Tires serve as your car’s connection to the road, making them an important structure to consider as part of overall vehicle maintenance. To know exactly when to replace tires, it’s vital to have them checked routinely. This will help determine whether or not they’re still in good condition.
Because, over time, their performance deteriorates. You might notice a loss of traction which will impact your car’s ability to brake and turn. This brings us to the question: When should I replace my tires?
To help you out, we’re going to show you the four signs you need to be aware of to help you determine whether you should get a new set of tires.
What Damages Tires?
Under normal use, most tires have a lifespan of 3-6 years. However, tires get damaged for various reasons which can lead to early replacement. In fact, damage may happen without the driver being aware of the problem.
So, when should you replace tires? Be on the lookout for these common types of tire damage:
- Punctures. They result from your tires coming in contact with sharp objects on the road such as nails, screws, or broken glass that pierce through the surface of the tire.
- Cuts. Protruding bodywork parts, bad road conditions, or sharp foreign objects like broken glass or stones can cut through your tires. Your tires may have been designed to handle different road conditions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to damage.
- Cracks. If you see cracks on your tires, it means that the rubber is starting to break down. This can happen due to natural aging which reduces their elasticity. Also, elements like ultraviolet rays or even driving frequently in wet conditions can lead to cracking.
- Bulges. The tire casing can sustain damage after coming in contact with certain obstacles. Under-inflated tires are also more likely at risk for bulging, which is why you should always use the right inflation pressure.
When to Change Your Tires
Regular tire maintenance is of utmost importance to ensure you and your loved ones’ safety while on the road. The good news is, it doesn’t take a mechanic to figure out when should tires be replaced. Take note of these four signs:
1. Tread Wear
The tread is the outer layer of the rubber part of the tire that constantly makes contact with the road. Over time and through continued use, this layer of rubber will slowly start to deteriorate and become thin. Checking your tire tread is the first and easiest way to tell if it’s time to replace your tire.
To check if your tires are still in running condition, all you have to do is look for the wear indicator located along the grooves of the tire. It can come in the form of large or small chunks of rubber (depending on tread design) along the tire groove.
When your tire’s tread matches have already reached the wear indicator point, this calls for an immediate tire replacement. Keep in mind that once it hits that point, your ability to control your car, the tire’s handling characteristics, and water dispensing capabilities have already been compromised.
2. Structural Damage Due to Climate
Your tires can have structural changes when exposed to heat and the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Any extreme weather condition — from cold temperatures, ice, and snow to extreme heat in summer — can combine with rocks and other road conditions to wear down and damage your tires. That’s why it is important to choose the right tire for your climate and season.
3. Tire Age
When do tires need to be replaced? Another way to find out is to know the tire age by checking its production year. On average, a normal tire under normal use will last anywhere from 3 to 6 years. Your tire’s production year can be found on its sidewall.
It is usually denoted by 4 numbers. Sometimes other numbers and letters are also added, depending on the tire manufacturer. But what you need to pay attention to is the last 4 digits as this shows the year and the week your tires were made.
4. Dry Rot (Sidewall Cracking)
The side of your tire or sidewall can be damaged when you hit curbs, or any other obstacles or objects while turning. Sidewall cracking or dry rot can affect the tire pressure, leading to a less fuel-efficient drive. If you see visible cracks on your tire’s sidewall, it may be in dire need of a replacement.
To avoid future accidents or inconvenience, don’t take your tires for granted. Remember the four signs we discussed here so you will know when to replace your tires. A prompt replacement won’t just keep you safe, but it also leads to a smoother and stress-free driving experience.
Finally, when buying a new set of tires, choose the correct tire type and size, depending on function. But despite all this information, we all know that accidents can happen at any time.
If you’re looking for the best tire changing services anywhere in New Jersey, know that Neighborhood Roadside Assistance is here for you. Fast and affordable help will come to you within 15-35 minutes.