There are many things that factor into the decision to replace your tyres. A flat tyre or tyre that is visibly damaged are obvious reasons. But what are the more common factors? The lifespan of a tyre depends on a combination of influences including, the driver’s driving habits, climate, road conditions, tyre design, and tyre maintenance. The big three things to consider:
- Tread Wear – Proper tread depth is essential to prevent hydroplaning and skidding. The minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm. All General Tires are designed with a tyre wear indicator located at the base of the groove that provides a visual indication of whether the tread is worn to 1.6mm. When the top of the indicator becomes flush with the rest of the tyre’s tread, the tyre is worn to 1.6mm, and thus needs to replace it as soon as possible. Additionally, some General Tires are equipped with a Replacement Tire Monitor which indicates when the tire’s tread has worn. The words “replace tire” will appear on the tyre to alert you that your tyre needs to be replaced. If your tyres don’t include the Replacement Tire Monitor, you can use a 20p piece to check tread depth.
Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to properly grip the road in adverse conditions. Visually check tyres for uneven wear, looking for high and low areas or unusually smooth areas and any signs of damage. You should also check sidewalls for gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.
- Climate – The heat of summer and cold of winter can wreak havoc on your tyres. Too much exposure to direct sunlight, UV rays, and/or heat, can cause cracking in your tyres. If the vehicle is parked outside in the elements, and is not used frequently, this can accelerate the process. Extreme cold can also factor into tyre wear.
- Tyre Age – Tyres are designed and built to provide many thousands of miles of excellent service. For maximum benefit, tyres must be maintained properly to avoid tyre damage and abuse that may result in tyre disablement. The service life of a tyre is a cumulative function of the storage, stowing, rotation and service conditions, which a tyre is subjected to throughout its life (load, speed, inflation pressure, road hazard injury, etc.). Since service conditions vary widely, accurately predicting the service life of any specific tyre in chronological time is not possible.
While there may not be a specific tyre age for removal from service, we would recommend that all tyres (including spare tyres) that were manufactured more than 5 years previous should be removed and be replaced with new tyres, even when tyres appear to be usable from their external appearance and if the tread depth may have not reached the minimum wear out depth.
We recommend that you regularly inspect your tyres, call in for a free tyre safety check if you are unsure.