While no one can tell you exactly how long a tyre would last, there are factors like design, driver’s habits, the climate, the road conditions and the care that may influence its mileage. This article will try to answer what affects the tyre use and what are the signs that you need a new set.
Ten years is maximum
After five years of driving, your tyres need to be inspected at least once a year by professional tyre specialists. And the 10-year mark mandates a replacement with new ones. To figure out the manufacturing date, you can look at the last four digits in the DOT code. This indicates the week/year of the production. Even if they appear usable and unworn, their dynamical properties will have inevitably changed over time, which means they won’t provide the same level of performance or safety.
Dangerous tread depths
After distracted driving, driving under wet conditions is the second biggest cause of road accidents in Australia. In addition, almost 90% of Australians are unaware that the minimal legal depth for tyre treads is 1.5 mm. the situation is even worse in large congestions such as Sydney, not only due to bad visibility during rains, but because the busy lifestyle often leaves little time for regular tyre check-ups. Manufacturers, on the other hand, recommend not letting the tyre tread drop below 3 mm. Aside from lack of proper water dispersion, which causes a ‘bald’ tyre to skid or even float on the road, less tread means that the tyre heats up faster, increasing the braking distance.
Tread indicator bar visible
A tread indicator bar is an elegant and convenient wear indicator that older tyres lack. These bars are invisible or barely noticeable when the tyres are new, they gradually start to appear as the tread wears down. They appear as flat running bar running from side to side across the tread direction. If more than one or two of these are visible, the tread is getting dangerously low. Speeding, quick starts and emergency braking, as well as driving on damaged roads all affect the longevity of the treads. If the indicator bars start to appear on all four tyres, you’re due to visit your mechanic or one of local shops that deals in tyres in Blacktown. Since tyres wear at different rates depending on their position on the car, you’ll be able to get the most out of them by rotating them at 5000km intervals.
Chipped or cracked sidewall
Not all tyre problems are tread-related. Exposure to sunlight, excessive heat and ozone cause the rubber compound to become brittle, allowing it to develop cracks and flakes. Cracking can even appear if the tyres are stored in a garage. Incorrect inflation and frequent low pressure can also lead to cracked tyres. Over time, these cracks weaken the tyre structure, leading to chips as the tire sidewall scrapes against the curb. Modern tyres are made with compounds which contain waxes, antioxidants and antiozonants which reduce the degradation. Still, these protectants don’t work well if the tyres are stationary for longer periods. So, even if you live in a city like Sydney and Melbourne that has a comprehensive public transportation network, taking a few rides a month in a car you don’t usually drive should help increase the tyres’ service life.
The safest way to determine if you need a new set of tyres is to check how old they are. If you want to be on top of things, consider looking for deals after five years, with ten being the upper limit. However, especially if you’re a daily driver, check your tyres regularly for thinned treads, indicator bars and cracks in the sidewall. Even if your tyre mileage is low, they still degrade over time, even if the vehicle spends most of the time in a garage.