Let's face it, tires aren't cheap. Knowing when to replace tires is important for two obvious reasons. First, riding on worn tires is extremely dangerous so replacing tires too late is a bad idea. Second, replacing tires is very expensive. Buying tires too early may be a waste of money.
To state to obvious, if you keep your tires for too long then you run the risk of hydroplaning across wet streets and losing control of your vehicle. Sure, careening across a slick surface sounds like a lot of fun. Seeing the faces of your terrified family in the rear view mirror? not so fun.
Before we get too far, here are a few links to tires that are among the best tires reviewed here:.
Don't run out and buy new tires too quick though. Knowing When to replace tires is important. Read on to learn if it's really time.
Blowouts become more and more likely to occur the longer you ignore your tires. Most of us have taken this risk at some point to save money. The good news is that you're here to find out when to replace tires.
The tread is the part of the tire that will, without a doubt, wear down. You don't want that to happen. The key purpose of tread on tires is to channel water out from underneath the tire. This helps to improve traction with the road and reduce the risk of sliding on the road (again... sounds fun but isn't)
Here's something you may not know: All tires sold in the United States include 'tread wear bars'. These bars slowly make their way to the surface as the tire treads wear down over time. If the bars actually make their way to the same level at the tread, it is time to replace tires.
For those who have owned older cars: It's not enough to slide your hand along the tire tread feeling for steel wires poking out. It seems like just yesterday that I'd only replace my tires an exposed steel belt would draw blood.
So what's enough tire tread? Once the tread depth is measured at 1/16 inches, the tires should be replaced.
THE PENNY TEST
Take a penny and turn it upside down (with Lincoln looking at you) Stick it in the center of the tread. If the top of Lincoln's head (or any space above) is visible, replace tires ASAP.
You can also buy a tread depth indicator or a gauge tool. These are easy to use and are cheap (but not cheaper than a penny), and can be picked up at any auto parts store.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) helps consumers When to replace tires by recommendingthat tires should last at least 6 years - despite how the tires were used. The NHTSA also says that your tires should not exceed 10 years. Let's be real though... I've written enough tire reviews to know that some poorly made tires need to be replaced way too soon. Read the tire reviews. Spending a few more bucks on tires could save you hundreds in the long run.
On top of your tires being stretched countless times while they move your car around, they withstand acid rain, direct sunlight, harsh chemicals, in addition to extreme summer heat and winter chill.
Even though the rubber used for tires is treated with chemicals that help fight aging, surface cracks will appear due to the fact that the tires are constantly subjected to the elements that cause the elasticity to wear.
Every tire has rubber and will experience some form of cracking, but this usually happens later in the tire's life. Exposing your tires to too much heat can speed up this process as well as exhaust fumes and sunlight.
Cars kept outside will constantly be exposed to the sun thus making the tires more likely to crack sooner. Scraping up against the curb when parking can also lead to cracked sidewalls. Tire cleaners can also do damage to your tires when used too much because they remove some of the protective layers on the tire.
Most of the time, using personal judgment is enough to know when to replace tires. In some places, worn tires are legally required to be replaced at a certain point. Tires are considered worn, in many states, when the tread depth is worn down to a mere 1/16 in. The lowest required depth in the UK is 1.6 mm.
If you find yourself too flustered with all of this, you can go to your normal tire place and have them take a look at your tires and offer advise about when to replace tires. They may even do this for free if you are a repeat customer.
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