How Often to Change Car Tyres

How Often Should You Change Your Car Tyres?

Your car tyres are the hardest-working part of your vehicle. They’re the only part of your car that is in contact with the road and, between them, bear its entire weight, along with that of the passengers and anything you might have in your boot.

Road surfaces are not particularly friendly places for rubber compounds. While you might be driving over some newly-laid tarmac on a motorway, the friction caused means that with every rotation, your tyres are slowly eroding. This is much more obvious in cars that do a significant amount of distance each year. However, even motorists that only use their cars as a runabout aren’t immune to the effects of wear and tear.

Even if you only clock up a few thousand kilometres each year, the rubber compounds that make up your car tyre will start to degrade naturally. This can be accelerated by exposure to the elements, and external factors such as UV rays and rain will have an adverse effect on your tyres’ compounds. Even storing your car in a garage won’t ultimately fend off the need to replace tyres that are past their sell-by date. While there’s no legal limit as to how old a set of tyres can be, there are strict rules surrounding their condition.

If you’re at all unsure as to how often you should change car tyres, we’ve put together a quick guide for you.

The rules

The law requires that the legal limit for the depth of the tread on a car tyre is 1.6mm. If yours are any less than that, then you’re not only risking your safety and that of any passengers, but you are also driving illegally. Even if your tyres aren’t quite at the legal limit, you should adapt your driving to compensate for the reduced traction and compromised breaking distance.

In addition, your car will become much less fuel-efficient as a result of having to counteract poorer purchases on the road surface. Ideally, you should replace tyres when the depth of the tread falls below 3mm and before it becomes less than 2mm.

If you suspect that your tyres are approaching the end of their lifespan, the best way to check is using a tyre-tread gauge. This is the easiest and most accurate way to decide when to change car tyres, other than going to an auto repair centre.

However, it’s not just about the depth of the tread. There are other reasons that will determine when you’ll need to replace tyres.

Punctures

It might sound obvious, but slow punctures can be deceptive and leave you driving on tyres that aren’t up to the job. Keep an eye on your tyre pressure and, if it starts to decrease quicker than it should, then it might be time to replace the tyre. While some punctures can be repaired, those tyres will always be more at risk of further damage than ones that haven’t been damaged or punctured.

Age

While a lot is dependent on mileage, road conditions, weather and speed, in theory, a set of tyres should last between 20,000 and 30,000km. However, even if your annual usage is only a fraction of that, the age of your tyres can also impact their performance.

If you want to find out how old your tyres are, you’ll find four numbers on the sidewall of each one. The first two show the week of manufacture and the last two show the year of release. For example, 3215 would show that the tyre was made in Week 32 (July), in 2015.

Tyres that are five years old or more are more than likely to need replacing. And if you see any obvious signs of age-related deterioration such as cracking then replace your tyres regardless of the date stamp.

What size?

Tyres come in different sizes. You can tell quickly what size tyres your car uses by looking on the sidewall. There you’ll see a series of numbers separated by backslashes and with two letters. So for example, you may see 205/55/R16/91V. In order, those numbers represent the width in millimetres, the profile or height (again, in millimetres), the rim size of the wheel (for this example, 16”) and the speed rating, which indicates the maximum speed of the tyres at full load. To find out more, take a look at our informative tyres page.

Replace car tyres, quickly and conveniently

Car tyre replacement can be a hassle – particularly if you’ve suffered a puncture. Driving on a space-saver spare tyre can be stressful and, in some cases, dangerous. Once you’ve decided to replace car tyres that are on their way out, book an appointment with Al-Futtaim Fastfit. Even if you’re not sure if you need new tyres or just need to find out if your current ones are safe to use, book online and we’ll give your tyres a free tyre check for your peace of mind. We’ll also fix any small punctures for free.

Order your replacement tyres online and we can send out our mobile van, complete with a trained technician, to fit them at a time and in a location that’s convenient for you. here ...