What signs Tell you to Change the Tires?
You are driving at 120 km / h with passengers on board, whether they are your family or friends, and the rain falls with intensity when the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly. You hit the brake pedal fully, and what happens next may depend on how worn your tires are. If that time comes, it may have been too late to realize you needed new ones.
The condition of the tires is the third most important accident factor on the road, behind only distractions and drowsiness. Tires are the only element of the car that is always in contact with the ground, and as such must be checked frequently. It is useless to have a powerful and stable car at high speeds if the part that must guarantee the grip is not in good condition.
What Damages the Tires?
- Physical Factors : time, potholes, obstacles, curbs, sharp and sharp objects or sudden variations in speed.
- Climatic Factors : extreme temperatures, rain, snow, ice, oil, grease and other chemicals or strong sun exposure.
- Driving Habits : speeding, quick starts, emergency braking and driving on damaged roads.
- Neglecting your Basic Maintenance : inadequate air pressure, not routinely checking for wear or damage, misalignment, refusing to have a professional inspection if a tire has been affected or damaged, failing to balance the rims after installing them, improper storage or the use of reputable sealants.
At this point it is time to check if the tire should be changed. You will have to pay attention to several things:
Tread and Tire Tread:
The main function of the tire tread is to divert water from under the tire to improve traction and prevent aquaplaning on wet roads. Once the tread pattern has dropped to 1.6mm, the tire is no longer safe. In fact, it is illegal in most countries of the world. If the grooves are shallower, it means that the tire should be replaced immediately.
To easily check the gap between the tread and tire tread, there are two options: with a gauge or a coin. The second is the most feasible in most cases. With a 1 euro coin, insert it into the groove. It should cover the whole golden part. Tires do not wear evenly, so it is important to make sure you insert the coin at various points, from the outside to the inside.
Signs of Tire Damage:
Irregular tread wear . Uneven tread wear is a sign that the tire should be checked. It could indicate misalignment of the wheel or inadequate inflation pressure. If wear is extreme or much faster than expected, a workshop should review the suspension and correct it as necessary before replacing the tires.
What causes it? : Incorrect alignment or worn suspension components can dramatically shorten the life of a tire. If wear is more pronounced on the outer or inner edge, the problem may be misaligned wheels. If it is in the central part, it is a sign of excessive pressure. If your tires are worn at the edges, but not at the center, the pressure is too low.
Bumps or bubbles on the side wall . Referred to the surface of the tire facing the outside of the car. A bulge indicates that the inner frame of the tire, the stiffest part, has been damaged and cracked, allowing air pressure to reach the most flexible outer layers of the tire. Any tire with a bulge in the side wall should be replaced, regardless of the tread condition.
Cracks and rot . If you see small cracks in all the wheels, it means that the rubber is breaking. Tires with dry rot can spoil and separate from the steel cord, which can cause damage to the exterior of the car. In some cases, the wheels may start to rot before the tread begins to shrink. Still, it is best to have a professional inspect them.
Tire age : After six years or more in use, the tire should be inspected at least once a year. If these have not been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, manufacturers recommend replacing them with new ones as a precaution. Even if they appear to be in usable condition and have not worn down to the legal tread minimum. This also applies to replacement ones.
To find out the expiry date of a tire, take a look at a four-digit code located on the side wall. The first two numbers represent the week in which they were manufactured, while the next two represent the year. For example, if “12/15” or “1215” is engraved, it means that the tire was created in week 12 of 2015. If you have trouble finding the number, look for the initials “DOT”, followed by other letters and numbers.
The longevity of a tire can be lengthened over time by maintaining the correct air pressure, making regular rotations and maintaining the vehicle correctly, especially when it comes to suspension and brakes. In the owner's manual, on the inside of the doors or behind the fuel tank cap, a table indicating the appropriate pressure for your car tires usually appears.