Maintaining a car is a big responsibility for its owner; keeping it road-ready and running smoothly is not only important for the safety of yourself and others on the road, but also a legal requirement. Your car’s tyres are easy to forget about, but maybe the most important part of your vehicle to maintain, being the only part that makes contact with the road. Of course, it can be hard to know what to look for, or if your tyres need changing at all. Here are some signs that it may be time to change your car’s tyres.
They Are Over Five Years Old
If your tyres have been in service for at least five years, you could be in line for a tyre replacement. To be clear, five years is not a hard deadline by which your tyres need to be changed – Michelin tyres are recommended to be monitored for up to 10 years, after which they should be replaced as a precaution – but the timeline is a good metric for knowing when to start looking out for more major signs of wear and tear. Rubber is a perishable material, and even your tyres are in pristine condition and barely used after five years they can degrade to the point of dangerousness. UV rays can break down the rubber, and the elements can get to them – leading to our next indicator.
Your Tyres Are Damaged
Any external evidence of damage to your tyres could be an indicator of potential internal damage, or eventual failure on the road. Damage can present on your tyres in a number of ways, but the most common kinds of tyre damage you should be looking out for are sidewall cracks and bulging. Sidewall cracks can be caused by abrasion and debris from the road, and by deformation from the weight of the car, during long periods of being parked. They can also be worsened by the elements, as freeze-thaw weathering expands them. Bulging is most often caused by ‘kerbing’, and indicates breakage of an internal sealing layer.
They are Consistently Under-Inflated
Under-inflated tyres can be a serious issue on the road, as more of their surface area contacts with the road while driving. This can reduce steering control and fuel economy, and also wear the tyres quicker. It is expected that tyres drop in pressure at the start of the winter months, owing to a decrease in atmospheric pressure, but if any of your tyres are regularly coming in under-inflated then there may be leak. More than causing you to inflate more, the leak represents a weakness in your tyres which could cause a blow-out.
You have Driven 25,000 Miles
If you are someone who drives regularly, whether you drive long distances for work or drive for a living, your tyres will naturally wear more than with a casual city or Sunday driver. As such, you will need to be more diligent in checking your tyres for signs of wear. A good rule of thumb is to get your tyres replaced every 25,000 miles, to ensure your continued safe driving and no sudden surprise in the form of a tyre failure in the middle of a long trip.
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