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When to Replace Tires for Your Vehicle

When to Replace Tires for Your Vehicle

Whether you drive a performance coupe, a powerful family SUV, or a hard-working pickup, the tires on the vehicle are essential to its performance and safety. Without the right level of grip, no amount of advanced driver assist technology is going to keep you driving on the straight and narrow.

 

All tires need replacing from time to time, no matter whether you fit high-end brand tires or economy aftermarket ones. But how do you know the time for tire replacement has arrived? Here are five signs which tell you when to replace tires to keep you safely on the road.

 

1) Tread Wear

 

TREAD WEAR

 

A tire's treads are the zig-zagging grooves cut into the rubber, and they're essential for the tire to work properly. Not only do they work to provide the essential grip, but they also channel water away from the road surface so that the tires stay in firm contact. Treads will naturally get shallower over time as the friction of driving wears the rubber away, and once they reach a certain stage, it's time for a replacement.

 

The minimum legal tire tread depth in Canada is 1.6mm, and anything shallower than that means the tire has passed the end of its working life. Professional auto mechanics use special tools to accurately measure tread depth during an inspection, but there's a quick and easy way of checking for yourself,

 

Take a Canadian nickel and slot into the tread with the Queen's head pointing downward. If the top of the crown isn't hidden by the rubber, then the tread is likely below the legal limit, and a replacement is required.

 

2) Uneven Wear

 

UNEVEN WEAR

 

Even when your tires still have the legal tread depth, if parts of them are noticeably more worn than others then handling can be badly affected. This is a particular problem if one tire is in worse condition than the other three.

 

Tire rotation during regular servicing can slow down any uneven wear, but if you spot any in the meantime then it's wise to book an inspection.

 

3) Weathering and Cracking

 

As they're exposed to the elements, tires can expand in the heat, contract in the cold, and become sodden in rainy conditions. All this adds up to weathering over time, and it takes its toll on the fabric of the tire. Hairline cracks can start to appear in the rubber, usually on the sides, and most often close to the edge where the tire is attached to the wheel.

 

If you see any of these cracks, book a tire inspection as soon as possible. Cracking can develop into full splitting, risking a tire blowout with little or no extra warning.

 

4) Bulges and Blisters

 

Even worse, if the surface of the rubber starts to bulge outwards or develops raised blisters, it's a clear sign that there's a weak spot in the tire that needs addressing. A fix may be possible, or a replacement may be needed for safety. Either way, don't ignore these serious warning signs.

 

5) Tire Age

 
TIRE AGE

 

Lastly, most tires should only be used for five to six years, although higher-grade tires can last for up to ten. Every tire has its date of manufacture stamped onto the side, in the form DOT XXXXX 0115, where the last four figures show the week and month the tire was made. It's important not to use tires for longer than they're rated for, even if they look in good condition.

 

Need a tire inspection or replacement? Book an appointment at our service center, and our technicians will ensure your tires are in great condition, working hard to keep you safe on the road.

Categories: Service