When Should You Change the Tyres of Your Car
When Should You Change the Tyres of Your Car

When Should You Change the Tyres of Your Car? - Complete Guide

21 May 2024
18 Mins Read
Table of contents
Welcome to the exciting world of automotive maintenance, where tyre changes are almost as exciting as trying your first plate of Sushi. While tyre changes may not be as glamorous as a sushi bar, they are crucial for keeping you safe on the road. That's why today, we're going to look into the question that's been on every driver's mind: when to change your car tyres in India? Now, we know what you're thinking, "Isn't it obvious? When they're flat or worn out, duh!" But, as it turns out, there's a bit more to it than that. You see, just like a good wine, tyres get better with age, but only up to a certain point. After that, it's all downhill from there, and not in the adrenaline-fueled, exciting way. So, after how many years should your car tyres be changed? What is the ideal time to change your car tyres? What is the ideal interval to change your car tyres? Is it after a certain number of years, or miles, or when you start hearing strange and funny noises coming from your wheels? The answer may surprise you, and we'll cover all the details in this complete guide.

Why should you change your car’s tyre?

change car tyre One of the most crucial aspects of vehicle maintenance that often goes overlooked is tyre care. Tyres play a vital role in maintaining the control, stability, and traction of your vehicle. This is why it's important to change your car's tyres regularly. There are several reasons why you should change your car's tyres. Firstly, like all other components of your vehicle, its tyres wear out over time, and as they do, their ability to grip the road decreases. This can lead to reduced braking performance, longer stopping distances and an increased risk of skidding. By changing your tyres regularly, you can ensure that you always have enough tread depth to maintain good traction on the road. Another reason to change your car's tyres is to improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Worn-out tyres create more resistance, which means that your engine has to work harder to move the car forward. This can result in lower fuel economy. By changing your tyres regularly, you can ensure that your car is running as efficiently as possible. Finally, changing your car's tyres is essential for your safety. Old or damaged tyres can lead to tyre bursts or other dangerous situations. By replacing your tyres before they become too worn or damaged, you can reduce the risk of a serious accident on the road. Read More : Preventing Tyre Burst: Understanding Its Dangers and How to Avoid It

When should you change your car tyre?

change your car tyre Knowing when to change your car's tyres can greatly impact the safety and performance of your car on the road. So, when should you change your car's tyre? There are several factors to consider. The first factor to consider is tyre wear. tyres have a limited lifespan, and as they age, their tread depth decreases, reducing their ability to grip the road. You can use the coin test to check your tyre's tread depth. The deeper the coin goes into the tread, the more life your tyres have left. Another indicator of tyre wear is the wear bars, which are small raised bars located in the tread grooves. If the tread is level with the wear bars, it's time to replace the tyres. The second factor to consider is age. Even if your tyres have plenty of treads left, they can still become unsafe due to ageing. Tyres degrade over time, and the rubber can become brittle and crack, leading to tyre bursts. As a general rule of thumb, it's recommended to replace tyres every six years, regardless of the mileage. The third factor to consider is driving conditions. If you frequently drive on rough or unpaved roads, or if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, your tyres may wear out faster than usual. In these cases, it's always better to err on the side of caution and replace your tyres as needed. Read More : How To Increase Life Of Car Tyres?

Understanding Tyre Treads

Understanding Tyre Treads Tyre tread is the pattern on the surface of the tyre that comes in contact with the road, and it is an essential aspect of driving safety. In India, the minimum legal tread depth for car tyres is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread. However, it's ideal to replace the tyres when their tread depth reaches 2mm to ensure optimal safety and performance. Additionally, it's important to ensure that your tyres have even wear across the tread pattern to maintain stability and prevent uneven wear and tear. By monitoring your tyre's tread depth and wear patterns, you can ensure that you always have optimal traction and performance on the road. Be sure to have your tyres inspected by a trusted professional to ensure that they are in good condition and meet the legal requirements for driving on Indian roads. Read More : Benefits of Tubeless Tyre in Cars

Tyre Tread Depth

Tyre Tread Depth When it comes to tyre tread depth, there are a few different measurements to keep in mind. Understanding the different types of tyre tread depth can help you to make informed decisions about when to replace your tyres to maintain optimal safety and performance on the roads in India. Here are the different types of tyre tread depths you should know of:
  • New tyre tread depth - The tread depth of a brand-new tyre can vary depending on the make and model. Generally, new tyres have a tread depth of around 8-9mm.
  • Legal minimum tread depth - In India, the minimum legal tread depth for car tyres is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread. Anything below this is considered unsafe.
  • Recommended tread depth - While the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, it's recommended to replace tyres when the tread depth reaches 2mm to ensure optimal safety and performance.
  • Winter tyre tread depth - Winter tyres have deeper tread patterns than regular tyres to improve traction on snow and ice. The minimum legal tread depth for winter tyres in India is 3mm.
  • Run-flat tyre tread depth - Run-flat tyres have reinforced sidewalls that allow you to continue driving on a flat tyre for a limited distance. However, if the tread depth is less than 3mm, the tyre may not be able to support the weight of the vehicle when flat.
Read More : Types of Car Tyre Damages and How to Avoid Them

Signs of Wear

sign of wear Tyres are one of the most important components of a vehicle, responsible for providing grip and stability on the road. However, like any other component, they deteriorate over time. It is crucial to keep an eye out for the signs of wear and tear in your tyres. Regular inspections and maintenance can prolong their life and ensure your safety on the road. Here are the signs of wear and tear you should look out for:
  • Tread Depth - A tyre's tread should have a minimum depth of 1.6mm to ensure adequate grip on the road. You can measure the depth using a tread depth gauge, one rupee coin test, or by looking for the tread wear indicator bars built into the tyre.
  • Cracks - Cracks on the tyre's sidewall and the tread area can be caused by exposure to extreme weather conditions or over-inflation. Cracks can also be a sign of age-related wear and tear.
  • Bulges and Blisters - Bulges and blisters on the tyre's sidewall can indicate structural damage, which can lead to tyre failure. These can be caused by hitting potholes or impact damage.
  • Uneven Wear - Uneven wear can be caused by misaligned wheels or incorrect tyre pressure and it is essential to have it corrected.
  • Vibration - Excessive vibration while driving can be a sign of worn-out or damaged tyres. It is important to have this checked as it can lead to more significant problems in the future.

Tyre Age

Tyres are an essential part of a vehicle, and their age can significantly impact their performance and safety on the road. It is crucial to be aware of the different ages of a tyre to ensure your safety on the road. Regular inspections, proper maintenance, and timely replacements can help prolong the life of your tyres and ensure optimal performance. Here are the different ages of a tyre that you should be aware of:
  • Production Date - Every tyre has a production date stamped on its sidewall, indicating the week and year of manufacture. It is essential to check this date when purchasing a new tyre to ensure it is not too old.
  • Service Life - Tyres have a maximum service life of six years, after which they should be replaced, even if they appear to be in good condition. This is because the tyre's rubber compound degrades over time, which can lead to a loss of grip and stability on the road.
  • Tread Life - The tread life of a tyre refers to the amount of time it takes for the tread to wear down to the legal limit of 1.6mm. The tread life can vary depending on factors such as driving conditions, tyre type, and maintenance.
  • Storage Life - Tyres that are not in use can still age and deteriorate over time. It is recommended to store tyres in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and chemicals.
  • Mileage Life - The mileage life of a tyre refers to the number of miles it can cover before needing to be replaced. This can vary depending on the tyre's quality, type, and driving conditions.
Read More : Guide: How To Repair A Tubeless Tyre Puncture

Driving Conditions

driving conditions The type of tyre you choose for your car can make a significant difference in your driving experience and safety on the road. In India, where road conditions can vary drastically, it's essential to understand the different driving conditions and the types of tyres that are suitable for each. Selecting the right tyre for the right driving condition is crucial to ensure safety and comfort on the road. Here are some key driving conditions to consider:
  • Dry conditions -In dry conditions, the tyre's primary job is to provide grip and traction on the road. Tyres with a harder compound are ideal for dry conditions as they offer excellent grip and handling.
  • Wet conditions - Wet conditions pose a significant challenge for drivers, as the road becomes slippery and reduces the tyre's grip. Tyres with softer compounds are better suited for wet conditions as they offer better traction and grip.
  • Snowy conditions - In snowy conditions, winter tyres with deeper grooves and softer compounds are ideal as they offer a better grip on the road. In India, where snow is not prevalent, all-season tyres can be used instead.
  • Off-road conditions - For off-road driving, tyres with deeper treads, such as all-terrain or mud-terrain tyres, are ideal as they offer better traction on rougher terrains.
  • High-speed driving - For high-speed driving, performance tyres are ideal as they offer better grip and handling. However, it's essential to ensure that the tyres are properly inflated and balanced to avoid any accidents.

Manufacturer Recommendations

One way to ensure the safety and performance of your vehicle is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for your tyres. These recommendations include factors such as the type of vehicle, its weight, and its intended use. It's essential to consult the owner's manual or tyre placard and choose tyres that meet or exceed these recommendations. Here are some key manufacturer recommendations to consider:
  • Tyre size - The manufacturer's recommendations for tyre size can be found in the owner's manual or on the tyre placard. It's essential to choose a tyre that matches the recommended size to ensure proper fit and performance.
  • Tyre type - The manufacturer may recommend a specific type of tyre, such as summer, all-season, or winter tyres, depending on the weather conditions and intended use of the vehicle.
  • Load capacity and speed rating - The manufacturer's recommendations also include the load capacity and speed rating for the tyres. It's crucial to choose tyres that meet these recommendations to ensure safety and performance.
  • Inflation pressure - The manufacturer also provides recommendations for the proper inflation pressure for the tyres. The inflation pressure for a small hatchback car is 30 psi (front and rear). For a mid-size sedan, it is 32 psi (front and rear). And for a large SUV, it is 35 psi (front and rear). It's essential to maintain the recommended inflation pressure to ensure proper handling, fuel economy, and tyre wear.
  • Replacement intervals - The manufacturer may also recommend a specific interval for replacing the tyres. The replacement interval for a small hatchback car is usually between 4 to 5 years or 40,000 to 50,000 km. Similarly, the replacement interval for a mid-size sedan is 5 to 6 years or 50,000 to 60,000 km, and the replacement interval for a large SUV is between 6 to 7 years or 70,000 to 80,000 km.

Seasonal Changes

In India, seasonal tyre changes are crucial for ensuring safe and efficient driving throughout the year. Changing your tyres according to the weather conditions is important to maintain the longevity of your tyres and to maximise your vehicle's performance. Here are the different seasonal tyre changes you need to consider:
  • Summer Tyres -These tyres are designed for use in temperatures above 7°C and are optimised for dry and wet roads. These tyres have a harder rubber compound and shallow grooves, which improve handling and reduce the risk of skidding on wet roads.
  • Winter Tyres - Winter tyres are designed for use in temperatures below 7°C and are optimised for cold and snowy conditions. These tyres have a softer rubber compound and deeper grooves, which provide better traction and grip on snow and ice.
  • All-Season Tyres - All-season tyres perform well in both summer and winter conditions. These tyres have a balanced rubber compound and deeper grooves than summer tyres but shallower grooves than winter tyres.
  • Monsoon Tyres - Monsoon tyres are designed to handle heavy rain and flooded roads. These tyres have deeper grooves and a unique tread pattern that expels water quickly to reduce the risk of skidding.
Read More : What’s Your Car’s Tyre Size & It’s Recommended Tyre Pressure In India?

Choosing the Right tyres

choosing the right tyre Choosing the right tyres for your vehicle can be a daunting task and depends upon several key factors such as size, type, brand, tread pattern, load capacity, speed rating, inflation pressure, price, warranty, and reviews. However, it is a critical decision that can impact your safety and driving experience. Here are  10 key considerations to help you choose the right set of tyres for your vehicle in India: 
  • Tyre size - The first step in choosing the right tyres is to ensure that they are the correct size for your vehicle. You can find this information in your vehicle owner's manual or on the tyre sidewall.
  • Tyre type - There are various types of tyres available, such as summer tyres, winter tyres, and all-season tyres. Consider the weather conditions in your area to determine which type of tyre is most suitable for you.
  • Tyre brand - Choose a reputable tyre brand that is known for its quality and durability. Some popular brands in India include MRF, CEAT, and Bridgestone.
  • Tyre tread pattern - It affects the tyre's grip and handling in different conditions. Consider the type of driving you do to determine which tread pattern is best for you.
  • Tyre load capacity - It refers to the maximum weight your tyre can carry. Ensure that the tyre you choose can support the weight of your vehicle and its contents.
  • Tyre speed rating - This rating indicates the maximum speed the tyres can handle. Make sure that the speed rating is appropriate for your vehicle's top speed.
  • Tyre inflation pressure - Proper tyre inflation is essential for optimal performance and safety. Check the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle and ensure that it is maintained regularly.
  • Tyre price - While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest tyres available, keep in mind that quality and durability should also be considered. Invest in high-quality tyres that offer good value for money.
  • Tyre warranty - Look for a tyre that comes with a longer warranty, which can provide you with peace of mind in case of defects or premature wear.

Professional Inspection

professional help Professional tyre inspections can identify issues early on, prevent costly repairs, and help you avoid sudden accidents on the road. Here are 7 key considerations to keep in mind when you get your next professional tyre inspection:
  1. Look for a tyre service centre that is known for its quality service and experienced technicians. Check online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family.
  2. Schedule regular professional inspections every six months if you frequently drive on rough roads to identify the underlying issues with your tyres before they cause severe damage.
  3. Ensure that the professional inspects all tyres and replaces them if they don't have the minimum tread depth.
  4. Cracks, bulges, or other signs of damage in the sidewalls can indicate potential blowouts or other safety hazards. Therefore it is necessary to get the sidewalls inspected.
  5. Ask the professional to check the valve stems for signs of damage or wear. Faulty valve stems can cause air leaks and impact tyre pressure.
  6. Ensure that the professional has balanced the tyres properly for optimal performance and safety.
  7. Ask for a written report detailing the results of the tyre inspection. This report can serve as a record of the inspection and help you keep track of any issues that need to be addressed.
When it comes to choosing new tyres, do your research and consider factors such as performance, durability, and price. It's also important to choose the right size and type of tyre for your specific vehicle and driving conditions. In the end, changing your tyres may seem like a hassle, but it's a beautiful skill to have and an essential part of vehicle maintenance that can save you time, money, and headaches in the long run. So, don't wait until it's too late to change your tyres – keep an eye out for the signs and replace them when necessary. Your safety and the health of your car depend on it.

FAQ’s:

Q. How often should I check my tyres for wear?

A.

It is recommended to check your tyres for wear every month or before embarking on a long journey. Q. How can I tell if my tyres need to be replaced?

A.

You can tell if your tyres need to be replaced by looking for signs of visible wear, low tread depth, and cracks or bulges on the sidewall. Q. How do I measure tyre tread depth?

A.

You can measure tyre tread depth using a tread depth gauge or the one-rupee coin test. Q. Can I still use my tyres if they are past the recommended age?

A.

It is not recommended to use tyres that are past their recommended age, even if they have not been used extensively. Q. How do I choose the right tyres for my vehicle?

A.

To choose the right tyres for your vehicle, consider factors such as performance, durability, and price, and ensure that they are the correct size and type for your specific vehicle and driving conditions. Q. Can I replace just one tyre, or do I need to replace all four at once?

A.

It is recommended to replace all four tyres at once, but if you only need to replace one tyre, ensure that it matches the remaining tyres in terms of size, type, and tread pattern.
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