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When to Buy New Tires for Your Vehicle

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When to Buiy New Tires

Tires are critical to your car’s overall safety.  They are the only parts of your vehicle that make contact with the road.  However, knowing when to replace them can be a bit tricky.  This article will help you understand when it’s time to buy new tires for your vehicle.

1. Tread Depth

The tread depth of your tires is a key indicator of their health.  A tire’s tread needs to be at least 2/32” deep to meet U.S. legal safety standards.  You can use the penny test to easily check.  Insert the top of Lincoln’s head into the tread groove.  If you can see top of his head, it’s time to start shopping.

2. Tire Age

Most vehicle manufacturers also generally recommend tire replacement at six years.  Meanwhile most tire manufacturers recommend at 10 years.  The date code on the sidewall of the tire indicates how old.  It is very rare that any tire will not need replacement after six years.  But if a vehicle has been idle for six to ten years on the same set of tires, they should be replaced as the rubber can harden and crack, losing suppleness and elasticity characteristics.

3. Tire Damage

Tires can be repaired from minor punctures, but if a tire is damaged severely, it is obvious you should buy a new one.  Damage includes anything out of the ordinary like severe punctures, cuts, impacts, cracks, bulges, and irregular tread wear.  Have a professional inspect your tires as soon as possible.

4. Seasonal Changes

Although all-season tires are available today, severe winter conditions require winter tires.  All-season tires do not have the tread depth to find grip in deep snow.  It would be wise to seasonally switch between winter and summer or all-season tires.

5. Vehicle Performance

Pay attention to your vehicle’s performance.  Vibrations, pulling to one side, or decreased fuel efficiency could be signs that your tires need replacing.  The tires may not always be the cause of the problem, but they could be.

6. Mileage

This varies depending on the treadwear life of the tire, aggressive or conservative driving style, climate, proper functioning of suspension parts, maintenance of proper air pressures, and regular tire rotation.  The rule of thumb benchmark for replacement is 40,000 miles, but is highly variable.  For example, high performance tires may need replacement at 30,000 miles if the rubber compound is very soft, usually desired for superior grip.  The trade-off is faster tread wear.  On the flip side, a general passenger tire designed for reliability may have tread life up to 60,000 miles.


In conclusion, knowing when to buy new tires for your vehicle involves considering various factors such as tread depth, tire age, tire damage, seasonal changes, vehicle performance, and mileage.  By understanding these indicators, you can ensure that your vehicle remains safe and performs optimally on the road.

Remember that regular tire maintenance and inspections are essential for extending the lifespan of your tires and ensuring your safety on the road.  Happy driving!

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