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When To Change Tyres: Based On Age, Look, And Driving Hints

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Knowing when to change tyres can be difficult, especially if you have no record of when the tyres were first installed. Here are telling signs to look for.

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  • When To Change Tyres: Based On Age, Look, And Driving Hints

Tyres that are physically damaged, have exceptionally thin tread, or which cause a drop in your driving performance obviously need replacements. However, it's often to your advantage to change out your tyres before this point. Swapping to a new set before its mandatory can improve your fuel costs, safety, driving comfort, and the lifespan of your car.

So when is the ideal time to change your car tyres? Here are three factors that can help you decide:

Check Your Tread Depth

The legal minimum for tread depth is 1.6 mm. However, many tyre manufacturers recommend that you have your tyres changed with 3 mm of tread. That's because most puddles on a road are deeper than 1.6 mm. Waiting until the absolute limit, especially during winter, will leave you in danger of aquaplaning.

As a bonus, thicker tyre tread provides extra grip on the road while at high speeds or during turns. This improves your safety even on dry roads, but a better grip on the road also improves tyre rotation.

With thin tread, your car needs to work harder to propel itself, but on thicker tyres, optimum rotation is easier to reach and simpler to maintain. In short, swapping to a new set with thicker tread can impact your costs at the petrol station over time.

Pay Attention To Bumps And Vibrations

Older tyres that are growing too thin will impact the overall comfort of your drive. They will be less resistant to changes in terrain, and often lead to a rough, bumpy ride on less refined streets or motorways.

More importantly, they will struggle to absorb kinetic energy, which translates into vibrations that radiate throughout the rest of the car and into the cabin. If you notice a jittery, uneven driving experience, it may be time to change your tyres to a new set.

Monitor Your Tyres' Age

Tyres can endure for up to 10 years, but once you reach the 6-7-year mark, keep a closer eye on their condition. Tyres which experience a great deal of use, such as during long road trips or frequent commutes, may have a shorter lifespan. Additionally, tyres which drive off-road or which are used on poorly maintained roads can wear out faster.

On the flipside, if your vehicle has been left to sit for long periods, this can also damage the tyres. A lack of use will reduce their elasticity, which can lead to cracks or splits when they are used again. That's especially true if they're exposed to direct sunlight or extreme weather changes on a regular basis.

There's no absolute limit to tyre age. If stored in the recommended conditions, a tyre can be considered 'new' when sold up to five years after the date of manufacture. If you're unsure how old your tyres are, look for signs of cracking or splitting. You can also have them evaluated by a professional to determine how much functional lifespan they have left.

Concerned About Your Tyres?

If you're unsure about when to change out your tyres, get in contact with your local Autofusion. Our experts are happy to take a look at your tyres, offer insight based on their condition, help you maintain them, or swap the old tyres out for a new set. You can book an online appointment today to ensure your tyres can function at their best.