All things wear out. It’s a natural procedure after all. Your tires couldn’t be the exception. Holding your vehicle’s cargo and constantly being in contact with the surface of the road — smooth or graveled — tires wear out in time. So, whether you see signs of wear and tear (you might not able to diagnose this one on your own) or not, sooner or later you’ll need to replace your vehicle’s tires.
We’ve rounded up a few bits of useful information that will help prepare yourself to make the right decision. But first let’s have a look at your options prior to replacement.
Things you can do before replacement time comes
If you’re not sure whether you should replace your vehicle’s tires or not, here are some alternatives:
- Rotation: It’s a common method of switching the front with the back tires so that they’ll be “equally” worn after a certain period of time. This way you extend the lifespan of the whole set. Tip: A possible reason for unequal wear may be misalignment of your vehicle’s wheels.
- Retreading: It’s a technique of restoring the worn surface of tires. Incurred cost is obviously lower, but keep in mind that this method is considered as an obsolete option for passenger car tires and is only suggested for heavy vehicles.
- Patching: A temporary solution when there is a small hole leaking air in one of your vehicle’s tires. If you come up against such a problem, visit a tire repair shop and they will take care of it for you. You can also provide for a puncture repair kit and store it in the trunk of your car, ahead of time. Or you can make sure you have a spare tire available in case of emergency.
If these options are not suitable for your tires’ current condition, you should probably replace them.
How to select your vehicle’s tires
There is a huge variety of tires out there, complete with special features that affect performance such as gripping ability, water drainage, rubber quality etc. We’re not going to dive into details, but we’ll give you an insight of the most important factors you need to consider before your purchase new tires. These factors will affect your tires’ lifespan.
Consult your manufacturer’s manual, in order to find out the specified or recommended tire code for your vehicles tires and select your tires based on size and the cargo you usually carry on your vehicle.
Larger vehicles such as facility trucks, buses and other heavy professional vehicles definitely require special characteristics compared to conventional passenger car tires. In case you own one maybe you should consider tire retreading, which as we mentioned above might be a cost-effective solution — as compared to replacement.
You’ve got two options; winter and all-season tires. If you live in — or frequently travel to areas — where the winter is harsh, you’d better be well prepared. The type of tires you will finally select should be able to handle snow or ice nicely.
If the road surface in the region you usually drive is rough, smooth, graveled or generally unmade, you should inform your tire provider so that they advise you on more hard-wearing solutions.
Your driving behavior, without a doubt, affects your vehicle’s tires’ lifespan. And by behavior, we mean hard braking, sharp turns and other abrupt driving actions. Based on your vehicle’s tire mileage and condition when the time comes for replacement, you may need to opt for more durable ones.
Keep in mind that different tires result in different fuel consumption, as well. Learn more about it on our other blog post, touching on “How to cut your fuel costs”.
Before you decide
As with almost any purchase of goods, before making your final decision you need to consider the following:
Total replacement cost
It’s a good practice to replace the whole set of your tires and the spare tire all at once. Even if this is not a low cost decision, it helps keep their lifespan in check, and you out of harm’s way. Also, make sure the spare tire is the same size — or profile — with the other four, so you won’t have any problems in case you need to use it longer than expected. That, of course, also depends on where the spare tire is stored in your car. In some case, having a full-size spare tire is not possible.
The majority of tire stores provide you with standard warranties. Most commonly you get a mileage warranty that only covers your vehicle’s tires’ life, as per product description. There are different additional warranties available, such as uniformity warranty, materials warranty, road hazard warranty, etc. Ask your provider for details and make sure you understand the differences before you opt in for any of them.
Where to turn to
A certified provider goes a long way. It’s the safest option regarding the quality of your purchase — and the installation, as well. Keep in mind that tire mounting and tire balancing — both are parts of the same process — might take a while, so schedule a time-slot before your visit to the shop.
In any case, it’s best for you to consult your manufacturer’s manual and ask for advice from your mechanic, answering any questions you might have, prior to making your choice. Remember that, above all, your safety on the road is of paramount importance. The right tires will greatly increase your safety.