Everybody knows that tires are essential components of any motor vehicle and yet, they are still one of the most commonly overlooked and neglected aspects of ongoing car maintenance and often taken for granted even by seasoned drivers.
It’s the only part of the car that actually has direct contact with the road and enables it properly accelerate, brake, turn or stop as needed.
They provide a great deal of security, control, stability and reliability to the person behind the wheel.
The quality and condition of the tires significantly affect critical factors such as the safety of the vehicle and its passengers, gas mileage, traction capabilities, the general driving experience and can also alter the car’s overall performance on the road.
Verifying that tires are properly inflated with the correct air pressure, expertly aligned, have adequate tread depth and do not show any visible signs of wear, damage or deterioration, will help ensuring maximum performance and safety.
When Do Tires Need To Be Replaced?
Many car owners struggle with this question and wonder how to know when it’s time to replace their existing tires, way before they encounter stressful road situations and fail.
The longevity of tires depends of a number of key factors, which include: their design, the type of vehicle they are mounted on, individual driving patterns, the local climate, road surface conditions and how well they are routinely cared for during their lifespan.
There are various telltale signs and pre-failure indicators which help reaching the conclusion that the old tires need to be replaced with new ones:
- Tread Wear: Tires become unpredictable and unsafe when their tread is too worn.
The traditional penny test is one way to check if tread depth is below recommended levels.
- Age: The older a tire is, the more likely it is to have potential problems.
Even though some argue that the same set of tires can be used for up to ten years, many automotive industry professionals recommend to replace them at least every 6 years, regardless of use, as a simple precaution.
- Physical Damage: Common indicators include punctures, blowouts, deep cracks or cuts, visible bubbles, bulges and blisters, impacts, etc.
- Performance Issues: When the ride is starting to feel less comfortable, with too much vibration, roughness or unfamiliar noise.
The following list contains the most popular brands in the industry, in alphabetical order:
- GT Radial
Here are a few common examples for item styles and performance profiles that can be found in almost any major tire shopping site on the web: