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Jul 15, 2014

How Often Should You Change Your Tires?

Posted By in Maintenance Tips | No Comments »

Nothing lasts forever. And your tires are no exception! With time and usage, your tires will begin to wear out or develop faults. Eventually, you will need to replace them. Tires that are too old or worn out can be a serious safety hazard. Bald tire treads can lose traction and damaged tires are at risk of a blowout. In either case, this can cause you to lose control of your car and end up in an accident.

Tire Replacement

Here are a few warning signs that your tires are in need of replacement.

Worn out treads

  • The Highway Traffic Act stipulates that you cannot legally drive with less than 1.5 millimetres of tread depth. If your tread reaches less than 1.6mm, or 2/32 inch, you are getting close to the legal limit and it is time to have them replaced.
  • You can measure the depth yourself. If you still have a penny, you can use this to check the depth. Insert the coin with the top of the Queen’s head pointing down. If the top of her crown (or Lincoln’s head, if you have an American penny) is still visible, then the tread depth is too shallow.
  • You can also check if your tires have tread wear bars. Some tires have a little bar of rubber that runs perpendicularly across the grooves of the tires. When this bar becomes flush with the surface of the treads, this means that they have worn down and the grooves are now too shallow.
  • If you do not have tires with tread wear bars or a method of measuring on your own, then you can always have your mechanic measure for you.

Damaged or worn sidewalls

  • If you notice cracks, exposed cords, or irregular bulges in the sides of your tires, they may be structurally damaged and in need of replacement.

Irregular wear

  • Check to see if just one area of your tires is wearing out faster than the rest. Irregular wear can really shorten the lifespan of a tire.
  • Maintaining proper wheel alignment, suspension adjustment and tire inflation can prevent unnecessary and uneven wear on your tires.

Leaks or punctures

  • Some punctures and leaks can be repaired, but if there is serious damage, you do not want to risk a blowout.
  • If your tire is leaking or gets punctured, bring it in to be looked at. If it cannot be repaired, it should be replaced.

Not all tires will wear out at the same speed. Different quality tires, different quality roads, weather conditions and driving styles can all affect the endurance of your tires. However, you can take measures to extend their life cycle.

Regardless of these factors, it is a good idea to get your tires inspected by a professional after 5 years of use. Even if they are in good enough shape to keep using, you should have them examined once a year from that point forward.


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