drive without under-tension, NOx emissions decrease by 0.9 to 1.5% and particulate emissions by about 3.2%.

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How do you recognize abnormal wear on your tires?

Check whether your tires are still ok or if they are more worn than normal? Check it out! Abnormal wear occurs when your tires are mounted incorrectly or when you drive with incorrect tire pressure. Here’s how to recognize tire wear.

The wear indicator

Want to check if your tires are worn? Check the wear indicator in the bottom of the main grooves. This rubber block of 1.6mm corresponds to the legal wear limit of a tire. Once the thickness of the rubber has reached this level, it is time to replace your tires. 

Sometimes, however, it is necessary to replace your tires before they wear indicator level is reached. After all, irregular wear can occur. We briefly sum up the different types of irregular wear for you. 

The 4 Main Types of Irregular Wear

Although mechanical problems such as balancing, wheel alignment, and suspension are usually at the root of irregular wear, there can also be other reasons. Think about the wrong tire pressure or your driving habits. 

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1 Faceted wear

This type of wear is characterized by a difference between the wear levels of different rubber blocks. You can often recognize this type of wear by an increasing rolling noise. Often this type of wear occurs simultaneously on the two front and sometimes rear tires. Possible causes include improper wheel alignment, poor condition of the shock absorbers or a specific chassis design. If you recognize these types of wear, have your tires replaced as soon as possible. 

Coolado’s advice

Do you want to obtain an even wear? Change your front and rear tires regularly. Do keep in mind the applicable rules for changing tires. 

2 Asymmetric, jagged wear

In this case, your tire wears mainly on one side. The farther out, the less rubber. 

This problem can often be observed on both tires of the same wheel axle. It is caused by abnormal friction with the road due to unbalanced alignment. A sporty driving style can make this problem worse. 

Coolado’s advice

This type of wear reduces your grip on the road. Pass the tire center as soon as possible for your safety. 

3 Wear on the center of the tire

Does your tire wear more in the center than on the sides? Then this is often related to your tire pressure. Tires that are too hard can cause this. 

Coolado’s advice

Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Over-inflated tires wear out faster and cause reduced performance. In addition, it is unsafe.

4 Wear on the shoulders of the tire

Worn tires on the sides often indicate underinflation. Tires that are too soft are often at the root. 

Coolado’s advice

Remember to check tire pressure once a month. Tires that are too soft wear faster and consume more fuel because they have to overcome a higher rolling resistance. You also have less grip, especially on wet roads. 

Watch out! In addition to these 4 main causes of wear and tear, car tires also need to be replaced when there are other abnormalities. Just think of cracks, tears in the rubber, or bulges. Not sure? Have your tires checked by a specialist? Driving with worn tires is dangerous and can lead to punctures, aquaplaning in rainy weather, and loss of grip.


When you take your car on the road, proper tire pressure is always a good idea. Not only for the wear and tear on your tires but also for your safety, to reduce fuel consumption and prevent punctures. That is why they invented the Smart Tire Pump at Coolado.

On our website, we emphasize the importance of the right tire pressure to reduce your consumption and thus CO2 emissions. What’s more, we link it directly to a smart climate policy. Smart marketing starts with the why of the product.