Tyres are a vital part of any vehicle. They form the connection that a car / two-wheeler has with the tarmac surface. However, not many people know about how to look after the health of their tyres. Car and bike lovers go a long way in ensuring that the body surface is clean and avoid scratches, but the tyres are often left unattended. This is not just bad for the life of the tyres but can even be a safety concern.
As a result, it is important to make sure that the tyres are in good shape. However, not many people know the indications that they should check for in order to assess whether it is time for changing the tyres on their vehicle. In this article, we provide 5 parameters that you should consider in order to decide when to change tyres of your car / bike.
1. Worn out tread marks
All tyres on road-going cars and bikes come with treads. Treads are essentially grooves on the tyre surface that help enhance contact between the tyre and the road. Also, the treads are designed to expel water and avoid a film of water forming between the tyre and the road, which can cause aquaplaning and loss of control. Ideally, the tread should be close to 0.5 cm deep before it’s time to change the tyres. Some manufacturers like Bridgestone even provide a tread depth indicator that make it easier for users to know when is the right time for a tyre change.
2. Uneven wear and tear
Tyres can suffer from uneven wear and tear for a wide variety of reasons. These include poor alignment, some loose ends in the wheel well, or constant high speed cornering. Such uneven wear can cause the ride quality to be deteriorated and can even cause the vehicle to be unstable at high speeds. This thus warrants a tyre change as soon as possible.
Owners should thus regularly check how the tyres are wearing. If the tread depth on one side of the tyre surface is more than the other, it’s time to take your vehicle to the tyre shop and get a new set of rubber. We highly recommend opting for wheel alignment and balancing on a regular basis to minimize the chance of uneven wear and tear.
3. Sidewall damage
The sidewall is that part of the tyre which is visible when seeing the vehicle from the side. It is thus the area between the tread and the bead of the tyre. It is a very critical part as the vehicle’s weight is supported by the tyre’s sidewall. Any crack, dent, bubble, or other signs of damage is a cause of concern. It can result in a tyre leak, or even a tyre burst at highway speeds.
Users should thus regularly check for any signs of damage on each tyre’s sidewall. Such damages become a lot more probable in hotter temperatures or after a long highway trip. Once such a damage is visible, there should be no hesitation for changing the tyre ASAP.
4. Extensive use
If you recently took your vehicle to some seriously tough terrains, it is highly likely that the tyres have faced some heavy blows that could have damaged their structure. Even if no damage is visible from the outside, the structural strength of the tyre would surely have degraded. As a result, after an adventurous trip to Leh and Ladakh, or a long road trip to Bhutan, we recommend you to opt for a new set of tyres to ensure safety.
5. Life of the tyre
Most tyres on sale in India for regular vehicles generally have a lifetime span of 10 years. After a decade from its manufacturing date, any tyre would have suffered some ageing on the outside or inside, or both. It is thus recommended to go for a tyre change if your tyres are 10 years old, even if there is no visible damage or tread shortage on the surface.
We highly recommend car and bike users to keep a check on their tyres on a regular basis and take appropriate action to ensure road safety.