The tyres are the most ignored part of the car, but are really important. The tyres are the only contact patch between the car and the road, and everything including acceleration, braking, safety and comfort depends on the condition of the tyres. Here are few warning signs that you tell you when to replace a tyre. Never ignore these signs!
Deeper treads are better
Tyre treads serve the most important role in a tyre. They provide grip and also help clear the water on tyre’s surface during wet conditions. The depth of the treads tells you about the quality of the tyres. By law, the depth should be 1.6 mm, you can measure it by putting a small coin between the tread and then measuring it. There are also tread depth markers on certain tyres which can be used as a visual marker for unsafe tread depths.
The sidewall of tyres goes through a lot of flexing. It provides the primary cushioning to your car. With constant flexing, sidewalls develop cracks on them and are very dangerous. These cracks are the weakest links in a tyre and can break suddenly, causing the tyre lose pressure. This is what a tyre burst is, and tyre bursts kill.
Tyres are made up of many layers of rubber. The air is filled at high pressure inside them. Sometimes, the inner layer of the tyre develop a leak and the air escapes to the outer layer, forming a bulge on the surface. The bulge mostly happens because of the quality of the tyre. The bulged surface has much less layer of rubber than the surrounding area and can burst easily. Replace the tyre as soon as possible if you see a bulge on it.
Age is not good
Even if your tyre looks perfect and new, old age can set in and make the tyres dangerous to use. Older the rubber gets, harder it becomes in nature. Hard rubber has less grip which in turn becomes more dangerous on the road. If you have not used the vehicle for 2-3 years and planning to take it out soon, make sure that you replace the tyres first. Even while going to buy new tyres, always check the DOT code on the sidewall of the tyre. The DOT code will tell you the manufacturing year of a tyre. Never buy a tyre which is older than a 1 year even if it looks new.
Even a single puncture can make your tyre lose its strength and too many of them can be dangerous. If the tyre has more than 15 punctures, the tyre may have too many weak links for potential air loss. Also, if one particular tyre is getting punctured frequently, you should get it changed because the tyre has become weak and can’t handle the roads.
There are many manufacturing defects that can make a tyre potentially weak. Tyre manufacturing is a complicated process and even a single wrong step in the process can make the tyres go weak. Manufacturing defects may show up as uneven wear and tear, tread getting separated from the base and multiple bulges on the tyre. Always inspect a new tyre regularly to see if any of the manufacturing defect sign comes up. You can always claim warranty and get it changed as soon as possible.
Vibrations can be felt when the tyres are not balanced properly, but if you feel strong vibrations even after it goes through proper balance and alignment, you should change the tyres immediately. Older tyres lose their flexing capacity unevenly, which in turn may cause strong vibrations. Such vibrations may also break your suspension and can prove to be very lethal.
If the tyre is losing pressure often, it may have developed slow punctures. Old tyres develop these tiny holes which release air but often are not detectable. Slow punctures make it very difficult for the tyre to maintain pressure and create risks for the occupants. These punctures may also develop into bigger punctures that can quickly lose air pressure. Such tyres should be replaced immediately.