tire wear indicators

When Is It Time To Replace My Tires

Wanting to know when to replace my tires is a common question most drivers have. Sporting the wrong or worn tires can literally put the lives of you and your loved ones at risk. The following is a guide on how to know when you need to replace them.

Tire Tread Depth

The most traditional and effective way of determining whether you need new tires is by looking at the remaining tread. Most professionals recommend getting new tires when there is 2/32″ to 5/32″ of tread depth remaining. Remember, the amount and type of tread you need will largely depend on the climate in which you are driving. Dry conditions don’t require as much tread as rainy or snowy conditions.

Between Five and Ten Years

Most experts recommend that once you have had your tires for five years they need to be thoroughly inspected annually by a professional. Ten years is the absolute maximum you should go before getting new tires. If your current tires are ten years old, it’s time to replace them. No exceptions.

It’s Summer

Tires tend to burst more often during the summer months. The reason for this is fairly obvious: air expands as it gets hot, which causes an increase in tire pressure. This coupled with the friction and pressure of driving on hot roads can lead to tires giving out. The opposite is also a problem. A combination of heat and underinflated tires makes bursting far more likely because more pressure is put on the sides of the tires. Make sure tire pressure is within acceptable levels regularly. Check tire pressure after the car hasn’t been driven for several hours to get the most accurate readings.

There’s Been Damage

It may be a good idea to consider new tires if your car has been in an accident or the tires have experienced some other type of trauma. Visible damage to the tires from scraping against curbs is potentially a worrying sign. The problem is that damage can take time to wear down the tires and ultimately cause them to give out when you least expect it.

Your Mechanic Says So

Reputable mechanics will give your car a checkup whenever you bring it in for a regular oil change. If you are not already bringing the car in regularly you should, and if your mechanic doesn’t run routine diagnostics then you should consider finding a new one. Your mechanic will measure the remaining tread in your tires and alert you when one or more of them is getting low.

Warning Signs

There are a number of warning signs you should look out for as well that can point to tires being the culprits. Cracks in the sidewall of the tire are a major warning sign that the tire might wear through on the edges. Check your tires regularly for bulges or blisters, which can be another big warning sign. These indicate weak spots that may be about to rupture. Strong vibrations while driving, or more vibrations than usual, is something else to look for. Vibration can have other causes, but it’s always worth checking out.

Knowing when to replace my tires is not always clear cut. Remember, you want to replace them before they can become a significant issue. Keep tabs on all parts of your vehicle so it will serve you well for as long as you have it. By maintaining the vehicle properly and fixing problems when they occur, you can get many years of use from your car.


*Use at your own discretion, this content is for educational purposes only.