The average cost of buying a tire in the US is around $150. Multiply that with four and you spend $600 just on the purchase. Then there is always the additional service charge and the cumulative amount is naturally costly. Hence, tires replacements are often the first ones to get deferred as long as the treads are visible and no cracks have formed on the surface. Many owners sleep in peace knowing that they do not have to worry about replacements for at least 10 years as tire manufacturers like Michelin and Continental said so in their ads. Good used car dealers, however, can give you the required reality check. The 10-year benchmark is a total myth as tires do not follow a linear curve while aging
What all can affect your tire’s health?
Similar to humans, your car’s tires can also pick up a variety of ailments that might reduce its expected lifespan. Threats exist both on the road and in the safety of your garage. A few of them are mentioned here.
- Heat or warm climate are the tires’ nemesis. Rubber tends to disintegrate when exposed to continuous sunlight or hot conditions by drying up.
- Lack of adequate tire pressure creates immense pressure on the treads. They wear out faster than they are supposed to otherwise.
- Hitting the curb, screeching to a halt, driving on damaged roads, or accelerating too quickly – all wear out the tires despite their age.
- Being not in service also ages the tires. Their purpose is to roll on the roads. Keeping a spare for too long also takes away valuable months from their lives.
As evident, the above has nothing to do with when you bought your car or the number of miles you have put on it since buying. These are your reasons as to why the top used car dealerships recommend a different replacement habit than the ones suggested all around.
Let’s start with a federal agency. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the NHTSA has no specific guidelines about tire replacements. They have left it onto the carmakers and the manufacturers to make the suggestions. As already stated, the tire makers say the deadline is 10 years even when there is proof that tires that old have caused fatal accidents killing both the drivers and pedestrians.
Carmakers like Ford and Nissan present a better figure. They say that owners must change their tires every six years from the manufacturing date, despite what the tread depth or the penny test has to say. The Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, however, says that there is simply no logical way to place a date on tire expiry. The aforementioned factors can age a tire faster and a replacement might be necessary way before.
Expert used car dealers recommend the following:
- Keep a tab on your odometer reading. If you are driving at a rate of 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, then you might need to replace your tires just after 3-4 years. On the brink of the third year, contact a professional and get expert advice.
- If your mileage figure is less than the said mark, conduct the penny test every fortnight. Do not wait for Lincoln’s head to be completely visible. That suggests your tread depth is currently at 2/32”. The recommended depth is actually 4/32” and that happens when the top part of Lincoln’s head is partially obscure.
- Get a feel of your tire regularly. Visually inspect the condition of all the tires. Look for any hairline crack on the surface or uneven erosion of the treads. In case of any doubt, contact a professional immediately.
- Take note of the tire’s manufacturing date on day one. The etchings on the tire’s side surface will tell you the story. The last four digits preceded by the acronym DOT indicates the date of manufacture. For instance, the number “3216” means that the tire was produced in the 32nd week of 2016. Set a benchmark of 4-5 years from this date.
The best buy here pay here in Boiling Springs, SC, have no stake in selling you tires. Hence, they are the right people to ask for help. Place your replacement decisions along these lines and drive safely on the road. $600 every 4 years is really nothing when compared to your life. Avoid delaying tire replacements and always do them right.