Figuring out when to replace your tires is tricky. Even if they look fine, they may be losing treading, which means they’ll have less traction when you drive, which can increase your risk of an accident.
But since getting a new set of tires can be pricey, you probably don’t want to incur that cost until you absolutely have to. “The least expensive tires generally cost $400 to $500 for a full set, but large or performance tires can run in the thousands,” says Scotty Reiss, founder of automotive magazine ‘A Girls Guide to Cars.’ This price should include installation as well.
In this tire replacement guide blog, we talk about when and how often when to replace your tires.
Why & when to replace your tires
When to replace tires varies depending on your vehicle, and how often you drive it, according to Ronald Montoya, the senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. But there is a ballpark time frame, “between five and six years is a good point where you need to start looking at replacing tires,” he says.
The low or worn-down tread is a sign it’s time to replace your tires. One way to figure if the tread is too low is to do something called the ‘penny test’. Stick a penny, Lincoln headfirst into the tread. If you can still see his head after inserting the coin all the way, the tread is low.
If the sidewalls, or the sides of the tire, are damaged, or the tires aren’t performing well, that might also indicate that they might need to be replaced. Similarly, if it takes longer to come to a full stop, it might be time when to replace your tires.
Tricks to make tires last longer
If you don’t want to constantly keep reminding yourself of ‘when should I replace my tires?’, then there are some ways to ensure your tires last as long as possible, such as keeping them inflated to the proper pressure. Find this number on your driver’s side door pillar.
Rotating your tires also extends their life. Tires are going to wear based on how your drive and each one is going to wear in its own pattern so rotating them makes sure that they’re wearing evenly. Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. The average person drives almost 3,500 miles per year, according to the Federal Highway Administration, so rotating them about twice a year should be adequate.
A good rule of thumb is to just get a tire rotation done when you bring your car to a mechanic to get the oil changed. It should cost roughly $100, he adds, but there are ways to save. Getting your tires rotated in the same place where they were installed, should be free of cost. If that isn’t an option, rotating and balancing tires can cost between $25 to $100 depending on the shop and their rate for the labor.
Another way to elongate your tires’ lifespans includes bringing your car in for a wheel alignment, per the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Being a careful driver can also help, so try to avoid potholes and other tire stressors.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of changing your tires yourself, then look for a local tire shop or a car dealership. Sales are seasonal! In the Spring, people tend to their cars after Winter driving, during the Fall drivers are preparing their cars for the harsh winter months, and at the end of the year are when most retailers have sales.
Get your car inspected and serviced at the Car Factory! Drop-in at any of our dealerships in South Florida or book an appointment today by calling us at 786-406-6234.
Recommended Read: What To Do When Your Car Overheats