Tyres like every other thing in life get weak and require a change because your car takes a beating every time you drive. This isn’t a sign of bad driving most of the time, but rather an inevitable fact of life.
Tyres get old and worn down and because a tyre failure while you’re driving can be catastrophic, causing your car to go out of control or leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere without any easy way to get home.
As such, it is important to know when your tyres are in bad shape so you can get new ones before something goes wrong. If you have a mechanic look at your car periodically, he or she will probably tell if they need to be changed.
Here are five of the warning signs that indicate you need new tyres.
Reduced Tread depth
One of the foremost indicators that your tyre is now ready to be dumped is when it loses its tread depth. Maintaining the recommended tread depth on your tyre is important because loss of tread depth reduces grip and traction on the roads, and eventually compromises safety while driving.
Keeping a tab on the tread wear indicator which is built into the tyre is a good way to measure the tread depth. These tread wear bars are generally invisible, but can be seen when the tyre has worn down beyond the recommended tread depth.
You can also measure your tyre tread depth by conducting the ‘20p Tyre Tread Depth’ test. When the tread depth is less than 1/16th of an inch, these indicators show up.
When the tread wear bars are visible in two or three different areas on the tyre, especially less than 120 degrees apart on the circumference, it suggests that your tyres need an immediate replacement.
Cracks on the Sidewall
No matter how expensive your tyre is, the day you notice those damaging cracks on the sidewall, you should start thinking of purchasing new tyres.
Cracks on the sidewall occur because over time the oils and chemicals in the rubber compound that keeps the tyre intact, gradually evaporate or break down due to over exposure to UV rays of the sun. With time, the rubber loses its tightness and cracks begin to appear.
Cracks on the sidewall indicate that the tread is now drying out and giving way. Driving with cracks on the sidewall could also result in the tread separating mid way or it might result in a possible blowout while on the move.
Blisters and Slits
One sign that your tyre is at the end of its life is when you discover slits, bulges, blisters or even holes on the tyre surface. Slits are dangerous because let the air in the tyre escape, causing the tyre to deflate naturally.
Even if you cannot detect the leaks yourself, but you feel that the tyre is losing air, have a professional have a look at it.
When you notice too much vibration in your tyres while driving, it most likely indicates an alignment and/or balancing issue. Excessive tyre vibration can impair driver judgement significantly and cause accidents.
If vibration is left unattended to over a long period, tyres sustain excessive and uneven wear resulting in premature removal. While vibration does not indicate a need to change them, it is best you investigate the source and resolve the matter.
Ideally, a tyre begins to show signs of serious wear and surface damage after five years. It’s chemical structure begins to deteriorate during this time, which affects the performance of the tyre.
Always check the manufacturing date of tyres when you buy. This date is usually a four digit number written on the sidewall. The first two numbers indicate the week when the tyre was manufactured, while the remaining two digits indicate the year of manufacture.
Checking for these cautionary signs regularly could save you investing extra time and effort in repair, and most importantly could stop a serious accident from occurring.