Car tyres undergo the most wear since they’re in direct contact with the road. Did you know that there’s a minimum car tyre tread depth? In most countries, including Kenya, the minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. This is the minimum thickness between the top of the tread rubber to the bottom of the tyre’s deepest grooves. Therefore, depending on the use, it’s important to check whether your tyres need replacement both for legal and safety purposes. Here are some tips on how to check if your car needs new tyres.
Check The Tread Indicators
You may have noticed that your tyres have small bumps or bars molded in the pattern. These are the manufacturer’s safety precautions known as the tread indicators and they’re used to tell if your tyres are worn out. They’re usually invisible when the tyres are new. However, if you notice multiple of them, then your treads are worn and it’s time to get new tyres.
Measure The Depth
As mentioned, the minimum tread depth is 1.6 mm which can be easily measured using a ruler, a coin or tape measure. It’s recommended that you replace your tyres before they reach this threshold as this is the minimum requirement. Using your tyres with worn treads reduces the grip on the road which poses a safety risk for you and other road users.
Check The Side Walls
Another visual indicator that you need new tyres is the side walls. If our tyres are worn, you easily notice weak spots on this area since it absorbs the most pressure. Some of the sings include a bulge, a crack or weathered sidewalls. These weak spots can cause a blowout which is quite dangerous especially when you’re driving the car.
Listen For Vibration
Excessive vibration could mean there’s something wrong with your tyres. It could indicate tyre damage or excessive wear. While driving, pay attention to the feel and if you notice unusual vibration, check it out immediately. Driving with worn tyres increases your risk of having an accident. Therefore, if your tyres are worn replace with the spare wheel or call breakdown services immediately.
Check The Age
Like most things, car tyres wear out with age. They have an average life span of around 10 years depending on the use. You should, however, keep a close eye on them after 5 years and should have them inspected at least once a year. if they hit the 10-year mark without replacement, it’s advisable that you get new tyres.
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