The issue with tyres is that their replacement is so easy that the majority of people have no trouble tending to this themselves. Still, the fact that you can replace a flat tyre with a spare one doesn’t exactly make you a tyre expert and there are so many things (potentially even life-threatening ones) that you simply don’t know about tyres. Moreover, some habits tend to make your driving experience more or less pleasurable, which is, on its own, a reason for you to take a keen interest in the subject matter. That being said, there are several important things you should know about car tyre safety.

The age of the tyre

The first thing that even a layman can effortlessly check is the age of the tyre. All you need to do here is look at the letters DOT and a number next to them. In order to avoid a lot of confusion, we’re talking about a four-digits number, where the first two digits represent the week in which it was manufactured (01-52), whereas the latter two represent the year. So, if the letters say 4115, this means that the tyre was produced in the 41st week of the year 2015. The problem lies in the fact that a lot of people, intuitively assume that the first two numbers are months, especially if the first two digits are between 01 and 12. This, nonetheless, is not that big of a mistake, seeing as how discrepancy tends to be in months, instead of years.

As for the way in which this impacts safety, you need to keep in mind that the mileage isn’t the only thing to look out for. Tyres stored for over five or six years are no longer reliable and should, therefore, be avoided, even if they weren’t used at all, during the months. To make things even more straightforward, you should not use these 10 years old tyres even if there’s no sign of rot whatsoever.

Power is irrelevant without proper control

Your tyres are in charge of your vehicle’s on-road stability, reliability and the control you have over it. During various road conditions, your tyres will be in a scenario where they can make a difference between a safe commute and a life-threatening scenario. For this reason alone, tyres are not an area where you should try to save money. Brands are brands for a reason and branded tyres like Michelin Primacy 3 ST are more likely to outlast the majority of their low-end counterparts you might have encountered online. This is one of those rare situations where, by going with a branded product, you have a chance to make a real difference instead of just paying extra for the logo.

Rotating your tyres

The next thing you might have heard somewhere is the topic of tyre rotation. The reason why this is necessary is due to the fact that front wheel drive and rear wheel drives tend to put more strain on the front or rear tyres, respectively. Therefore, you might find yourself driving a vehicle on which front two tyres are more worn out than its rear tyres. This will affect the way in which your vehicle behaves, as well as increase the chance of damage to a vital part of your vehicle. As for the rotation habits, it is probably stated in your owner’s manual. If not, the rule of the thumb states that this should be done approximately every six months. Translated into miles, this should be between 5 and 7,5 thousand miles.

Check them every single month

Finally, it’s easy to forget about your tyres if everything seems to be running fine. In fact, the advice to check your tyres every single month seems excessive, particularly when you keep in mind that a tyre breaks on average every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. In other words, you get to change your tyres once every year or so. Nonetheless, a flat tyre is not the only event that requires your attention. Over the time, the pressure within the tyre will drop and it will be your job to keep an eye out for this. So, as the rule of the thumb, once every month, unless you’re going on a road trip or a long voyage. In that case, it might be worth checking it once more, just in case.

In conclusion

The best thing about this four-item list discussed above lies in the fact that it doesn’t require that much effort. You’re probably driving every single day, so why would closely inspecting tyres be a problem at least once every month? When buying, why not invest a bit more in order to provide that extra safety for you and your family? Lastly, a tyre rotation doesn’t have to be something you tend to on your own, seeing as how any mechanic will be more than happy to do it for a small fee.

Published by Victoria Lim