How Do I Know When It’s Time To Replace Car Tyres

How Do I Know When It’s Time To Replace Car Tyres

Car tyres might seem like small parts, but they play an integral part in keeping you safe on the road. Replacing them before their end-of-life helps avoid embarrassing scenarios like being stuck on the side of the road due to worn tread.

There are certain indicators to help determine when it is time to change out your car tyres, including:

Tread Depth

Car tyres play a critical role in the safety and performance of any vehicle. Tyres are the only parts that touch the road and therefore provide grip, stability and mobility while driving. But just like any component in your vehicle, over time your tyres will wear out, eventually needing replacement altogether. New tyres tend to offer smoother rides and superior grip compared to older ones, saving money on fuel and lowering carbon footprint by regularly switching your tyres.

The primary indication that it’s time to switch tyres is when your tread depth becomes too shallow. Tyres come equipped with easily identifiable tread wear indicators molded into various grooves around them; when your tire tread wear indicators have reached this depth level, driving becomes no longer safe and must be replaced immediately.

An easy and accessible way to measure tread depth is with a tread depth gauge, available from most auto parts stores. The gauge consists of a shaft with measurement markings that slide easily into grooves on either side of your tire’s tread groove, while its “foot” should firmly rest between two elevated ribs in that groove when you press down on its “foot.” Furthermore, its shaft will display readings in 32nds of an inch or millimeters so you can quickly view how much tread remains on each tire.

As well as checking tread depth, it is also wise to thoroughly examine your tyres for punctures or cuts. Punctures may occur from road debris such as nails, metal wires and broken glass that gets lodged under your rubber tread – such objects must be immediately changed for another set as any holes could lead to a blowout and potentially lead to greater risks than just puncturing a tire!

Not to be underestimated is that tyre lifespan is also determined by driving conditions, driving style, air pressure and maintenance practices – for instance driving on rough roads can shorten it by 10%!

Tread Wear Indicators

There’s more to a car tyre than its tread. Aside from tread wear, factors like sidewall thickness, rubber compound choice and air pressure all play an integral role in performance and safety – the latter of which being particularly key. But of all these elements is tread wear – which should always remain one of your top priorities when purchasing new car tyres. Once a tyre reaches its legal tread depth limit, it becomes unsafe for driving on and should be replaced immediately. One easy way of knowing when this point has been reached is using a tool known as a Tread Wear Indicator. These small humps that form within a tyre’s grooves can easily be identified by small arrows or initials TWI. When these humps become flush with the rest of tread, it is time for replacement tyres as grip will become an issue and vehicle control will become challenging.

Your car tyres should have at least 4/32 of an inch tread depth to maximize traction and road safety. Anything lower increases stopping distance, reduces water clearance, and can cause aquaplaning – an exciting yet potentially hazardous driving experience.

Treading Wear Indicators are useful, but you can easily test the tread depth on your tires by performing the Penny Test. Simply place a penny into your tread and if all of George Washington can be seen without needing to turn the wheel, that indicates they remain safe to use.

At regular intervals, it’s advisable to rotate your car tyres. Doing this will extend their lifespan and ensure even tread wear over time – an issue which could otherwise arise due to improper inflation levels or misalignment.

Maintaining your tyres will save you both money and hassle in the future, helping to avoid expensive repairs or replacements that might otherwise arise. Your car’s tyres are the only component in direct contact with the road, so taking good care in maintaining them can extend their lifespan for longer while improving performance and safety on the road. By following the tips above and scheduling regular inspections and maintenance visits, your tyres could outlive their expected lifespans even more efficiently than ever!


Tires are often overlooked despite their role as the only barrier between your vehicle and the road, yet often remain neglected. Old or underinflated tyres could mean the difference between safe driving and an accident.

Checking your tyre pressure is simple with an electronic gauge; just remove each tire’s screw cap, use the gauge, and view its number on a digital display screen. As pressure levels may fluctuate with temperature changes, take readings when your tires are cold to ensure an accurate reading.

Your vehicle should come equipped with an owner’s manual that lists its recommended tyre pressure settings, either via an internal door sticker or external owner manual page. It will detail what should be used as the optimal pressure for both front and rear tyres as well as any potential spare size tyres if applicable.

If you don’t own a tyre pressure gauge, a quick and simple way to assess current tire pressure is counting the number of raised bumps in each tread area and multiplying that figure by 3.2 in order to estimate PSI pressure levels.

Underinflated tyres are more prone to punctures than properly inflated ones and this can create potentially hazardous situations for you and your passengers. A puncture occurs when something such as nails, metal wire or sharp objects penetrate the rubber, puncturing and causing air escape through punctures in its rubber casing and burst it.

Underinflated tyres won’t grip the road properly, leading to handling problems and decreasing fuel efficiency. They will wear down quickly; thus it is vitally important that they are replaced before their tread depth deteriorates too drastically.

Cracked and aged tyres should also be replaced immediately as these cracks allow water to leak through and could compromise the inner components of your tyres, leading to further wear on its inner components.

Rotating your tyres regularly to ensure even wear will extend their lifespan and optimize car performance, as this will extend their lifespan and extend service intervals or 10,000km driven. At minimum, this should happen every service or 10,000 km traveled – for four-wheel drives swap the front and rear positions to ensure uniform tyre wear.


All tyres have a finite lifespan and eventually begin to degrade over time, being the only part of your vehicle that touches the road and needing to remain in top condition for maximum safety, comfort, and performance. Although some tyres (for instance on trailers or caravans) may not see as much use than others (ie trailer tyres may see less tread wear than vehicle tires), all should begin wearing down prior to reaching 10-years in age and should be replaced before this threshold has been reached.

Checking the age of your tyres periodically is highly recommended. Most tyres come imprinted with four-digit codes that display their date of manufacture – these can usually be found in a window on the sidewall and can easily be read. Each pair of numbers indicates week, while two additional digits represent year (for instance 4406 would indicate it was manufactured during week 44 of 2006).

Age is an essential consideration when deciding when to replace tyres. As they get older, their tread depth declines – which can impact on traction and handling performance. You can easily assess this using the “coin test”, by inserting a coin into each groove of the tyre – if all of it can be seen, your tyres still have some life left!

However, tyres can also experience damage that reduces their longevity. If punctured by sharp objects like nails or screws, this can result in loss of air pressure which directly translates to reduced performance for the tyre.

Worn tyres will also increase vehicle resistance and lower your fuel economy, which in turn results in poor fuel economy. By regularly checking and replacing your tyres, you can save money on petrol while helping protect the environment. For professional advice about tyre maintenance contact Bob Jane T-Marts! Visit your nearest store online booking or give us a call on 1300 88 99 98 and speak with one of our helpful team members – they’re all happy to assist!