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Monday, December 4, 2023

How Often Should You Change Your Tires? Safety Facts to Know

Your vehicle’s tires are very important when it comes to road safety. Hence, you ought to replace your tires when required. So, how often should you change your tires? Most tire experts will tell vehicle owners that replacing tires should be done every six years.

However, many factors, namely a flat tire, tire tread, and others determine your tire longevity and also influence how often you should change your tires.

1. How Often Should You Change Your Tires?

You can decide the interval at which you can change your tires by considering the factors below. 

1.1. Check the Tread Depth

How to Check Tire Tread Depth at Home

Treads are grooves on a vehicle’s tires that provide them a grip on the road. This tire tread is necessary for applying the brakes in a vehicle. Hence, good tread depth increases your safety on the road.     

Most new tires have a standard tread depth, and when the tire wear is below this depth, it becomes difficult to steer your car or vehicle. It also increases your braking time. If your tread wears down completely, then it is the appropriate time to replace your tires.

Furthermore, there is a legal tread depth to ensure safety. The ways to find your tire tread depth are given below.

1.1.1. Tread Wear Indicators

How often should you change your tires
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Tread wear indicators can be found within the tread grooves of your tire tread. When you notice that the tread has reached the same position as the indicators, you should get your tires changed.

1.1.2. Tire Tread Gauge

How often should you change your tires
Photo by ginasanders from DepositPhotos

These tools let you measure your tread. Hence, you can know the exact measurement of the tire tread. Furthermore, tire tread gauges are cheap and affordable for a car owner.

1.1.3. The Penny Test

When to Replace Tires: The Penny Test -- Pep Boys

The Penny test is a simple approach to estimating the tire tread depth by using a penny.

  • Take a penny. Flip it upside down.
  • Insert it between the tread ribs of your tire.
  • Then, observe whether President Lincoln’s head sinks into the ribs.
  • If you can view his whole head, then you understand that your tires require replacement. You could use the spare tire too.

Furthermore, the condition of tires depends on tread depth. Hence, pay attention to the tread depth of your car tires.

1.2. Tire Age

How Often Should You Change Your Tires
Photo by Stig Husby on Unsplash/ Copyright 2021

Tires degrade over time and become worn out due to several factors, namely environmental conditions, storage, and maintenance. All these can determine how often you should replace your tires.  

Experts would recommend that you change your tires in six years. They strongly advise against driving on tires older than ten years. But, this is determined by the condition of your tires.

If necessary, it might be required to change your tires even before six or ten years. Change your tires whenever you find it appropriate.

1.3. Tire Rotation 

The Best Way To Properly Rotate Your Tires

Tire rotation is a simple task in which you rotate your tires to different locations on the vehicle. This task may seem exhausting and unnecessary, but it may help you avoid uneven wear on your tires. 

Also, with this method, you can minimize the number of times you change your tires. You can even replace all of them at once. 

When dealing with the wear and tear of the tires, the front tires are more likely to wear out quickly, compared to the rear tires. Hence, it is vital to regularly rotate your tires, ensuring the load is spread evenly across all the tires. 

1.4. Seasonal Changes

How Often Should You Change Your Tires
Photo by Daniel Foster on Unsplash/ Copyright 2020

Tires are tailored for weather conditions. You can switch to winter tires during extreme winters to reduce tire wear. Using the regular tires could lead to premature tire wear. 

The winter tires are built with deeper tread, making them better on snow-covered roads. However, they have more possibilities to wear down on warm pavements in the summer. Hence, change your vehicle’s tires according to the seasons.

1.5. Tire Pressure

How to Check Tire Pressure | Bridgestone

Tire pressure is a vital aspect of tire maintenance. You should regularly check the tire pressure to maintain the correct inflation. Driving a vehicle with an incorrect tire pressure can increase wear and tear, thus reducing the lifespan of your tires.

Monitor the pressure of your vehicle tires regularly to ensure they are of the required level. Underinflation and overinflation will gradually affect the condition of your tires. Ensure that your tires are properly inflated.

Additionally, you can have your tires checked by a professional for punctures and damages that may cause a loss in air pressure. 

1.6. Driving Style

Bad driving habits can harm the tires of the vehicle. You should avoid the habit of locking the wheels when braking or spinning them on acceleration. These driving habits increase tire wear, thus reducing the lifespan of the tires.

1.7. Poor Road Conditions

Driving in bad road conditions can be detrimental to your vehicle’s tires. Incomplete or semi-completed roads with potholes and cracks damage your vehicle’s tires and destroy the tread. 

Continuous bumps can create punctures in your new tires. Hence, there may be a frequent need for tire replacement.

How Often Should You Change Your Tires
Photo by Gabriel Garcia Marengo on Unsplash/ Copyright 2015

1.8. Wheel Alignment Issues

Proper wheel alignment is vital for good performance and tire longevity. Incorrect alignment of the tires can cause tires to wear off unevenly and very quickly. This necessitates constant replacement of the tires.

Wheel Alignment - A proper job!

1.9. High-Speed Driving

How often should you change your tires
Photo by Armands photography from DepositPhotos

Excessive high-speed driving leads to extreme temperatures, which causes tire wear. There are tires meant for high speed. Hence, you should opt for these tires if you are the kind of driver who likes to drive at high speeds. Ordinary tires will wear down as you overspeed constantly.

2. FAQs

1. How frequently should you change tires if you are not driving much?

Typically, all tires, regardless of their usage level, start to deteriorate as time passes. Although you don’t drive much, your tire will start wearing out soon.

Hence, it is essential to change your tires before they completely deteriorate and become a risk to your safety.

2. How long can tires last?

Most tire experts will advise you to get your tires changed in six years. To be on the safer side, you should check your tires as frequently as possible to observe any visible changes.

You should keep in mind that even though they seem alright, tires should not be used for longer than ten years. 

3. Conclusion

Change your tires whenever necessary. Tire experts will tell you that you should wait six years. However, you should do it if your tires show any signs of weakness.

Some vehicle owners refuse to acknowledge that their tires need to be replaced. As a result, they face many driving issues, especially when the road is wet.

So, don’t take any risks. The tires are the ones that retain your car on the road. Their proper maintenance ensures that you can drive safely on the road. A worn-out tire could lead to a terrible road accident. So, make yourself and others safe by taking care of your tires.

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