One of the most confusing aspects of car tires has to do with their useful life. It is true that they must be changed frequently but it is also true that a premature change of them can end up costing us money. So learning how to get the most out of your tires is essential.
When we have an appointment, it is serious to be late. But it is not good to arrive much earlier. Among other things because we lose time that we could have dedicated to other things. Well, the same thing has happened with car tires. If we delay changing them excessively, this can end up being a source of problems and risks. But if we get ahead of it, we may be spending money on changing tires that we could have continued using without complications.
Obviously, knowing when it is time to start looking for new tires is not a closed science, it is something that requires some knowledge. So so that you don’t get lost along the way, we are going to give you the necessary guidance so that you can tire your tires safely and make the arrival of that expense as long as possible.
One of the aspects that tells us if we can continue to push tires or if they need to be replaced is the depth of their tread. When the tire leaves the factory, it has a wide depth, which is reduced as the rubber on the outside of the tire wears out.
Legally, we should not drive with tires with less than 1.6 millimeters in their tread, although for greater safety it may be advisable to change them when the tread is less than 2 millimeters. However, if your tires reach this state in summer or in times of little rain, you can speed them up a bit more.
To check the depth of the tread, just look in the tire grooves for the included wear indicators. These witnesses are small rubber studs located inside the channel with the legal height of 1.6 millimeters that we have indicated. When the studs are flush with the tread, it is a sign that it is time to change wheels. However, the verification should be carried out at at least three different points on the wheel.
We have talked about depth, but it is also necessary to talk about the tread of the tire as a whole. As long as this tread shows regular and homogeneous wear, we will not have problems pressing the tire to the legal limit that we have been discussing.
However, this process will not be possible in the event of uneven wear areas. This is what happens when we inflate the tire more or less than the pressure indicated by the manufacturer. In this case, the pattern deteriorates in the center or on the sides, which makes it impossible to press too hard, since now the reference marks the most worn area.
Tires with excessive wear on one of the sides, inside or outside, are not very usable either. This wear is caused by a misalignment of the tires, so that they circulate turned and not straight when we place the steering wheel in the central or natural position. Something that causes this particular deterioration and that can be a risk.
Finally, regarding the tread, in case we see wires or the tires of the tire in any part of the surface of the tire, then it will not only be a sign that we cannot take advantage of the tires anymore, but that we have to change them immediately.
Since tires do not have an expiration date, there is no time after which we must change them. However, we do have to carry out a visual inspection of the condition of the rubber, which over time can lose its adherent properties with respect to the ground.
This process is called crystallization and it is common in tires that are very old or that have not been stored properly. This problem can be perceived visually or by touch. If we look at the rubber, we will see how it has small glitters, coming from the crystallized elements on its surface. Regarding the touch, when passing your hand over a tire in good condition we will notice how the rubber prevents a simple movement, since the tire maintains its grip. This does not happen with those that are crystallized, in which the hand directly slips. Well, the same happens on the road, so these tires would not be usable.
Advantages of taking advantage of tires
In case you are still not convinced whether you should take advantage of your tires or not, we leave you some of the advantages of this process. The first and foremost, in addition to being obvious, is that you are going to take better advantage of your investment. If you did your homework when looking for the best tires ( here you can find some options to buy ) for your car and bet on a quality product, there is no reason to change it ahead of time. In fact, a tire from a well-known manufacturer that is correctly adapted to your vehicle lasts longer than one that does not comply with these principles.
As if that were not enough, there are aspects in which used tires tend to perform better when they are a little old. An example is braking, which, according to some Michelin studies, is reduced by around 3.5 meters starting from a speed of 100 kilometers / hour on tires at 40% of life than just-released ones. The same goes for wet braking which reduces stopping distance by about 4 meters at 80 kilometers per hour. And it also happens with fuel consumption, which increases by 4% in a new tire compared to an already worn one.
The explanation is simple. As with other vehicle components, tires need a certain break-in time to start giving their best. This break-in involves gradually removing the outer layers of the tire to reach the most efficient rubber part, located underneath. A premature tire change prevents you from taking advantage of these benefits.