If there’s one component of your vehicle that constantly takes a beating every time you drive, it’s no other than your tyres. They’re the only contact you have on the road; and take you to places no matter the season, which means they can easily sustain damage. And because tyre failures can have serious consequences, it’s important that you know when they are in bad shape so you can have them replaced immediately before they cause disasters on the road.
The following are the most common warning signs that indicate it’s time to get new tyres:
The tread is responsible for providing your vehicle traction and grip. Once the tread depth falls below 1.6mm, or the legal minimum limit, it’s a sign that you need to get a replacement as soon as possible. Not only are worn treads unsafe, they are also illegal. One way to know if your tread depth is still sufficient is by checking the wear indicator bars now built into new tyres. When tyres are new, these bars are barely visible, and gradually appear as the tread gets low. It’s also a good idea to rotate your tyres from front to rear to ensure even tread wear.
Cracks, bulges and blisters
Another warning sign that it’s time for a replacement is the appearance of cracks, bulges and blisters on the sidewall. There are various reasons for this, including low tyre pressure, extreme heat or sunlight, or weakening of the tyre’s surface. If these signs show, it’s advisable to have them checked or replaced immediately. The tyre’s structurally integrity has likely been compromised, increasing the chances of sudden blowouts.
While a certain amount of vibration while driving is normal, it can be a cause of concern if it happens even if you’re not driving on bad roads. Excessive vibration could mean that there are suspension issues on the steering wheel; your shock absorbers are starting to go; and that your tyres are misaligned or have some internal problems. Whatever the case, too much vibration is always an indication that it’s time to take your vehicle to your dealer.
Aging and fatigue
Few things in life get better with age, and tyres are apparently not one of them. The older your tyres are, the greater the chance that they will fail. Although 10 years is the maximum service life of tyres, that doesn’t mean you should allow them to stay on the road that long. If your tyres have been in use for 5 years or more, take them for an inspection by a professional mechanic.
It’s difficult to predict how long a tyre can be used as its service life usually depends on a number of factors, such as maintenance, riding style, load, speed, and conditions of use and storage. Regardless, its life almost always comes to an end when the tell-tale signs we’ve listed above begin to show. And as a vehicle owner, it’s essential that you keep an eye on these signs to ensure the optimal performance, efficiency, and safety of your car.