The tires are key parts of any car. Indeed, you could easily argue that they are the most important part.
Tires are the only part of the vehicle that comes into contact with the road. That makes them vital to safety and ensures they must be in tip-top condition.
The Importance of Tires
Tires are the things that come between the hard metal of the wheels and road surfaces. They absorb bumps on those surfaces and help with acceleration, steering and breaking.
That is why tire safety requirements are so strict. This is particularly true when it comes to the depth of tread on them and the minimum depth that is currently permitted under US safety regulations is 2/32”.
It must be emphasized at this point that they really should have greater depth of tread than the minimum standard. For instance, if you fit quality Yokohama tires on your car, the tread depth will be far greater than that, whether you go for the summer tires or the more adaptable all season or all terrain ones.
Getting your tires examined by someone who knows what to look for will be the best option if you are unsure about the tread. Even if only one of the tires appears worn or in relatively poor condition compared to the rest it can cause safety or performance issues on the road.
Drivers are encouraged to fit a full set of new tires at the same time. That is because having four tires in identical condition will make handling the car a lot easier than if they are all different ages and in varying states of wear and tear.
Should You Replace Your Tires?
There are several scenarios in which your tires should be replaced:
- They are old
The rubber used for tires has a natural lifespan and will degrade in quality with each journey. If they have been fitted for five or more years, they should be checked and if they are 10 or more years old you should definitely buy replacements.
- They are light in tread
If the tread depth is at the minimum level or below, it is time to buy new tires. Get them checked out or do it yourself using a coin.
- The pressure is too low
- There is visible damage
If the tires are showing visible damage to the sidewalls or cracking then that indicates that they have reached the end of their useful life and need to be replaced immediately.
Not replacing worn or damaged tires is extremely risky. A cracked tire could easily come apart when you are driving, which will put you in danger of losing control of the vehicle.
Equally tires with insufficient tread depth will not grip the roads properly, especially when conditions are wet or icy. That could cause aquaplaning, where your vehicle loses all traction on the roads.
You will be putting your own life and that of any passengers and other drivers at serious risk.
Getting new tires does not have to be particularly costly. Excellent ones from Yokohama and other manufacturers can be bought at reasonable prices.
There will be deals available too, as there are with the cars themselves, but always buy new not secondhand tires. The latter may be uneven or have internal damage that is not visible to the eye.
In conclusion, your tires should be replaced if you have any doubts about their condition. It is not worth the gamble of taking to the roads with tires that are unsafe.