No one wants to replace tyres more than necessary. Not only is it a big expense but it’s also an inconvenience, especially if you’re a busy person. Choosing a quality brand of tyre with longer tread life saves time and gives you more value for your money.
How to Tell the Age of a Tyre
All tyres have an expiration date. As tyres age and are exposed to the elements, the rubber compounds start to deteriorate and cracks begin to form. You may be able to detect cracks on the surface of a tyre, but inner cracks can also form. Cracks in a tyre, whether visible or not, is extremely dangerous to drive on.
While there’s no hard and fast rule, many experts recommend that tyres should be inspected every year once they reach five years of age, and replaced when they reach ten years.
To check the age of your tyres, look at the characters on your tyres’ sidewall. Find a 10 to 12 digit serial number, which is usually preceded by the acronym ‘DOT’. The last four digits indicate week/year. For example, the tyre below was manufactured on the 12th week of the year 2021.
How Many Kilometres Should Tyres Last For?
Another way of estimating how long a tyres will last is to base it on the mileage they are capable of achieving. But all tyres are different and all drivers are different. Driving causes tyre wear, but where and how the tyres are driven influence how many kilometres one will get out of a set of tyres. Other factors include the type of car and even where it is parked matters. So, even if a tyre is manufactured and designed to last for a certain mileage, it’s not necessarily the case in reality. In fact, it’s extremely difficult to estimate how many kilometres any tyre will last for.
Our research revealed various figures, including:
- The front wheels of a front-wheel-drive passenger car should get a minimum of 37,000 kilometres, and about twice that for rear tyres.
- An average of between 25,000 to 50,000 kilometres for drivers with normal driving styles.
- 75,000 kilometres for more laid back drivers.
- 10,000 kilometres for less optimal driving.
These numbers are only estimates and will vary substantially based when all factors are considered.
5 Key Factors that Influence Tread Wear Longevity
Besides the tyres themselves, there are many other factors that will cause a tyre to wear out faster.
- Type of vehicle – Cars differ in key aspects that make a difference, such as power, torque, and braking system.
- Condition of vehicle – A well-maintained car put less strain on tyres and all other components.
- Weight and load – The car’s own weight and the additional weight it has to transport adds extra strain on tyres.
- Road surface – Consider the condition of the roads driven most frequently.
- Driver behaviours – A foot that is hard on the accelerator and hard on the brakes is sure to shorten the a tyre’s tread life.
Read next: Importance of Wheel Alignment and Balancing and make your tyres last longer.
Tyre Damage Guarantee
When motorists choose tyres, they often consider price, availability, brand, and warranty to sway their decision. While treadwear warranties are not available in South Africa, tyre damage warranties are an important consideration.
Bridgestone and Firestone offer a free tyre damage guarantee to a wide range of tyres. Tyres damaged by road hazards such as potholes, rocks, curbs, or broken glass will be replaced and you only pay for the tread used.
Read next: Tyre Safety: Repair or Replace?
Choosing good quality tyres can go a long way to ensuring your safety on the road, but even a tyre designed with long tread life will fall short without proper driving and maintenance. To get the most out of your tyre, go for routine tyre checks, wheel alignment, and tyre rotation.
Supa Quick’s Free Safety Check includes checking for tyre condition, even tread wear, and proper inflation – all aspects that influence the life of your tyre.
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