Summer is coming and there’s no better time than now to get both your car and tires checked, the weather will only get warmer and warmer and now its kind of bearable. So I would highly recommend fully servicing your vehicles.
In this post, i’ll discuss some of the things you should look into before purchasing a new tire. Due to the extreme heat we get in the summer, I’m no expert, but out of experience I would recommend you replace your tires every two years maximum, to ensure the braking and traction is not degraded and that you minimize any incidents due to worn out tires.
How to identify if your tires need changing ?
1. Check your thread pattern depth :
Its a really tricky thing to identify the thread pattern and to check if it needs changing, there’s a test called the penny test, where you simply hold a penny upside down in between two threads and if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head then it needs to be replaced.
2. Check for cracks in the sidewalls and the top threads.
This is easy to do, but you should really check the inner and outer sidewalls for cracks such as the photos below, this usually happens if the tires dried out and are over or under inflated.
3. Check for any tire deformities or bulges which usually occur when you hit a curb or the white dividers on the road, these sometimes cause vibrations in the tires or unconventional wear.
4. Check the Manufacture date on the tire (you’ll also need this when buying a new tire):
You can so that by looking at the week number and year on the tires and you’ll find something like (from http://www.tirerack.com/) : For kuwait I’d suggest a maximum life of 3 years for your tires, the heat of the asphalt in the summer would degrade the life of the tires exponentially in our region.
|In the example above:
DOT U2LL LMLR 5107
|51||Manufactured during the 51st week of the year|
|07||Manufactured during 2007|
5. Ensure that you get the same tire size and speed rating (if not a better rating)!
A lot of retailers might cheat you out if they don’t have the same tire size and might tell you wider tires are better or give you better traction, or that you should get taller tires, don’t fall for that ! If in doubt check the manual! Always install the same size as the OEM size, so that you would get the optimal breaking and life out of your car and tires together.
The first two numbers show you the size of the tires, the number after the R is your wheel size in this case it was an 18″ Wheel. The letter in the end shows the speed rating. In this case it was H, which states a maximum speed of 210 Km/h.
6. If your tires vibrate you should get them balanced, In Kuwait the average cost of balancing is 2 KD/tire but it can go up to 5 KD depending on the size of your tires. Whereas if your car is leaning left or right or you don’t have a straight you should check your wheel alignment, if I were you I would go to a garage with a computerized alignment machine, so that you wouldn’t have to go back and forth multiple numbers of time, and this usually costs between 15 and 20 KD depending on the car size and how much work has to be done.