Tires serve a vital role to your personal safety and your vehicle’s performance. Since tires are the only component making contact with the ground, they are prone to endless damaging situations. Driving on worn tires increases risk for poor input response. Handling, steering and braking are all directly tied to the quality of your tires. Poor tire performance equates to poor vehicular performance and a higher risk of losing control. In order to preserve your safety and the safety of others, paying close attention to your tires’ age and tread are promising indicators on whether or not you should get new tires.
Checking your tires’ expiration date is the first way to gauge your tires’ lifespan. Tires are typically expected to last six years. It is also common for tires to last longer than that, but tires should not be driven on for more than a maximum of 10 years. Rubber weathers away simply due to the environment around your vehicle. Regardless of your vehicle’s quality, tires can age and require replacements in a much shorter period of time. Printed on your tires’ sidewalls is a 16-digit tire identification number. The last four digits represent the tire’s age by detailing the week and year of its manufacture (for example, “1219” would signify the 12th week of 2019).
Inspecting your tire tread is the second option for determining the quality of your tires. When tire tread reaches 2/32 of an inch, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends replacing the tire. Furthermore, many tires have tread wear indicators which become visible when the tread wears down. They will create a noise while driving to prompt you to check your tires.
Uneven tread wear is another sign for tire replacement. If you notice tire tread indicators are visible in some spots but not in others, your tires have unevenly worn down and require replacement. Tires can unevenly wear down due to improper inflation and failing to ensure your vehicle’s alignment and suspension are in order. If you experience problems with handling and/or excessive vibration, consider checking your tire tread.
Lastly, if you can observe physical damage to any of your tires, such as punctures, bulges, blisters, cuts and/or cracking, a replacement is most certainly necessary. Consider making a habit of regularly scanning your tires for visible damage.
A tire’s age and tread thickness are two easy ways to determine when to replace your tires. Checking the expiration date of your tires by acknowledging the manufacture date will give an indication of your tire’s expected lifespan. Closely monitor the tire tread for proper thickness while also looking for tread wear indicators. Excessive vibration and difficulty handling your vehicle are other signs to replace your tires. Indicating problems with your tires could save your life and the lives of drivers around you. Be safe and replace your tires.