How do I Know if my Tires are Still in Good Condition ?

When the time comes to change our tires, we often wonder if they will hold until the next season or if they are already too worn-out.

All you need is one pothole or rub against the curb to damage a tire that is too old or worn-out. It is safer to check your tires’ wear before changing them.

How do we know if a tire is still in good condition? What is the limit of use of a tire? How can we know if a tire is too old? We will help you see things more clearly in this article.

Be careful. If a tire is under 5 years old, it does not necessarily mean it is in good condition. Several factors must be taken into account when it comes to your tires’ wear.

The climate, frequency of use, and storing conditions contribute to your tires’ wear in different ways. Don’t worry; there are 3 simple things to keep in mind in order to check the condition of your tires.


SUMMARY

  1. How to Evaluate the Condition of your Tires?
  2. How to Measure a Tire's Wear?
  3. How to Check the Age of a Tire?
  4. How to Make Sure Your Tires are in Good Condition?

What is the typical lifespan of a tire?

The lifespan of a tire, whether it's a summer or winter tire, can vary significantly depending on several factors, including tire quality, driving conditions, maintenance, and driving style. In general:

Summer Tires:

  • Lifespan in kilometers: On average, quality summer tires can last between 40,000 and 80,000 kilometers. However, some high-end and well-maintained tires can exceed this range.
  • Lifespan in the number of seasons: Summer tires tend to wear out more quickly than winter tires, in part because they are used for a longer period of the year. That said, they can generally last for 3 to 6 seasons, depending on the aforementioned factors.

Winter Tires:

  • Lifespan in kilometers: Winter tires are typically manufactured with softer rubber compounds designed for better grip in cold weather. As a result, their lifespan in kilometers is often slightly shorter, falling within a range of 30,000 to 50,000 kilometers.
  • Lifespan in the number of seasons: Winter tires are usually used during the cold months of the year. Depending on the severity of winters in your region, winter tires can last for 3 to 5 seasons. Their lifespan is often measured in the number of winter seasons rather than years.

These estimates are indicative, and it's important to remember that driving habits, regular tire maintenance (including rotation and alignment), tire quality, tire pressure, road conditions, and geographical region can all have a significant impact on the actual lifespan of your tires. It's essential to follow the manufacturer's tire recommendations and monitor the tire tread wear to determine when it's time to replace your tires.

How to Evaluate the Condition of your Tires?

  • Measure the thickness of the tyre tread
  • Check the tires’ manufacturing date with the DOT code
  • Inspect each tire in order to identify different types of wear

How to Measure a Tire’s Wear

Measuring the thickness of the tyre tread is essential. It will allow you to check if your tires are still able to evacuate water, mud, and gravel properly while maintaining good adherence to the road.

If your tires are too worn-out, you risk losing traction, extending your braking distance, and aquaplaning. Driving with smooth tires is also taking the risk of receiving a fine…

In order to be conform to the law, the tyre tread must be equal or superior to 1.6 mm, (2/32 of an inch).

According to CAA, it is not advised to use a tire if its tread is inferior to 4.8mm, (8/32 of an inch), as it could lose traction in certain situations.

A quarter inserted in a tire to measure its depth and wear.

You don’t know the depth of your tyre tread? Use the 25 cent trick! Insert a 25 cent piece into the tire’s grooves with the nose of the caribou facing downward.

If the caribou’s nose isn’t visible, it means the depth is superior to 6/32 of an inch. If you can see the nose, it means it’s time to change your tires.

You can also visit one of our Centre Auto Point S locations. Our experts will check your tires’ wear free of charge.


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How to Check the Age of a Tire

According to the CAA, a tire over 5 years old starts to lose its qualities. As rubber ages, it starts to dry out and loses its adherence to the road. Do we need to change our tires every 5 years?

Not necessarily; it all depends on the frequency and manner in which you use your vehicle. The condition of the tires can also change through the years depending on if the vehicle is stored in a closed garage during the winter or rather outside.

To be sure of the age of your tires, check their manufacturing date using the 4 number DOT code imprinted on their side.

The two first numbers of the code correspond to the tires’ week of manufacturing, whereas the two last numbers correspond to the year.

For example, the DOT 0818 code means the tire was manufactured during the 8th week of the year 2018.

The location of the DOT code on the side of a tire.

How to Make Sure Your Tires are in Good Condition

Finally, to check the condition of your tires it is important to inspect them one by one in order to detect any types of wear that could be present.

Your tires can wear differently in the front than in the back, and even from the left to right side. If it is the case, you may have problems with your parallelism!

Here is a list of the types of wear to look out for:

  • Premature use on the extremities: a tire could be underinflated. Check your tires’ pressure.
  • Wear in the center of the tyre tread: one of the tires is overinflated or submitted to excessive speed.
  • Exposed wear: it is time to change the tire.
  • Wear on only one shoulder: you may have a problem with your parallelism.

Uneven wear: this could come from a problem with your parallelism, or it could be a sign that certain parts of your vehicle (shock absorbers, direction) need to be adjusted.

If you have any doubts, ask for advice from a Point S expert during your next tire change. They will be able to inspect your tires and determine if they are still safe to use. Make an appointment at the Point S Auto Centre closest to you.

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Robert Bernard Boucherville


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Including installation and balancing in stores, environmental fees and applicable taxes for selected products.

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equal payments

Including, if applicable on selected products, installation and balancing in stores, environmental fees and taxes.

See more about financing plan

Traction - dry road

Dry-road traction is a tire's ability to brake effectively and respond well to the steering wheel on dry roads.

Traction - wet road

Wet traction is a tire's resistance to hydroplaning and its ability to provide safe driving in wet conditions.

Traction - snowy road

Snow-covered road traction is a tire's ability to operate on partially or completely snow-covered pavement.

Traction - icy road

Ice traction is a tire's ability to operate on partially or completely ice-covered pavement.

Durability

Durability refers to how many kilometres a tire can go before it stops performing.

Comfort/noise

Comfort refers to the ride quality of a tire and the noise it emits on the road.