No-one wants the expense or inconvenience of unnecessarily replacing their tyres – but because of the vital role your tyres play in both your safety and your vehicle’s performance, knowing the right time to replace them is extremely important.
While there is no magic number in terms of how long your tyres will last or exact formula for prolonging their lifespan, here are a few tips to ensure you get the best mileage from your tyres to avoid having to replace them prematurely, and also how to know when they do need to be replaced.
Every tyre wears differently
The truth is that every tyre will wear differently depending on a number of factors such as their quality, their position on the car (front or rear), your driving style, the surfaces they are travelling on, how they are treated and the damage they encounter. For example, driving aggressively, constant sharp braking as well as hitting curbs or potholes in the road – will all take their toll on your tyres and their tread.
Buy quality and treat them right
Buying quality tyres and taking good care of them is the first step to ensuring that you get the best mileage from each tyre. This includes keeping them at the optimum inflation for even wear, checking them regularly for damage or embedded objects such as nails – and having them quickly repaired if necessary.
Rotate your tyres
As tyres will wear differently, rotating your tyres can promote more even wear and prolong their life, ensuring you get the most out of each set. It is often recommended that this is done every 5,000km — however it is advisable to always check your vehicle manufacturer’s handbook for what is best for your vehicle. In some cases such as when your front and rear tyres are different sizes, rotating them may not be an option.
Keep a close eye on the tread
In the United Kingdom, the minimum legal requirement for roadworthiness of passenger vehicles is 1.6 mm, however it is recommended you have at least 3mm tread on your tyres. Although sometimes you may need a tyre expert using specialised tools to do an exact measurement of your tyre’s tread, you can use the tread indicators (small rubber blocks at intervals across your tyres), to do regular checks yourself. When the blocks are level with the rest of the tyre, your tyres will need to be replaced.
How old are my tyres and how old is too old?
Your tyre’s age (in weeks and year) can be found on the sidewall. While there is no exact expiry date, tyres older than 5 years should be closely monitored for cracking and other signs of age (in addition to the tread wear check mentioned above). If they haven’t already been, 10 years is widely considered the very latest tyres should be replaced in the interests of their grip on the road and ongoing safety for yourself and other road users!