When should I replace my tires?
We recommend that you regularly have your tires checked by a tire specialist. This allows for defects to be identified at an early stage, which can extend tire lifespan and prevent many dangerous situations.
Here are the five main reasons to have a regular check-up:
Modern car tires feature many types of protection against punctures. If you still get a puncture, however, you must quickly stop and replace the tire. A flat tire should always be removed from the rim and checked for further damage. If the tire can be repaired, this should be done as quickly as possible to prevent further internal damage. It is important to get your tires repaired by certified professionals, as they are responsible for the outcome of the tires after the repairs are made. If your tires have the speed symbols W, Y and (Y), we advise against repair and recommend replacing damaged tires because of the very large forces involved in travelling at high speeds.
Wear down to the legal minimum
While in most states the legal minimum tread depth is 2/32” (1.6 mm), we advise you to replace tires at a depth of at least 4/32” (2 mm). The tread grooves on Vredestein tires have a Tread Wear Indicator (TWI) that show when the tread of the tire is worn down to these indicators, the tire has reached the minimum legal tread depth.
For winter tires, weather considerations mean that the wear limit is set at 15/64” (4 mm). Winter tires with less than 15/64” (4 mm) tread depth in principle cease to be winter tires and are not recommended for driving in wintery conditions. In addition to the TWI, winter tires also have a Winter Wear Indicator (WWI) with a height of 15/64” (4 mm) indicating the limit for winter conditions.
Car tires are composed of various rubber components, each of which is subject to a certain amount of aging. The extent to which a tire ages depends on various factors, such as the number of miles driven per year, the frequency and duration of use (e.g. daily or a few times per year), the speed driven, and the regularity of tire pressure checks. Weather conditions, tire load (i.e. normal load or maximum load) and the way in which the tire is stored when not in use are also factors that affect the aging process.
As a result of all of these different factors, it is impossible to say exactly how many years or how many miles a car tire can be used. The older the tire is, the greater the chance that it will need to be replaced.
For a tire to have as long a lifespan as possible, we recommend that you have it occasionally checked by a tire specialist in addition to carrying out a monthly check yourself. If the minimum tread depth of the tire has not yet been reached after six years, we advise having the tire checked by a tire specialist at least once a year.
Please note: Ensure that extra attention is paid to tires fitted on vehicles such as trailers, caravans, camper vans, boat trailers and horse boxes. As tires in these applications are only used from time to time and are constantly subjected to maximum loads during use, they can age more quickly.
Certain external factors can damage tires, including sharp objects such as nails and screws, as well as curbs and other obstacles. If the outside of the tire is visibly damaged, the tire must be replaced. When in doubt, have a tire specialist assess your tires.
Uneven or irregular wear on your tire can be caused by many different things. The tread of a tire should wear evenly across the width from one shoulder to the other, as well as wear regularly around the circumference of the tire. If the tire wears more on the inside or outside shoulder, this may indicate a problem with the car suspension or that the tracking is misaligned. If the cause is identified and repaired at an early stage, the tire can most likely last longer. If you notice uneven wear across the total circumference of the tread, this can be a sign of worn shock absorbers.
In addition to defects, certain types of cars are very sensitive to uneven wear. Front wheel drive cars are generally more susceptible to uneven wear on the rear axle and rear wheel drive cars on the front axle. To prevent uneven wear around the circumference of the tire tread, we recommend that you regularly (around each 4500–6000 mile mark) switch tires from front to back and vice versa.