For most of us, deciding when to replace our car’s tyres isn’t easy. The life of a tyre is not absolute and depends upon a variety of factors. Obviously the more you drive, the sooner your tyres will need replacement.
Another important decision here is whether the tyre in question needs replacement or repairing.
Here is how to decide what to do with your tyres:
1. Periodic inspection
Every other fortnight keep an eye on your tyre’s condition. If you are checking your tyre pressures regulalrly, look for cuts, low tread, or any other damage. Tyre inspection is never usually the highlight of one’s day so it is often overlooked. But once it’s a habit, it can be life saving at times.
2. The Tread
A new tyre has anywhere between 6-12mm of tread depth to provide the best grip regardless of the road condition. However, during the course of use, the tyre treads become shallow because of wear and tear. Worn out tyres are vulnerable to slips and skids especially in wet conditions, thus, are a risk.
Every new tyre comes with treadwear indicators which are usually come in contact with the road at 1.6mm of tread left. If the treadwear indicators are visible on your tyres it is best to replace them.
The coin test is a popular test to check a tyre’s tread depth. If the coin can be properly inserted, the condition of the tyre is good. Otherwise, it needs to be replaced.
The test goes like this: if you can stick an 5 cent piece in between the tread with the Queen’s head covered, the tyre is fine. However, if Lincoln’s head is clearly visible, the tyre needs replacement.
3. The shape
Tyres sometime develop bulges over its surface. These are the signs of a potential blow out. Tyre blow outs do occur so if your car’s tyres are showing such signs, don’t drive it unless you show it to a tyre expert and get it fixed if needed.
4. Foreign objects
Many things can get stuck in your tyre. It may be a nail, pointed stone, or a trace of harsh chemical. If you don’t remove them, they may penetrate the surface blowing your tyre. To avoid the situation of flat tyres in middle of a trip, remove any such element before commencing a trip.
Without a doubt, a regular examination of your car’s tyre for discrepancy can save you many dollars. It is much wiser to not to drive a car after finding the tyres to be bulged, damaged or severely worn out than to get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Remember tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the roads. Your whole safety lies on that contact.