When and how to replace your tyres
Posted by: Cal on 22/08/2013
It's important you replace any tyre that's damaged or worn beyond the point of good performance and safety as soon as you notice something is amiss.
Maintaining good tyre safety along with the other parts of your vehicle is essential. However it can be hard to know exactly when your tyres need changing, or which one, or how to go about it!
Here are some tips that may be able to help you learn a little more about when to change your car tyres.
Check your manual
The first point of reference is waiting for you in your vehicle and tyre manuals. In these you might find specific instructions guiding you on the likely period of time your tyres will last for, and their maximum road lifespan. Of course if you tyres have received extra wear and tear or damage before this time, they may not last as long as your manual suggests they might - so remember to frame the advice in your own context.
It's likely your tyres have tread depth indicators on them, which show when a tyre's tread has worn down to a level where it should be replaced. Inspect your tyres to find out, or ask a professional to look for you and replace when necessary.
Note how your car is handling
One major sign that your tyres may be due for a replacement is if you notice your car handling strangely or badly.
If the wheel is tugging at all to either side, this can signal a problem with wheel alignment or the tyres themselves.
You might also notice that your car isn't gripping very well in the rain or on hills. Staying aware of warning signs like these can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
If you've kerbed your tyres one too many times, or have hit an unruly obstacle on the road, your tyre may have to be written off right there and then. Occasionally, small punctures can be repaired by professionals, but most punctured or burst tyres are too damaged to continue. As well as this, if you notice any bulges, blistered areas or such like in your tyres, head to the shops or buy tyres online as you will need to replace them ASAP.
Perhaps you've had a spare set of untouched tyres in your garage for, oh, who knows, eight years? They've got to go. No matter how well you stored them they've been collecting the dust for too long and aren't fit for the road. Anything older than about six years in storage should be given the boot - and speaking of boots, keep an eye on your spare tyre, too!
Choosing a replacement tyre
Maybe you'll need to replace all of your tyres at once, but if you've punctured one tyre and the rest are all in good condition you have to be extra careful to get a suitable tyre - one that works with your vehicle, as well as operates well with your other tyres.
Many people refit the same make of tyre onto their vehicle if one blows, but if there are other 'approved alternative' tyres for your type of car then you can use one of these too. Consult your manual and a tyre professional if unsure.
With all this in mind, you should be able to look out for some of the warning signs that indicate you're due for a new tyre - or set of tyres.