How Do You Know When It’s Time To Change Tires?

 Your tires are a vital piece of your vehicle’s hardware that, quite simply, is what provides the grip between you and the road. This makes it essential to know the signs that your tires are coming to the end of their lifespan and that it’s time to purchase new ones. 

The Three Vital Elements of Tire Health

·      Tread wear

·      Tire age

·      Exposure to the elements

Tread wear

Tire tread needs to be of a certain depth to ensure a good grip in all road conditions. Not only is it against the law to run a car with insufficient tread, but it also causes premature wear on other parts of the car.

Tires need to be changed when the tread depth reduces to 2/32”, something that can be checked with a tread depth gauge (or a coin—see below)

Checking the tread on a vehicle’s tires should be part of your on-going maintenance regime.

1.    All tires have “wear bars”. When these become visible it’s time to change your tires.

2.    Apart from using a tread gauge to measure, you can easily do the same with a penny or a quarter. Place the coin into a tire groove (the top of Lincoln’s head should be nearest to the tire). If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head then you need new tires. Tire tread depth should be measured in multiple places on each tire.

Tire age 

The age of the tires should also be taken into consideration. Each manufacturer will have their specific recommendations, but a rule of thumb should be to change tires that are over 10 years of age. Car manufacturers usually recommend this period to be shorter, at around six years (again, individual recommendations may differ slightly)

Exposure to the elements

Extremes of weather (hot, cold, snow, and ice) degrade tire rubber. If you live in an extreme climate then this should be taken into consideration. In addition, if you live in rainy or snowy regions then you’ll need to ensure tires are changed before they come to the end of their tread lifespan, as they’ll need more grip to cope with the extremes of local conditions. 

Other Considerations That Determine When to Change Tires 

·      Car storage and maintenance

·      Noticeable vibrations

·      Bulges and cracks

Car storage and maintenance

Cars that are kept under cover are less exposed to the elements, therefore are likely to have more longevity. Regular rotation can also help with even wear, meaning you get full value for money out of each tire.

Noticeable vibrations

Vibration when driving should never be ignored. It could be caused by inaccurate pressure on one or more tire or perhaps the lug nuts aren’t at their optimal torque. It could also be down to wheel balancing, the centering ring, or another issue. If you notice a vibration that isn’t sorted out by the correct tire pressure then you should seek professional guidance.

Bulges and cracks

Bulges or bubbles on a tire are a significant issue, and therefore shouldn’t be ignored. They’re usually the sign of damage to the inner lining of the tire, either by an impact (hitting a curb or pothole) or, in the case of a new tire, a defect.

Cracks are a natural aspect of a tire’s aging process—they’re often referred to as ozone or weather cracks. Minor surface cracks are often seen, but if they extend deeper into the rubber then this is a significant sign of wear. Cars that aren’t driven regularly are more at risk, as using the vehicle helps maintain the elasticity of the rubber. It’s also important to ensure the correct tire pressures, as too much or too little can also lead to cracking.

Contact Wheels Direct When it’s Time to Change Tires

Wheels Direct is the nation’s premier provider of tires and factory wheels, with their fast, online service being convenient and great value for money. Simply browse their website and order for speedy, next day delivery at outstanding prices.

Visit to discover an unbeatable combination of high-quality tire and wheel products combined with the ultimate in customer service and satisfaction.





Changing your tire size can be confusing at the best of times, especially if you’re on the lookout for a new car or looking to change your tire size on your existing vehicle.