Tyres, in most cases, are the most neglected part of our cars. However, as it turns out, they are the most pivotal part of our cars. To say the least, while driving, our life, to a large extent depends upon them. Therefore, we must take care of them and regularly correct whatever fault we detect in them.
Overusing a tyre whether intentionally or unintentionally can be hazardous. Hence, it is quite imperative to replace the old tyres with the new ones at the right time. However, the question that now you face is, when should I change my car tyres. This blog discusses various signs that may suggest that the tyre needs replacement and also guides you about the ways to replace them.
Tyre treads assist in grip while driving on wet surfaces. They clear the water under the tyre enables the contact with the road. All tyres possess Tread Wear Indicators (TWIs) which contain small rubber blocks within the tread at a particular point around the tyre. As the tyre wears, the proximity among the blocks reduces and they ultimately become flush with the tyre surface.
Once this happens, the tyre does not remain roadworthy as when this happens, merely 1.6mm of the tread is left. Hence, whenever you think about changing tyres, you can first analyse the tread depth. As recommended by experts, tyres should be replaced once as soon as the tread depth falls below 2mm.
You can use a tread-depth indicator to determine the amount of life left in your tyre tread. Many tyre retailers offer them for free while some charge a minimal fee for the same.
Whenever you are confused, check for uneven wear on the tyre as it usually indicates that-
- Something is wrong with the wheel alignment.
- The suspension is worn.
- You have been driving with either under inflated or over inflated tyres.
Uneven wear also appears if you frequently tow a trailer or a caravan or if your driving style puts more pressure on the tyre than normal.
For identifying the uneven wear, you should inspect the entire contact surface including the tyre’s outer edges. Front wheel drive cars generally show a greater degree of wear on the front tyres. Therefore, specific notice of the relative wear front to rear should be taken.
Swapping tyre pairs from front to back should be done periodically for both front and rear-wheel drive vehicles only if the tyre size is the same at both ends.
There is a general assumption that a tyre must be replaced if it has been used for over five years. Even if you have not traveled over a lot of kilometers or the tyre is not being used a great deal as per the user, the tyre will definitely deteriorate as the suppleness of the rubber reduces owing to the moisture and oils drying out. This fact is the same for all tyres on the vehicle even the spare.
Tyres age can be discovered by looking at the manufacture date on the sidewall which is usually a four-digit number showing the week and year of the manufacture of the tyre.
It must be noted that the tyres deteriorate quickly in hotter conditions.
Moreover, as the tyres should be replaced after a certain age, they should be replaced after they are used over a certain distance. So, the next time you wonder when should I change my car tyres, just find out how many kilometers you have traveled with those tyres. Generally, the tyres should be replaced after 50,000 km mark and they should be rotated every 10,000 kms.
Besides these four broad instances, you may experience the following while driving if the tyres are demanding replacements:
- The vehicle starts going in any direction when they are driven on painted road markers.
- Suspension makes unusual sounds.
- Wheel alignment is disturbed.
- Steering wheel makes too many vibrations.
- Frequent punctures.
Some mechanics will merely look at the tyres and recommend you to change them. However, a rough judgment like this can waste your time and money. Whenever a question crops up in your mind that, when should I change my tyres, check them yourself and carefully keep in mind the above-mentioned things. You can buy various brands of tyres, such as Apollo Tyres, Kenda tyres, etc.
Also, you must avoid spinning the wheels on acceleration or locking them while braking. This can damage your tyres and force you to replace them. In fact, you can increase the tyre life of your car by regularly maintaining the right air pressure.