Imagine you are on a highway in high speed and suddenly you feel a hinge and the car starts malfunctioning or you are on a secluded road on a rainy day and suddenly hear the screeching of your tires. Almost everyone has gone through this situation which reminds us that it is very important to know when to replace tires and other automotive parts of your car.
Not maintaining your car can put you into a very risky situation and the most vital part, which needs maintenance and replacement, is your car tires. Studies have shown that 9% of the crashes are tire related. So don't take your tires leniently and know when they need replacement.
What causes Damage to your Tires?
There are various factors, which can affect the period you need to replace your tires and the amount of damage a tire can take. The following are the factors, which can cause damage to your tires:
1. Physical factors
Always inspect your tires for the physical factors as they are known to cause maximum damage to your tires. They may include:
- Age: it is an important factor as tires can survive for only a limited amount of time. Keep the five-year or ten-year rule in mind to change them at these intervals. Inspect the condition every once in a while.
- Wear and damage: if you use your car for regular trips or long distances on a regular basis then it is likely to wear faster. It can cause damage to your tires and also have a subsequent effect on the other parts of the car.
2. Climate conditions
The current climate or the climate in which the car has been used the most plays an important role in determining the condition of your car. If you live in a city facing extremely low temperatures, then it can potentially damage your tires as driving in snow and ice gives less traction to the tires, which degrades the quality of the car. Extreme high temperatures are also dangerous as the sunlight, and harmful UV rays can cause damage.
3. Road conditions
If the road on your regular route is covered with potholes, curbs, sharp objects, you may need to change your tire sooner as compared to driving on an even road.
4. Mismatched tires
When you use tires of different brands they can slow down your car and also cause it to malfunction. It is always advised to use tires of the same match for an efficient driving and also to prevent wear for a longer period.
When is the Tire Worn Out and How to Inspect It?
- Tread wear indicator: There are tread wear indicators which are molded into the tread grooves around the tires to indicate when the tires need changing. Check these at regular intervals as they indicate when the tire is worn out and is not safe to use them anymore. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.5mm in width. Change the tires before it crosses the safety levels.
- Age: Do not use the same tires for longer than ten. The damage and wear on your tires depend on your driving style and also some distances you regularly drive. Inspect the condition of the tires every once in a while and when the age is more than five years consider a replacement of the tires.
- Inflation pressure: Maintain the correct inflation pressure at all times as if the inflation pressure is low then the tire will wear out fast and can cause heavy damages to the tires. It is recommended to set the inflation pressure when the tire is cold as it increases as the car is driven which can result in the incorrect pressure. The standard or recommended pressure is mentioned in the owner's manual or attached to the driver's door pillar. Check the pressure once in every two weeks.
- Rotate your tires: Not all tires wear out at the same time, they depend on the position they are placed in the car. On a rear wheel drive car, the back tires wear faster, and on the front wheel drive car, the front ones wear out faster. To even out all the wears and have an optimum utilization of all the tires, rotate your tires so that they all can be replaced at the same time. Rotate them at 5000km intervals to balance the wear.
- Vibration in steering wheel: When your tires are worn unevenly then you will feel an unusual vibration in the steering wheel. You need to rebalance the tires in such a situation. If the condition persists, then you need to replace them.
- Dry rot: Inspect your tires for dry rot sticking to the rubber. If you notice the formation of dry rot, then it is an indicator that the rubber is breaking down. You need to repair them of replacing them is there is a high amount of dry rot found as it can do serious damages to the steel belt and the exterior of your car.
You don't need to be a mechanic to analyze the condition of your tires and can do it by the various ways mentioned above. If you have the automotive tool kit, you can try analyzing it yourself. Maintain your car by inspecting it every once in a while for smooth and efficient driving.