When is the right time to replace your car tires?
Owning a car requires regular maintenance and includes topping up fluids and replacing parts as they wear out, including every tire. Old or worn out car tires make it difficult for your vehicle to grip and respond to wet or icy roads. Poor tread can also cause other parts of your car to wear out faster and impact handling. Knowing whether it’s time to change a tire requires examining factors including time, climate, road conditions, and driver habits.
Stick with the general rule of five as a baseline. Expect yours to last about five years with yearly inspections by a professional after you reach the milestone. Never use tires that are more than ten years old, even if they appear to be in usable condition based on a visual inspection. Taking care of your tires with regular rotations and proper air pressure extends their longevity. The rules also apply to your spare tire, so don’t forget about it when performing tire checks.
Factors that damage car tires
Time isn’t the only thing that wears out car tires. Poor road conditions such as potholes, speed bumps, and obstructions in the road take weeks, months, or years off their life. Rain, snow, ice, intense sunlight, and extreme temperatures also reduce their lifespan. You don’t have too much control over these factors, but other practices can extend or shorten their longevity. Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding and accelerating drastically reduce your tire’s lifespan and will likely require you to replace a tire or two sooner than you originally planned.
Testing the tread on a tire takes less than a minute, and the only tool you need to have is a penny. Place the penny headfirst into the grooves of the tire. If you can still see Lincoln’s head, your tread is worn and shallow. If his head is always covered by the tire, you don’t need to be concerned with tread wear just yet. Don’t forget to examine your valve camps, check for signs of damage, and inspect for rocks or nails that may be stuck.
Mounting and balancing are necessary when you change your tires, but you still have to maintain them while they’re on your car. Regularly check the pressure and add air when necessary. Conduct a visual inspection if you hear odd sounds or feel vibrations that indicate something isn’t right. Rotate them regularly to ensure that they don’t wear in uneven patterns.
You also need to use them as the manufacturer intends. You might see a great deal on new tire specials and think it’s a great option, but be careful only to purchase ones that are designed for your vehicle and don’t mix and match types or use a different tire width than what is currently on your car. Don’t keep snow or ice tread patterns on when summer rolls around, because they won’t function as you intend and you’ll wear them out much faster than originally anticipated. Don’t drive on your spare tire long-term especially at speeds that are more than 50 miles per hour. Spares aren’t designed the same way and not built to withstand the speeds or mileage that you’re a regular tire is, unless you’ve replaced yours with a full-size tire.
Keep everything on your vehicle in top shape keeps it running without hassles, but don’t forget about how much of an impact a new tire, two, or all four from PartsMax can make on your performance, handling, and overall safety.
*Use at your own discretion, this content is for educational purposes only.