When we go to purchase tyres, many of us expect they will last a lifetime. However, in reality, they often need replacing more often than we would hope. Not only is a defective tyre dangerous and an inconvenience to fix, but replacing them can burn a very large hole in your pocket! So how long should tyres last and what can stop them from standing the test of time? Round Trip Tyres discusses the factors that affect the longevity of your types below.
Being in contact with compromised road surfaces and potholes, as well as glass, nails and other sharp objects, directly impacts the longevity of your tyres. This can cause punctures, cracks, bulges and an array of problems with your handling and steering if your tyres are not checked frequently for these damages.
Even the weather can inflict damage onto tyres. While snow, ice and water can make the surface of the road uneven, the cold temperature can cause standard tyres to lose their elasticity.
In this case, it is wise to consider changing to winter tyres. But even all year round, rotating your tyres between the front and the back will also protect them for longer. With this method, your front wheels can have a break from carrying the burden, and all of them can rest throughout the challenging winter months.
When tyres are underinflated, they are also at risk of a blowout. Not only that, but their rolling resistance can increase, which in turn burns through fuel at a much faster rate.
To prevent causing irreparable damage to your tyres when they begin to drop in pressure, you can inflate them using a pressure gauge or by calling in to see a professional. Maintaining tyres at their optimal pressure level will keep them in good condition for longer.
Wheel alignment and balance
Poor wheel alignment and poor balance will also see you changing your tyres far before they reach their expected shelf life.
Although they sound similar, wheel alignment and wheel balance are actually very different. While balancing is in relation to the weight around the wheel, alignment refers to the positioning of the wheels.
However, tyres do inevitably become misaligned over time. Uneven road surfaces can sometimes knock wheels out of place. To function properly, your wheels must be parallel to one another – so be sure to get this checked by a professional at least every 12 months.
As for unbalanced wheels, you might be able to tell when they need repairing: your car might feel as though it is ‘wobbling’ when you are travelling above 40mph. Fortunately, getting them rebalanced is a lot cheaper than replacing a full set of wheels. Meanwhile failure to get them fixed could cause premature wearing and long-term damage, most likely affecting the suspension and steering too.
Opting for a premium tyre brand is sure to promote the longevity of your tyres. Although they might seem a costly upfront fee, a premium tyre will likely save you money in the long-run as you are less likely to need replacing them again anytime soon.
A premium tyre can certainly provide an extra layer of protection against the elements. However, premium tyres aren’t invincible either: you still need to take good care of them, monitor their efficiency and keep tabs on their appearance for any signs of wear and tear.
Budget tyres aren’t necessarily ‘bad’ though, it just means you might need to keep a closer eye on them. Either way, you should definitely avoid purchasing tyres from different manufacturers or with different tread patterns. Your tyres need to work in harmony with one another – mixing tyre types could see them all adversely affected.
A good indicator as to when you should change your tyres can be found in your vehicle’s mileage.
As a general rule of thumb, tyres should be checked at least every five years and fully replaced every ten years. However, tyre experts recommend drivers change their front tyres sooner if they have travelled over 20,000 miles. The rear ones should be changed after you pass the 40,000-mile mark.
It can therefore be said that there is no strict rule as to how long your tyres should last. It depends on many different factors, from the tyre quality, tyre pressure to the weather and even your driving style. However, if you frequently assess your tyres, you can prevent irreparable damage from taking place and can promote a long and healthy lifespan for them.