If you own a vehicle, you already know that your tires need to be replaced. Most vehicle tires need to be replaced every 3 to 6 years.
Unfortunately, getting tires replaced can be expensive. Because of this, some people may choose to keep driving on their tires, long after the tires were supposed to be replaced.
Failing to get your tires replaced, however, can lead to complications.
Driving on worn-out tires
As much as possible, you want to avoid driving on worn-out tires. It puts you at risk for an accident. The more you drive on your tires, the less traction they have.
This loss of traction means you will have trouble handling your vehicle in the rain and snow. Loss of traction means your tires won’t be able to grip the road as well. This could increase your chances of spinning off of an icy road or hydroplaning on a wet road.
Worn out tires can also increase your chances of a blowout. Whether it is because of heat buildup or because your tire is more prone to puncture, a blowout is never a good thing. And if it happens when you’re going down the highway at a high speed, you could get into a fatal car accident.
Finally, worn-out tires are also more likely to lose air pressure. If your tires don’t have enough air, they’re harder to steer and can be dangerous to drive on.
Signs tires need to be replaced
So, what are the signs your tires need to be replaced? In addition to knowing when they were last changed, there are some other signs to look out for.
There are several really obvious physical signs that your tires need to be replaced. One is that they are starting to bald. This means they no longer have as much tread as they once did. Loss of tread over time is normal, but if the tread doesn’t have enough depth to it, it is time for new tires.
Another physical sign is that your tires have visible cracks. This increases your chances of a blowout. Cords showing through the rubber of your tires is also a bad sign.
If your car shakes when you’re driving down roads, even when the roads are completely smooth and flat, that is a sign that there could be a problem with your alignment or an interior problem with the tire. This, too, needs to be addressed. Finally, if your tires have uneven wear or if you’re relying on a spare tire, it is also time to have your tires replaced.
Looking for new tires
When it comes to buying new tires, the first thing you need to know is what type of tires you need. The easiest way to check this is by referring to your owner’s manual or by looking at the numbers on the sidewall of your current tires.
All tires have a code on them. Taking this code to a tire center (or the tire itself) is the best way to ensure that you end up with the right type of tires.
From there, you should look into various options and get an idea of what the price range will be. Ideally, you will purchase a full set of tires instead of replacing only one or two tires. Replacing your tire as a set helps to prevent uneven wear.
Purchasing over the internet
If you don’t need your tires immediately replaced, you might want to do some online shopping. Sometimes, you’ll be able to get tires for a cheaper price online than at a retail store.
You can use a site such as Tirescanner to look for online tire deals and find tires that match your needs. To further cut down on expenses, you can also consider self-installing instead of having a professional replace them.
Replacing your own tires
If you’re not sure whether you should replace your tires or get a professional to do it, you need to consider if you have the right tools to do it. It is completely safe to replace your tires, as long as your wheels don’t need to be balanced or aligned. If your wheels need alignment, it is best to go to a professional.
If they don’t, however, you can change your tires with a few simple tools. This includes a jack and a lug wrench. Some models of vehicles may also require a wheel lock, extension bar, or alignment studs.
If you’ve never changed a tire before or watched someone do it, you’ll want to watch an online tutorial or refer to your owner’s manual. While it isn’t challenging, you do want to make sure it is done properly so that you don’t end up in an accident.
Rotating tires every 5,000 miles
After you put new tires on your vehicle, you might think that is it, until the next time you need to change them. Well, not quite. You should also rotate your tires every 5,000 tires. Rotating your tires helps the tires wear evenly. This can help keep you safe while you’re driving and extend the life of your tires.
Rotating your tires means putting them in a different place on the vehicle. Just like changing your tires, rotating your tires can be done at home. The simplest rotation is simply switching the front and back tires. Another simple rotation is switching the left front tire with the right-back tire, and the right front tire with the left-back tire.
Front-wheel drive vehicles, rear-wheel-drive vehicles, and 4-wheel drive vehicles may need a different rotation schedule for all tires to wear evenly. If you’re not sure what your rotation should look like or how often it should be done, check your owner’s manual or ask a professional.
When it comes to tire maintenance, don’t wait around for a blowout! Not replacing your tires promptly could result in an accident. If you are struggling to pay for tires, try to find deals online or work out a payment plan with a tire dealership.