How Often Should You Change Your Tires?

Posted on: September 1, 2016
How Often Should You Change Your Tires?

A question that often comes up with car owners is how often they need to get their tires changed. Every expert will give you different answers based on certain criteria. That is because there is no “one” answer to this question, and the answer depends on your situation. Below, we present different metrics for determining when your tires should be changed.

This information pertains to changing your tires once they are worn out and unsafe to use, under the assumption that you are using all-season tires. This does not account for changing tires on a seasonal basis if you use tires that are exclusively built for the summer/winter seasons

Duration

Some experts will tell you that you should change your tires every 5-10 years. In between that duration is when you want to start taking your tires to a qualified professional for annual check-ups. If you have any spare tires for your vehicle, those should also be subject to inspection.

Tread Depth

Your tread wear is usually measured in 1/32ths of an inch. When you receive new tires, they will have anywhere from 9/32 to 11/32 of the original tread material. A good rule to remember is that tires are generally considered unsafe once they reach 2/32. You will have to perform regular measurements and checkups in order to catch this depth before it goes below 4/32. You will want to use a tire gauge to ensure that your measurements are accurate.

Steering Wheel Vibrations

You may feel your steering wheel vibrate as you are driving. This is a possible sign that your tires are worn out unevenly. It is also likely that your tired are unbalanced because they have not been rotated on a regular basis. If the latter issue is fixed and there is still vibration, the tire is damaged and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Tread Patterns

When your tires start to wear out, you will see what are called “tread wear bars.” These are easy to detect on a tire, and they will exist on an even level with the tread of the tire. They will either run across the tire or form between the treads.

Testing

Over the years, people have developed little tests that you can use to tell if a tire is starting to wear out and needs replacement soon. One of the more popular tests is the quarter test. When you place a quarter in the center of the tread (this would be the thickest part of the tire), with the head facing you, in a new tire the quarter will easily fit and you should be unable to see the hair on the top of the head. When the hair is partially visible, you should think about replacing the tires soon. If you can see the very top of the head, the tires need to be replaced right away. In the last scenario, you will not be able to put the quarter in the tread as easily.

Mileage

The general rule of thumb is that tires can last anywhere between 25,000 to 50,000 miles before they need to be replaced. You will want to refer to the owner’s manual for specific recommendations that come with your car. It is better to be safe and sorry when it comes to tire replacement.

Even if you perform one or all of these tests, you should still perform regular checks on your tires to ensure that you are taking proper care of them. By doing so, you will expand the lifespan of your tires and you will not have to change them so often.

If you are still unsure about the longevity of your tires, Action Gator Tire will be able to provide you with the information and expertise that you are looking for. You will know the warning signs and an estimated timeframe for when your tires need to be replaced. You are better off replacing all four tires at once, including your spares, and sticking with the same brand and model for all tires.