Every motorist knows that car tyres need to be replaced once they’re worn down. But are there other reasons as to why you should consider tyre replacement? And how often should you change your tyres? Here’s a quick guide to make sure you stay safe on the road.
Most people don’t realise that car tyres have a finite lifespan. Manufacturers all agree that tyres will need replacing every eight to ten years, regardless of the amount of tread pattern they still have on the surface. This is because the rubber starts to degrade and even if they look like they’re in reasonable condition, there could be cracking that you can’t see on the surface that could result in a blow-out. If your vehicle has been off the road for any length of time then it’s worth considering new tyres to make sure you’re safe.
If a puncture happens on the tread pattern part of the tyre then it’s relatively straightforward for a tyre repair centre to fix it for you. However, if the puncture is close to the edge of the tyre, or on the sidewall then it may not be repairable and you’ll need to replace the tyre. If a tyre has been cut rather than simply punctured (for example by hitting a kerbstone) then you will definitely need to replace it, as splits or cuts cannot be repaired.
In 2012, the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (Esma) introduced a set of regulations governing the condition of tyres, including a tyre’s ability to cope with the higher road temperatures in the UAE (up to 50°C compared to the usual 30°C in other countries), and a minimum tread wears depth. The treadwear limit for a car is 1.6mm and for larger vehicles such as vans up to 2.4mm.
If you’re not sure whether you need to replace your tyres because they’re below the limit, look on the tread pattern and you’ll see horizontal bars that are recessed below the normal pattern. These tread wear indicators are set at the minimum wear level. If your tread is level with these bars then you’re very close to the legal limit. Even if it’s slightly above that limit bar then you may find that in some conditions you don’t have the same level of grip or stability and you may need to adjust your driving style accordingly, especially on wet roads.
Cracking, especially on the sidewall of a tyre, is a red flag when it comes to tyre replacement. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an older tyre either – extremes of temperature can cause the rubber to deteriorate faster. Buying cheap tyres that have been incorrectly stored could also result in the rubber deteriorating much sooner (tyres should never be stored stacked on top of one another).
Any damage to a tyre weakens its integrity, as does driving with underinflated tyres for any length of time.
Every week, you should be checking your vehicle over thoroughly, and that includes your tyres. If you’re not sure whether your tyres need replacing, the best course of action is to get in touch with your nearest Al-Futtaim Fastfit Our tyre experts will be happy to carry out an inspection for you, and let you know if your tyres are safe, or if it’s time to fit new tyres. They’ll be able to recommend the best tyre brand for your vehicle, and answer any questions you have on tyre maintenance. Contact us today for more information.