Why Do Tires Need To Be Replaced
No mechanical part lasts forever, and tires are no exception. And should you ignore basic maintenance like rotation, alignment or air pressure, their expiration date could come quicker than anticipatedâpossibly at an inopportune time in the form of a flat or blowout. Regardless of why a given set of tires may need to be replaced, they eventually willâand failure to do so may expose you to the following risks while driving.
When Should You Replace Your Tires
The most common question people ask is How often should you replace your tires?
Generally, there are two different factors that impact when to replace tires: wear and age.
Tire Wear: All tires eventually begin to experience wear. How the tire wears can be a indication of an issue with your alignment or tire pressure. Tire tread should wear evenly across the whole tire rather than on the inside or outside of the tire. The wear on your tires will happen regardless of how good of a driver you are, although it can be accelerated if you dont take proper care of the tires.
Tire Age:Tire aging occurs when components of the tire, including the rubber, begin to change over time. This can happen due to environmental impacts and storage conditions, as well as the amount of usage the tire sees when being driven, or the tire sitting with no use.
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Of course, unless youre a tire expert, it can be difficult to know exactly when tire wear and age indicate that a tire is no longer safe to drive and needs to be replaced. If youre wondering, How do I know when my tires expire? A better question is How old are my tires and when should I change them? To answer that question, its time to learn how to read your tires!
Every tire has an indication that states when it was made, down to the week and year. This can help you answer the question: how often you should change your tires even if youre not an expert on the subject.
How Often Should Tires Be Changed The Final Verdict
So, how often do you need to change tires? The short answer is after 50,000 miles or 4 to 5 years.
However, keep in mind that there are no strict rules here. Your driving style, car type, tire design, weather, and the terrains you usually drive on can all affect the lifetime of your tires.
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Measuring Tire Tread Depth
The simplest way of measuring tread depth is by using a penny and a quarter, says Gene Petersen, tire program manager for Consumer Reports, a product review site.
Start by inserting the quarter into the tread in the center of the tire with George Washingtons head pointing toward the tire. If the top of his head is even with the tread, the tires are still safe to drive on, but its time to start shopping for new ones, he says. This will give you enough time to choose the best tires for your car and shop for a good price.
If you insert a penny, also head-down, into the center of your tires tread and its even with the top of Abraham Lincolns head, the tires are becoming unsafe. You should replace your tires right away.
Can I Rotate My Tires Instead
Tire rotation is an important component of extending the life of your tires and decreasing wear, but its not a substitute for replacement when the time comes. While driving, your tires will normally develop uneven wear patterns. By rotating the tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, youll extend the life of your tire and save considerable amounts of money.
In most cars, front tires will bear the weight of the engine and the turning force. This causes the tires to wear more quickly than the rear. By moving the rear tires to the front, youll equalize the wear patterns and have a smoother and noise-free ride. Its also important to note that tire manufacturers will require tire rotations to keep the warranty valid.
However, without a floor jack, jack stands and balancing machineâplus the knowledge needed to work themâtire rotation is best left to a professional.
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Do All Four Tires Need To Be The Same Brand
No. But some things are important to do when getting new tires.
- The tire size should be the same. If you have 245/50-18 tires, replace them with the same size.
- Speed rating: Replace your tire with the same speed rating as the other tires. If your tire is a W speed-rated tire approved for speeds up to 168 miles per hour, you should never replace it with a tire of a lower speed rating. Tire construction and handling capabilities need to be the same for proper control of your vehicle.
- Tread type: Its recommended that you dont mix different treads on the same axle. If you have a certain type of Bridgestone tire on the front tires, the replacement tire should be the same. Also, depending on the wear of the other tire, you may need to replace both.
Although its easier to replace all four tires, its okay to replace your tires in pairs. It saves money and still makes the vehicle safer.
Tire Pressure Warning Light
The tire pressure warning light could signal that your tires are either underinflated or overinflated.
Overinflation can be fixed easily, and its usually nothing to worry about. On the other hand, an underinflated tire could possibly be ruptured, causing a flat tire. In that case, you could either fix the tire or change it.
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How Often You Should Buy New Tires For Car
The rule of thumb is to buy new tires for car every 6 years, after every 40,000 miles, or when the tire is damaged beyond repair. The operable age of any tire can be shorter or longer, depending on your driving style, climate, and tire maintenance provided. Regardless, no tire should be used if its 10 years old or more.
Do I Need To Replace My Spare Tire Too
Yes. With a spare, unless youre driving around on it for an extended period of time, age will be the biggest consideration. For cars, the tire is in the trunk area and protected, though it can still become cracked and brittle over time. If you have a pickup, its most likely that your spare tire is under the pickup bed and exposed to the elements. When you purchase new tires, having the technician check the spare for age-related cracks or damage is recommended.
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Which Tires Are Better New Or Used
There are a lot of risks associated with buying used tires. Since you dont know the history of the tires, it can be difficult to know if theyve been previously run under inflated, overloaded or have other unseen internal damage which could lead to an unexpected failure. Used tires might also have uneven wear, which can cause noise, vibration or other problems and may need to be replaced much sooner than new tires. It is best to replace tires with new tires of the same category, size, load capacity and speed rating as recommended by your vehicles manufacturer.
When Do You Need New Tires
Tires unfortunately dont last forever. They wear down, can suffer damage, and can dry rot over time due to exposure to ozone and sunlight.
Signs you need new tires such as sidewall bulges, cracking, and low tread level, need to be checked for on a regular basis.
A visual inspection can usually be all that is required.
When Do You Need New Tires
There are 3 primary reasons you may need new tires tread depth, damage, and age:
Tread DepthWorn tire tread is the main reason to replace your tires. When your tires tread has worn down to the wear bars, your tires must be replaced.Its recommended that you replace your tires before this point however. You can use the penny test to gauge tread depth by comparing the tread block height to the position of Lincolns head. Tire DamageSidewall bulges due to broken belts from potholes and curb strikes are common problems. Uneven wear can also ruin tire tread and require new tires. Gouges, gashes, cuts, and severe tears may cause a tire to be too unsafe for continued use. Tire AgeOld tires can lead to tire failure and a catastrophic blowout. Tires used daily should be replaced after 6 years to avoid failure due cracked rubber caused by dry rot.
Knowing when each of these is present to the point that your tires should be replaced is critically important.
Lets take a closer look.
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Determining The Age Of Your Tires
How often you should replace your tires depends on your driving the more you drive, the faster youll wear down the tread and other factors, such as weather and road conditions. But even if your tires have plenty of tread left, experts recommend that you replace tires that are 6 years old or older, says Petersen.
The Department of Transportation code on a car’s tire shows the week and year it was manufactured.
To see how old your tires are, check the four-digit Department of Transportation code on your tire wall to find out when the tire was manufactured. The first two numbers stand for the week in the year it was made, and the other two are for the year. For example, if your tire has 1109 printed on it, then it was manufactured in the 11th week of 2009.
Finding the date code can be a little tricky. Its usually preceded by the initials DOT. There are other numbers and letters after DOT look for a set of four digits ending with two numbers that are recognizable as a year in the past.
Wear Bars Are The Same Height As Tire Tread
Wear bars are tread wear indicators molded into the tread pattern of your tires. They are found at the bottom of the main grooves of most tires.
These wear indicators are 2/32 tall. When your tires tread has worn down to where it is flush with the wear bars it means that your tires have reached the minimum acceptable tread depth and must be replaced.
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Continental Bike Tire Rotation Direction
If you own a bike, its important to know how to change a tire. This includes knowing which direction the tires should rotate. For Continental bike tires, the rotation direction is counterclockwise.This may seem like a small detail, but its actually very important. The reason for this is that when youre pedaling, your weight is transferred from the back of the bike to the front. This puts more pressure on the rear tire, which can cause it to wear down faster than the front tire.By rotating your tires in the opposite direction, youll even out the wear and tear and extend the life of both tires. So next time you get a flat, be sure to rotate your Continental bike tires in a counterclockwise direction!
How To Tell If You Need New Tires With A Penny Or Quarter
A Washington quarter or a penny are convenient tools for measuring tire wear. By placing Washington or Lincolns head upside down in the deep grooves of your tread pattern you can easily gauge how much tread wear remains.
The penny test is better in my opinion since Washington quarters are harder to find these days and 2/32 and 4/32 align perfection with the top of Lincolns head and the top of his forehead.
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How Often Should You Change Your Tires
A question that often comes up with car owners is how often they need to get their tires changed. Every expert will give you different answers based on certain criteria. That is because there is no “one” answer to this question, and the answer depends on your situation. Below, we present different metrics for determining when your tires should be changed.
This information pertains to changing your tires once they are worn out and unsafe to use, under the assumption that you are using all-season tires. This does not account for changing tires on a seasonal basis if you use tires that are exclusively built for the summer/winter seasons
How To Select New Tires For Replacement
After you have figured out when to change tires, youll find that selecting replacement tires a bit of a process. Youll need to start by assessing your driving habits, the types of terrain and seasons you will be driving in, to determine what you need in a tire. You should also evaluate how well you feel your current tires performed in longevity, handling, ride, noise and any other category you have noticed.
After that, youll be able to match your driving style to the perfect tire type. To help jumpstart your research, here are a handful of the most popular tire categories, seasonal applications, and the features that make them great fits for particular drivers needs.
Before you decide which tire you need, think about what kind of driving you do. If you drive primarily on the highway and city streets, you may need a highway or touring tire. On the other hand, if you typically drive on back roads AND need on-pavement capability, an all-terrain might be your best bet.
If you face severe winter weather during certain points of the year, you will likely need to upgrade to a tire that can handle those conditions.
First pick the category of the tire to fit your driving needs, then decide on the season that best suits the climate you live in.
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Maintaining The Look With Inboard Counterweights
To maintain the aesthetics of certain vehicles with aftermarket wheels, many enthusiasts request that the counterweights be installed on the inboard side of the wheel rather than the outside, so long as precise balance can still be achieved. On wheels void of a lip to accommodate a conventional clip-on counterweight or that have delicate finishes, the aforementioned adhesive counterweights can be employed.
Figure Out Your Tire Budget
After you decide on the style and size of the tires you need, its time to look at the budget. Based on the size, type and application of a tire, you may have already figured out that theres going to be a wide range of pricesâeven among the same manufacturer.
Is there a hard and fast recommendation on how much you should spend? No. But it is important to remember that your tires are your only direct connection to the road. So safety and protection should be at the top of your consideration list. Staying with an established brand is a good idea, and staying with a tire appropriate for your car would be the second consideration. For instance, it wouldnt be advised to put off-road truck tires on your sedan. A tire professional can give you some good advice on model appropriate tires.
Do I Need To Visit The Tire Shop
Maybe you got a used car a few years ago or maybe you recently purchased a new car. No matter the situation, as a car-owner you may be wondering, how often should you replace your tires? When you should replace your tires differs slightly from vehicle to vehicle and driver to driver. However, there are a few standards that should help you determine when to change your tires next.
Check For Tread Depth
The best way to know if its time to buy new tires for your vehicle is to have them inspected by a professional, but there are ways to check them yourself. To meet legal safety standards in the U.S., a tires tread needs to be at least 2/32 deep. If the tires do not meet the 2/32 standard or are approaching not meeting it, you should replace your tires. When replacing tires, its important to select the right tire size for your vehicle. Not sure what size you need? Learn more about determining tire size.
Tires should also be free of sidewall damage and irregular wear for optimal performance and safety. Its also a good idea to learn what types of damage can be repaired vs. replaced so that you can safely extend the life of your tires.
You can evaluate your tires on your own through a visual inspection. Start with the tread the part of the tire that contacts the road surface. Make sure the tire tread is deep enough and worn evenly all the way around without any irregularities. All DOT-regulated tires feature built-in treadwear indicators, commonly called wear bars, that will help you see when the tread is getting low. These indicators can be found in various places throughout the tread and will be even with the tread surface when the tread is worn to two-thirty seconds of an inch. You should also examine each tires sidewall to ensure there is no visible damage.
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Signs You Need To Replace Your Tires
Whether youre a weekend driver or a daily commuter, its important to stay on top of your car maintenance. Unfortunately, one task that often gets overlooked is tire replacement. Depending on your driving habits and the age of your tires, you may need to replace them every few thousand miles or sooner. Here are four signs that its time for new tires.
- Bulges on the tires are evident
If you notice any bulges or bubbles on the sidewalls, you should have your tires checked right away. Bulges can cause a tire to blow out.
- Your tires side walls are cracked
The sidewalls of your tires, like the treads, wear out over time. Weather and improper alignment can cause the sidewalls to deteriorate. When parking, scraping against curbs can also cause damage to the sidewalls.
- Your car shakes when you drive
When your car shakes at both high and low speeds, its most likely due to a problem with your tires. The vibration is caused by slipping metal belts inside. The only solution is to replace it.
- The tire pressure light on your tire comes on
Most newer vehicles have a TPMS that alerts you when your tires are under-inflated. If the light flashes frequently, it may indicate that your tire is worn out.
- The tread wear indicator bars can be seen
- Your car has poor traction