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How To Tell If You Need New Tyres

Posted in Bigbox Service Tips

How To Tell If You Need New Tyres

As a car owner, ensuring the safety and performance of your vehicle is paramount. One crucial aspect of car maintenance often overlooked is the condition of your tyres. After all, they're the only contact point between your vehicle and the road. Therefore, you should never drive with worn-out tyres as this is very dangerous. Knowing when it's time to replace your tyres can prevent accidents, improve fuel efficiency, and save you money in the long run. So, how do you tell if you need new tyres? Let's delve into some key signs to look out for.

Tread Depth 

The tread on your tyres plays a vital role in maintaining traction and grip on the road surface. Your tyres’ depth should never fall below 1.5mm. Over time, the tread wears down, reducing its effectiveness, especially in wet or slippery conditions.

One common method to check tread depth is by using the 10-cent coin test. Insert a 10-cent coin into the tread and if the outside band on the coin is still obscured by the groove of tyre tread, then it’s still legal. You can also do the same trick with a 20-cent coin and if the platypus’ bill is obscured, then the tyre tread is deeper than 3mm.

A more accurate way to check your tyre tread is a tyre tread depth gauge. This gauge measures the tread depth by putting one end of the gauge on the tyre to be checked and then sliding the measuring bar into the tread groove until it hits the bottom. Nowadays many new tyres have tread wear indicators inbuilt into the rubber itself. This means when the tyre is new the bar/indicator is barely visible and as the tyres wear down, the bars become more visible. You’ll know it’s time to replace the tyre when more than one or two of these bars are visible. They can be found running perpendicular to the tread direction.

Leaks and Weak Spots

Regularly inspect your tyres for any signs of leaks or weak spots. A leaking tyre can indicate damage to the sidewall, valve stem, or even a puncture. Weak spots, bulges, or bubbles in the tyre sidewall are often a sign of internal damage, which compromises the structural integrity of the tyre. If you notice any of these issues, it's crucial to address them promptly by either repairing or replacing the tyre to avoid blowouts or sudden flats while driving. 

Damage Around Tyre

Examine the entire circumference of your tyres for any visible signs of damage, such as cuts, cracks, or gouges. These could be the result of hitting potholes, curbs, or debris on the road. Even minor damage can weaken the tyre and increase the risk of a blowout, especially at high speeds. If you spot any significant damage, it's best to err on the side of caution and replace the tyre to ensure your safety on the road.

Uneven Wear Patterns

Uneven wear on your tyres can indicate issues with alignment, suspension, or tyre rotation. Inspect the tread surface for any irregular patterns or bald spots. Overinflated or underinflated tyres, misaligned wheels, or worn suspension components can cause uneven wear, leading to reduced traction and handling. Addressing these issues promptly not only extends the life of your tyres but also improves overall driving performance and safety.

Age of the Tyres

Even if your tyres appear to be in good condition, it's essential to consider their age. Rubber deteriorates over time, regardless of mileage or usage. Most tyre manufacturers recommend replacing tyres every 6 to 10 years, depending on factors such as climate, storage conditions, and usage patterns. Check the sidewall of your tyres for the DOT (Department of Transportation) code, which indicates the week and year of manufacture. If your tyres are approaching or exceeding the recommended age limit, it's wise to replace them, even if they seem to be in decent condition.

In Conclusion,

Being proactive about monitoring the condition of your tyres is crucial for your safety and the performance of your vehicle. By keeping an eye out for signs such as tread depth, leaks, damage, uneven wear, and age, you can determine when it's time to replace your tyres. If your car is serviced regularly and in accordance with your manufacturer's service schedule, then your mechanic will tell you when it’s time for a new set. However, if it’s been a while since your last service or you’ve been doing some long-distance travels, even perhaps on rougher roads, then it’s best to have them seen by a professional. BigBox Service & Tyres have a team of experienced technicians who can ensure you’re always driving on safe tyres.

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​​The next time you need to have your vehicle serviced, visit BigBoxCars Service & Tyres and put your mind at ease whilst our professional technicians take the time to ensure your tyres are well-cared for, and that you’ll be traveling smoothly and safely.

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