When is Time to Change Your Tires?

By: Darren Faulder

Breaking down in the middle of nowhere only to discover that the cause is a flat Tire is quite possibly one of the most frustrating roadside scenarios. While not a major complication, flat Tires are easily avoided if you replace them when required. How do you know when it’s time to change your Tires? Being aware of the signs that they are running low on tread is a good start.

Is it time to change your Tires? Checklist:

• It is actually a legal requirement to have sufficient Tire tread depth. The minimum in Australia is 1.5 millimetres. If your tread depth is at this level or any less, it is time to immediately change your Tires.
• You don’t need a measuring tape to test the tread - just have a look at the tread pattern. If the tread has worn down to the level of any of the bars running across the Tires they need changing.
• Remember to check various parts of the Tire, as they usually wear down in different areas.
• Tire performance is another sign to look out for. If you find that your car is taking longer to break or is not handling well in wet weather, it may be a sign that you need your Tires replaced.
• Still unsure? Getting your car serviced regularly by a mechanic is a good idea and guarantees you an expert opinion.

The end of a Tire’s life can generally be attributed to normal wear and tear; however, some other factors include sudden or emergency breaking and over or under inflation. Avoiding wearing out your Tires too fast can be as simple as ensuring that they are properly inflated. In most cases, front Tires will wear out before the back Tires. Rotating the front Tires to the rear is another way to give them a longer life.

If the time has come to replace your Tires, there is the option of second-hand Tires, retreads and new Tires. Second-hand Tires are typically not recommended as their history and lifespan are unknown. Retreads are an alternative to replacing a whole Tire, where the Tire base instead receives a new tread layer. This is cheaper than buying new Tires and is suitable for intact Tire bases. There has been much debate, however, that retreads cannot cope at high speeds and have tendencies to separate from the Tire when put under pressure. New Tires offer the most security, but obviously at a higher cost.

Popular and trusted Tire brands operating within Australia include Bridgestone, Goodyear, Dunlop, Michelin, Pirelli, BF Goodrich, Hankook and Falken.

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