Stop! Do you know what condition your tyres are in? If you are one of those conscientious drivers who check over the condition of their car and tyres once or twice a month, you are probably aware of the condition of your tyres and have an idea of how soon they will need to be replaced. If not, this article is for you!
Read on and then go check your tyres for any of these five warning signs that your tyres need to be replaced soon!
Cracks or Damage to the Sidewall
Any signs of damage to your tyres can be your only hint that something catastrophic is going on inside the tyre. Modern tyres are beautifully engineered and punctures and serious damage can show up in – initially at least – very subtle ways that can be easy to shrug off if you don’t know what they might mean. Look for even the smallest cracks, dents or dimples in your tyres, and bear in mind that punctures can look like a small black mark on the tyre – and your tyre inflation might not be affected until you have driven for a few miles in the case of slow punctures, leaving you stranded, no matter whether you are in tranquil Glenrothes, bustling London or multicultural Luton. If you are used to seeing your tyres in good condition, thanks to those above-mentioned regular checks, you will quickly spot anything that seems untoward.
Your tread depth must legally always be above 1.6mm over the middle three-quarters of the contact area of your tyre, but many professionals advise that 3mm tread over the whole of your tyre is a much safer option. Frequently check your tread depth – especially if you are going to be doing a lot of travelling, such as from London to Glenrothes through Luton, for example – to make sure that you are always legally compliant, and able to book your replacement tyres as soon as you near that 3mm recommended limit. For instance if you’re in Fife you can buy tyres in Glenrothes from Fife Autocentre.
Constant Slow Leaks and Punctures
If your tyres are suddenly prone to dramatic punctures or slowly ooze air pressure overnight, this can be a sign that your tyres are becoming too weak for regular use, and that they need to be replaced as soon as you can arrange them. Slow punctures can occur when tiny weaknesses form in the rubber, allowing air to leak out through minute fissures or holes – too small to see with the naked eye, and so tiny that it can take hours or even days for the effect to become noticeable. But any leakage is potentially harmful and can lead to worse damage occurring, should the small weakness suddenly give way, for example. If your tyres lose air without any known cause (such as a hard bump or driving over rough terrain or sharp stones) it may be time to get your tyre integrity checked out.
Unusual Noise or Vibration
All tyres make a certain amount of noise and feedback a certain level of vibration via the steering wheel – but if your tyres suddenly become noisier or the vibration changes in any way, this can be a sign that something has come awry within the wheel housing or somewhere in the steering system. Often the cause of unexpected noise or vibrations is issues within the wheel or tyre: misalignments, early signs of damage or perhaps even changes to the condition of the tyre, such as those caused by age.
How Old Are They?
Which brings us to the final warning sign that your tyres might need to be replaced – how old are they? While the very oldest tyres that have been recorded as being in use were around ten years old, it is important to note that these tyres were an outlier, and they were kept in perfect condition, lying on their sides in a garage when not in use on the vehicle, which was itself kept in pristine condition and very seldom driven. For regular commuters, having your tyres last five years is excellent. So if your tyres are four or more years old and beginning to make strange noises, show signs of wear and tear, or otherwise concern you, you should take steps to replace them as soon as you can.
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