How To Identify & Improve Tire Life (Step By Step Guide)

Last updated on January 10th, 2024 at 06:52 pm


Every day millions of tires are sold in the world. Last year, around 2268 million tires were sold worldwide. This cycle of buying new tires, and after a few years, replacing them, due to the lack of knowledge about storing tires, is very unsustainable, which is why, in 2024, most of the tire manufacturers come up with tires, that work for around 100k miles to improve tire life. 

Surely, you would also like tires to last longer to save money and time. But how would you know when the right time to change tires is? 

In this article, we will tell you what are the signs of broken tires, and how you can drive your tire with care to utilize the full life of the tire. 

To identify if your tires still have life remaining, you can check these three things to make sure. However, if any one of these things does not match the recommended limit, then it means your tires need to be replaced. 

How To Identify Tire Life

Tire manufacturing

These letters on tires mean, what is the week of the year and what year that tire has manufactured. You have to make sure that the tire is not ten years or older. Because older tires have very low reliability, and if your tires have run for more than ten years, then it will be the right time to change your tires. However, if you have not driven with these tires as much and the other two things are fine with the tire, then with inspection, you can continue driving your car with those ten-year-old tires. 

Checking tread life

Your tire’s tread must be above 2/32. That is the maximum range. However, it is recommended that you change your tires if the tread has 3/32 inches of width remaining. You can check your tire’s tread life by putting a penny onto it, if the Lincoln head is completely visible, it means that your tire does not have any tread left. If a small part of the head is invisible, then about 4/32 or 3/32 inches of tread left, which would run for 3k to 4k miles.

Sidewall and patch inspection

It is quite obvious that if you have driven your car for thousands of miles, then there must be a puncture or some hole fixed on your tires. These plugs or patches can also damage your tires after a few years, by spreading the holes, and once the hole gets bigger, then it may not be repairable. 

Similarly, sidewalls, after years of driving, get weaker and may create a bulge; fixing your tires in these conditions is not helpful. Even slash or even small holes on sidewalls are not repairable, so if any of the situations occur to you, you should replace your tires to get a safe journey in the upcoming years. 

How to Improve Tire Life

So if you want to improve your tire performance and life, then you should follow all of these steps to avoid early wear or other damages. Although these steps might cost you a bit, in the longer run, they can save you from big damages and also save some money by giving extra miles to the tires. 

Tire rotation and balancing

Everyone should get familiar with tire rotation. It is a very important step, yet still it is ignored by many drivers. Rotating a tire gives all four tires similar force, which makes them wear altogether and each tire accomplishes its full life. Along with tire balancing, you should also check your tire balance every six months. Unbalanced tires not only damage your tires, but they also damage the wheel and axle, which is why unbalanced tires are extremely bad for you as a driver. 

Keep your tires inflated

Keep a tire pressure gauge in your car to check the tire pressure. Make sure that the tire pressure does not go beyond and above 5 points from the recommended. Low and high-pressured tires wear off early and have a higher chance of blowing off on the road. 

Avoid very low and very high temperatures

There are many different categories of tires, some of them made for summer driving and some for winter driving. To keep your tires running smoothly and longer, you should not reach the maximum temperature because too-cold weather drops the air from the tire, and too-hot weather warms up the tire, which is not a good sign. Just drive above or below the maximum temperature range to increase your tire life. 

Driver under the speed limit

Just like temperature, the different tires have different speeds and weight limits. Make sure you drive under that limit. Because going above the speed range can warm up tires, and in this condition, the tread wears off very quickly. Similarly, with high weight, the tire loses balance which is also not a situation you would want to be in. 

Aligned your wheels

With rotation and balancing, the wheel and axle alignments are very important. An unaligned axle, causes a tire to go in a different direction even when the steering wheel is straight. Just like unbalanced tires, unaligned tires have a greater chance of wearing off quickly.  

Don’t drive on a flat tire

Lastly, always try to avoid driving on a flat tire, even if you have run-flat tires. If you do not have a donut tire on your car, then use fix a flat or some other sealants to reduce the damage on your tires. Flat tires reduce the tire’s life very quickly. 

Final words

If you are going to change tires or just bought new tires, then make sure to follow all of these steps to improve your driving and also the life of your new tires. Day by day, tires are getting increasingly expensive, which is why, for budget drivers like me and many of you, we should take the full juice out of our tires.

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