How to know when your tyres need replacing

Do you know how to tell when your car is due for a new set of tyres? If not – read on… this information is essential for every car owner!

Did you realise that your tyres are the only part of your car that makes constant contact with the road? You can have all the safety equipment in the world loaded into your car, but if you are driving around with badly worn or low quality tyres… it won’t do you much good!

The performance of your car tyres is critical to the safety, performance and efficiency of your car. Many fatalities in Australia each year are attributed in part to tyre failures (badly worn / poor quality / damaged). Most tyres are designed to provide similar performance throughout their lives. However at some point they start to loose performance in terms of their traction and braking ability.

Here are some tips that will help you to decide if it’s time to start shopping for a new set of tyres and avoid spending more than you need to!

When to replace worn tyres

Tip 1: Understand that the main function of the tread on a tyre is to divert water from beneath the tyre to improve traction and avoid aquaplaning on wet roads.
Tyres become unsafe when they are worn, and require replacing when there is about 2mm of tread remaining. You can measure this using a tread depth measure.

Tip 2: Check the wear markers
Manufactures put wear markers – small blocks of rubber in the tread – that can help you tell when it’s time to change. Don’t wait until the wear markers are even with the tread as this means your car is likely un-roadworthy.

Tip 3: Check for signs of uneven wear
This can result from certain driving styles, towing heavy loads like caravans or trailers, or from poor wheel alignments or bad suspension. Check the entire surface of each tyre – not just the edge!

It’s possible for just one tyre to become badly worn while the others are fine if your wheels are not correctly aligned.

Tip 4: Keep track of how old your tyres are
Any tyres older than 5 years will likely need replacing. Over time the rubber in your tyres can deteriorate and become unsafe.