An integral part of car maintenance is tire replacement. Sometimes, tires get too old or too worn out to be usable. Neglecting to replace them at the appropriate time poses a significant risk to your safety. Therefore, it’s essential to know when to change your tires. If you want to learn more, here are some basic tips to know when they should be replaced and how often:
Check the Tread Depth
New tires often have 10/32nds of an inch of tread. The tread is there to help the vehicle have proper traction on the road. And as you drive your car, the tread wears down due to friction. The US Department of Transportation has set the average legal minimum tread depth at 2/32nds of an inch. However, driving with this kind of tread is often unsafe.
There are a few ways for you to inspect your tread depth. Modern tires often come with tread wear indicators. You may also use tire tread gauges to help you get an exact measurement. Lastly, you may do the quarter test, where you stick a quarter upside down between the treads. If the top of Washington’s head is visible, you may need to replace your tires.
Determine the Age by Reading the Sidewall
Even if the tires have enough tread, they may still need to be replaced due to their age. As time goes by, the rubber compound deteriorates, compromising its durability. Tires often have a life span of three to six years, depending on usage. If you’re unsure how old your current tires are, you should still be able to figure it out by reading the sidewall.
You’ll find that the tire sidewall has a series of numbers printed on them. And every tire sold in America must contain the US Department of Transportation serial number. Check the last four numbers in that code. The first two digits represent the week of manufacturing, while the last two are the year. For example, if it has “1023″, that means the tire was made on the 10th week of 2023.
Inspect the Tire for Any Damage
Any visible damage on your tires can compromise your safety on the road. In most cases, they often show on the sidewall. If you see any cracks, cups, or bulges, you may need to have them replaced. Punctures, on the other hand, can still be repaired. However, if they’re larger than a quarter-inch in diameter, replacement is the only solution.
How Often Should You Replace Tires?
Most experts recommend replacing your tires at least every six years, or whenever you reach 50,000 miles on them. However, there’s no accurate answer on when you should replace tires. If you want to be sure, contact a reliable tire company like Graham Tire. Call us to learn more.