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Expert's Guide: When should you replace your car tyres?

By Himanshu Walia | Published: 28 Dec' 21 | Updated: 21 Jan' 22


When Should Replace Tyres

It's impossible to say how long a tyre will endure. A tyre’s lifespan and mileage are determined by a number of factors, including its architecture, the driver's behavior, the environment, the road conditions, and the amount of care given to the tyres.

So how would you figure out that when to change car tyres?

Your car tyres must be carefully examined by a specialist at least once a year after five years or more of use.

 

I recommend that you change them with new tyres as a preventive measure if you did not replace them in ten years since the manufacturing date. Do it even if the tyres have not worn down to the tread wear indicator and look to be in good shape. This also goes for spare tyres.

 

You may extend the life of the tyres by paying attention to their air pressure, tread degradation, balancing, and alignment. Here are certain other things that you should consider for your tyre’s longevity.

When Should Replace Tyres

Flat tyres

Nail holes or cuts up to 6mm account for the maximum number of punctures and can be repaired by a tyre technician using industry-approved processes. Because the inside of a tyre must be inspected after a puncture, an on-the-wheel plug-only repair is not reliable and risky.

 

A rubber covering on the inner wall of the tyre as well as a rubber plugging of the hole is required for the proper repair of a radial tyre (most tyres).

 

Repairing tyres with surface punctures bigger than 6mm or any sidewall puncture is not recommended. Also, do not have tyres fixed if the tread depth is less than 2/32.

 

Get your spare tyre replaced– but before that, check the sidewall of the spare tyre to ensure that it has the appropriate air pressure, speed, and mileage restrictions. Take the car to a tyre expert for a thorough examination.

When Should Replace Tyres

Soft tyres

When a tyre is underinflated, the tread life is reduced due to an increase in treadwear on the outside edges (or shoulders) of the tyre. It generates an excessive amount of heat, which affects the durability of the tyre and might eventually result in tyre failure. As a result of greater rolling resistance, fuel economy is reduced.

 

Fill your tyre with air until it achieves air pressure for your vehicle (psi: as measured by an air pressure gauge).

 

Check your car's owner's manual or look for the suggested psi on the sticker on the inside of your door to determine the right air pressure.

When Should Replace Tyres

Wear on both edges

The tyres can wear on the sides due to under-inflation. This shortens the tread life of the tyre by increasing tread wear on the outside edges (or shoulders) of the tyre and generates excessive heat, which shortens the durability of the tyre and can lead to tyre failure if not addressed.

 

It also has the additional effect of decreasing fuel economy due to higher rolling resistance.

 

Add air to your tyres until they reach the required air pressure till the problem is solved (psi: as measured by an air pressure gauge). Consult your vehicle's owner's manual or look for the suggested psi on the sticker on the inside of your door to determine the right air pressure.

When Should Replace Tyres

Wear in the centre

This occurs as a result of excessive inflation. Because the middle of the tread handles the majority of the load, it wears out more quickly than the outside edges. To avoid this, always inspect your tyres when they're cold, before you drive them, or at least three hours after you've driven them.

 

To correct this, remove air from your tyres with a tyre-pressure gauge until your air pressure reading meets the recommended psi for your car manufacturer. Read the car's instruction manual or look for the suggested psi on the sticker on the inside of your door to determine the right air pressure.

When Should Replace Tyres

Uneven wear

Uneven tyre wear on the front and rear wheels indicate that you require an alignment. Nowadays, many automobiles are fitted with rear suspensions that may be modified in order to improve alignment. If this is the case, depending on the symptoms you are having, your car may require a "front-end" adjustment or a "four-wheel" alignment.

 

Visit your local tyre dealer to have your tyres inspected. Another possible cause of uneven wear is overinflation, for which I have already discussed the correction steps in the preceding section.

When Should Replace Tyres

Scalloped

This can be because of the poor alignment of the vehicle. The solution is the same as for uneven wear explained above.

When Should Replace Tyres

Sawtooth/ feathered edges

A misaligned car's tread edges will have a sawtooth or feathery appearance if the vehicle is not properly balanced. irregular scraping against the road is what causes this to happen. Your vehicle is most likely in need of a toe-in or toe-out alignment adjustment. Please have your tyres inspected by a qualified specialist.

When Should Replace Tyres

Tyre damage

Nail holes and small cuts up to 1" in diameter that are contained within the tread can be mended by a tyre specialist using industry-approved processes in most cases. In addition to being unreliable, an on-the-wheel plug-only solution is potentially harmful as the inside of the tyre should be inspected for punctures thereafter.

 

An inner liner rubber patch is applied to the inner liner of the tyre, and a rubber filler is used to fill in the hole in a radial tyre (which is the case for the majority of tyres). Tires with tread punctures bigger than 1/4" or any sidewall punctures should not be attempted to be repaired.

 

Additionally, do not have tyres fixed if the tread depth is less than 2/32". To replace your damaged tyre with a spare, examine the sidewall of the spare tyre to ensure that it has the necessary inflation pressure, speed, and distance constraints before using it on the road. Take your vehicle to a tyre professional for a thorough examination.

When Should Replace Tyres

Bar across tread

Tread-wear indication bars are located at 2/32 inch intervals on all tyres "of the tread that is still available When the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch, the tread is considered worn out "Alternatively if the tread-wear indication bars can be seen on any area of the tyre, the tyre is worn out and should be changed immediately.

 

If you take your vehicle to a tyre specialist for a checkup, you can have the professional assess the leftover tread level with a tread-depth gauge to remedy the problem.

 

A difficult ride could be a sign of tyre problems or excessive wear and tear. As soon as you sense vibrations or other disturbances while driving, drop your speed immediately and drive cautiously until you can safely pull off the road and halt, after which you should inspect your tyres.

 

Damaged tyres should be deflated and replaced with a spare tyre as soon as they are discovered. You should take your car to an authorized tyre dealer for an extensive inspection if you do not notice any tyre damage and cannot determine the source of the vibration. And, if the tyres are beyond repair, get them replaced.

 

Based on the accident rates in India, it is better to spend a few extra bucks now rather than finding out the hard way later.

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