Nobody wants to replace something before it’s really necessary. But when it comes to tyres for a motor vehicle, nobody wants to leave it too late and create an unsafe situation, either! So, how can you tell when it’s time for new tyres?
Well, before we get into that, it’s worth noting that you should be rotating your tyres approximately every 10,000km (or whatever amount is specified by the manufacturer) to ensure that they wear evenly. This will extend their lifespan, as well as create a safer pattern of wear.
Even rotating your tyres, they will eventually wear down. The first and most obvious way you can tell if they need replacing is when the depth of the tread has become low. In Australia, the depth must be at least 1.5mm for your tyres to be legal. However, this is an absolute minimum, and most would say you should be thinking seriously about getting new tyres when the depth of the tread reaches 3 or 4mm, depending on the driving conditions. Less tread means less grip, increased stopping distance and greater susceptibility to blowouts.
Additional Signs that Tyres Need Replacing
A tyre’s overall tread may be fine, but if there is a noticeably large hole at any point, even if it is not a puncture, the tyre may still require replacing. The same goes for damage to the side of the tyre, especially directly around the wheel.
Bulges and cracks in the sidewall are also signs of unsafe tyres. A bulge indicates that the inner structure has separated, compromising the integrity of the tyre. Cracking may be caused by strong sunlight and/or salty air.
If you’re worried about a hole or damage to one area but not sure exactly how bad it is, check with an expert. They will tell you whether a repair job is possible or if replacement is the best option.
Don’t Ignore Changes in Handling
While you should be conducting regular visual checks of your tyres, it’s possible you might feel a change in the vehicle’s handling before you spot the actual problem with the rubber. Worn or damaged tyres can affect everything from cornering and the smoothness of the ride to acceleration and braking.
And Age Isn’t Just a Number!
If you’ve had a vehicle for years but rarely drive it – perhaps it’s more of a showpiece – then guess what? You’ve also had its tyres for years. Even though they may look fine, many would argue that, after a certain length of time, they should be replaced regardless.
Opinions on just how many years vary, but 6 or 7 years are commonly quoted as ages at which tyres are getting too old. Again, if you’re not sure, consult an expert and have them inspect all four plus the spare.
Once you’ve decided it is time for new tyres, Mainstreme Automotive can supply and fit models from a wide range of quality manufacturers. We can also correctly balance and laser-align your wheels while we’re at it. This will ensure your tyres get maximum traction and so make them last even longer. Contact us here for a quote today.