Tire Change: How Often Should You Change Your Tires?
We all know tire changes are important, but how often should you change your tires? Read on to learn how to tell when it is time to change your tires.
How often do you need a tire change? Truthfully, there’s no easy answer.
There are a variety of factors that determine the lifespan of your tires. For instance, proper maintenance, like getting a tire rotation every few months, forestalls the need for a tire replacement.
There are also certain signs to watch out for that let you know it’s time to get new tires. And, in some situations, it’s okay to have only one tire replaced.
You’ll find all of this information detailed in the guide below.
How Long Do New Tires Last?
All tires come with a warranty/expected lifespan designated by the manufacturer. These warranties can be as low as 30,000 miles or as high as 80,000 miles. Under optimum conditions, your new tires should last at least until the end of the warranty.
What Causes Tires to Fail?
Despite the suggested lifespan, though, certain factors can cause your tires to wear down more quickly than they should. Additionally, tire damage/age can also warrant the need for replacement regardless of mileage. Here’s a closer look at the factors that cause tires to fail.
As mentioned, the only way your tires will last until the end of their warranty period is under optimum conditions. One requirement for these conditions is regular maintenance.
Most importantly, you need a tire rotation about every 5,000 miles. This allows all 4 tires to wear down evenly. You also need to make sure you have adequate air pressure in your tires at all times.
Incorrect Tire Pressure
When the air pressure in your tires is too high or too low, it causes them to wear out more quickly. It can also make blowouts and tire damage more likely.
For this reason, you should check your tire pressure once a month and before/after long trips. Temperature changes can affect air pressure, too.
Running over potholes, curbs, or nails can damage your tire. Sometimes, this damage can’t be repaired and the tire will need to be replaced.
Regardless of any of these other factors, your tire will naturally wear down with use. Avoiding road hazards and keeping up with maintenance will only extend the life of your tires for so long. Eventually, the tire tread will be too worn down.
When this happens, the tires don’t grip well enough and you can skid off the road. Also, worn-out tires are easily damaged. They might blow out while you’re driving and cause an accident.
Your new tires will age and eventually expire regardless of how much you use them. After 10 years, they will be most likely be too old to use.
Driving on expired tires is as dangerous as driving on tires that are too worn out. After 6 years, you should have them inspected by a professional.
Also, when you buy a used car, be careful about driving on the tires that come with it. They could be expired. There’s a code you can check on the sidewall that tells you when the tire was manufactured.
Lastly, hot weather can accelerate the wear and aging of your tire. And locations that experience frequent, drastic temperature changes make it hard to keep your tires properly pressurized. This is also likely to increase wear and tear.
Signs That You Need a Tire Change
Now that you know the factors that cause your tires to fail, you need to know how to watch out for them. Here’s what you can do to check for these warning signs.
Measuring Tire Tread
The well-known penny test is the best way to measure your tire tread. Take a penny and insert it into the centermost tread grooves of your tire.
Abe Lincoln’s head should be pointed down toward the tire. If the tread only reaches the top of his head, without covering any of it, the tread is dangerously low. In this case, get your tires replaced.
Do you see bubbles or bulges in the sidewall of your tire? This means that the innermost layer of the tire has failed and the air is escaping into the outer layer. This tire is likely to explode so replace it as soon as possible.
Tire Pressure Warning
Most modern cars alert you via the dashboard when there is low tire pressure. If you see this warning indicator, check the tire pressure. Additionally, you should check tire pressure regularly as previously instructed.
Furthermore, you may notice that one of your tires is continuously low. This probably means that you have a flat. In this case, take your car to a tire shop and have your tires inspected.
Your Flat Tire Cannot Be Patched
Most tire punctures can be patched up. Sometimes, though, the damage is too severe and the tire will need to be replaced. For instance, large gashes in the tread area or punctures in the sidewall cannot be patched.
To find out whether you need tire repair or replacement, have it checked by a tire service professional.
Your Remaining Tires Are Too Old
If your tires are new when one of them goes flat, you should be able to replace only the one flat tire. However, once the tread is worn down to a certain point, this isn’t a good idea. Driving on tires of differing tread depth can cause damage to AWD cars.
This problem can be solved by replacing all four tires at the same time, or sometimes only two. However, you might also be able to get just one new tire if you have the tread shaved down to match the depth of the remaining three.
You’re Driving on the Spare
Spare tires are only to be used in emergencies, and only for long enough to get you to the tire shop. Long-term use of your spare is dangerous. If you’re driving on a spare, get the new tire(s) you need immediately.
Never Procrastinate Getting a Tire Change
It’s dangerous to drive on worn-out or damaged tires. So, contact Huber Chevrolet at (402) 509-5722 today to set up an appointment for our tire replacement service.