7 Signs that your Car Tyre Replacement is Due

When do you need to change the tyres?

Tyres are the component which connects your car to the road. It’s this connection with the road that makes or breaks your driving experience. With new car tyres you experience smoother rides, feel less of the bumps, and are more confident when cornering or braking.

On the other hand, old tyres may slip or skid while driving on rough roads and may not offer safe grip and mobility you desire. As consumable components, all tyres eventually wear out and need replacement. In this article we discuss the potential problems caused by old tyres and how to know when is the right time to change your car tyres.

1. Worn out tyre tread: Tread depth is the most easily identifiable sign that you need car tyre replacement. New tyres start losing tread depth as soon as you start driving them. Manufacturers like Apollo Tyres place tread depth indicators in between the tread lines to help customer identify the limits beyond which it’s not safe to drive a tyre. The ideal tread depth for the passenger car segment is 1 mm. So, if you have worn out your car tyres up to the tread depth indicator markings or below the 1 mm threshold, it’s time to replace your car tyres.

2. Wheel alignment and wheel balancing issues: Although the first thing that comes to the mind when we hear wheel alignment and balancing is that it’s something to do with the tyres and the wheels, that isn’t exactly true. Wheel alignment relates to your car’s suspension system – the system that connects your car tyres to the rest of the vehicle. Misaligned wheels will cause the tyres to wear down quickly (causing uneven tread wear depending on the type of misalignment). Similarly, wheel balancing is the process of adjusting the weight of the wheel with the tyre on to ensure uniform weight distribution. If you have ruined one or more car tyres due to wheel alignment or wheel balancing issues, you will need to replace car tyres. Otherwise, the now unevenly worn tyres will cause misalignment and out-of-balance issues and create a vicious cycle that literally turns on itself.

3. Reduced braking efficiency: If you start feeling that the braking response of your car is not what it used to be, there are two factors that might be at play. One, the brake pads of your car are worn out and need replacement. Or, your car tyres are worn or damaged to an extent that the grip needed to brake efficiently is not there anymore. As tyres get older their minimum braking distance starts going down. Driving with such tyres at speeds is especially risky and you need to visit a tyre shop for replacing those old tyres asap.

4. Frequent punctures: Another sign that car tyre replacement is due, is the occurrence of frequent punctures. While there is always a risk of punctures for tyres both old and new, older tyres are more likely to get punctured from minor objects and bumps. It happens because as tyres age, their structural integrity starts deteriorating, making the compound weaker at places. If a sharp object or bump collides with these weaker points, the result is a puncture or worse, tyre burst. So, once your trusty old tyres start making a habit out of punctures, it’s time to buy tyre replacements.

5. Damaged sidewalls: If the sidewalls of your car tyres are showing unusual bumps or protrusions or there are visible cracks in them, the tyres are unsafe to drive. Sidewalls not only help keep the tyres upright but also protect the tyre structure. Driving around with a damaged sidewall is an open invitation to tyre blowout. So, replace tyres with damaged sidewalls at first sight.

6. End of life: All tyres are rated for a certain number of kilometres or miles, known as mileage. If you have driven your tyres past their rated mileage, there is no point hanging around with them anymore, because as they say, a stitch in time saves nine. Replacing your car tyres after they have run their course will not only help you ride safer but also help in avoiding inconvenient situations like getting stranded on a country road with a flat tyre.

7. Tyre age: Another physical factor that is equally important for tyre maintenance is keeping check on your car tyre age. All tyres should be ideally replaced after 6 years, as that’s by when the chemical compounds deteriorate past their usable stage. This can also be a reference point for you when buying new tyres.

Driving conditions that damage car tyres

Now that we know the signs that indicate the need for car tyre replacement, let’s talk a bit about things that can damage car tyres (both old and new) before their rated mileage or age.

1. Potholes and bumps on the road: Among the many reasons for tyre damage, this is perhaps the most relevant for Indian drivers and people living in countries where the road infrastructure is not as robust. Hitting large potholes or bumps at speed can damage both the tyre and the wheel and also cause wheel alignment issues.

2. Animals and objects: Another condition that is mostly specific to our region is the presence of stray animals and objects on the road. Again, when trying to avoid hitting animals or objects on road we tend to brake hard and cause an uneven wear on the tyres.

3. Bad weather and rough terrains: Driving in extreme weather conditions is another reason for premature tyre damage. For example driving in extreme heat or extreme cold affects the chemical composition of car tyres and ages them prematurely. Apart from the elements the terrain also plays a part. Sometimes to avoid road closures caused by bad weather drivers try to take shortcuts through rough terrain, for which your passenger car tyres are not equipped, resulting in premature tyre damage.

Driving habits that damage car tyres

Bad driving habits can significantly contribute to premature damage to car tyres. Here are some common bad driving habits that can lead to tyre damage:

1. Driving at speed: Always zooming in and out of city and highway traffic affects your tyres and fuel efficiency. When you are driving at speed and cornering all the time the tread will wear out faster, especially if the road surface is uneven or the gravel lacks tar.

2. Frequent braking: Some drivers do not drive at speed but are prone to braking hard every time they near an obstacle or vehicle on the road. This is also a bad driving habit, as it unnecessarily strains your car’s components and wears down tyre tread.

3. Hitting the curb: When driving without the aid of sideview and rear-view mirrors, we frequently hit the curb, so much so that for some drivers it has become a driving habit to hit the curb and let the vehicle roll back a little. Which of course is not good as it tends to damage both the tyres and the wheel.

So, it's essential to be aware of these habits and take corrective measures to ensure the longevity and safety of your tyres.

How do I inspect my tyres?

Inspecting your car tyres is a quick and easy task. Perform a visual examination every time before starting a long journey. Once it becomes a habit, you will not have to think about it every time.

  • If a tyre looks underinflated, get it filled with air or nitrogen. Underinflated tyres are more prone to damage and blowouts.
  • Look for cuts and bumps on the tyre surfaces, these indicate compromised structural integrity, and such tyres should be replaced immediately.
  • If you are using tube type tyres, make sure the tubes are replaced after 3-4 punctures as their integrity cannot be relied upon after that.
  • Check the tread depth on your tyres and always keep note of tyre age and kilometres run to know when it’s time to replace your car tyres.

Get wheel balancing and wheel alignment checks done if you are feeling vibrations while steering at high speeds. Uneven tread wear can be the underlying issue for this common problem.

Buy the best car tyres

Buying new car tyres for replacing old tyres has never been easier. Now you can use the Apollo Tyres website to find your nearest and authorised Apollo dealer and buy replacements. Just click “Find Store” and provide your city's name or pin code. Alternatively, you can click the “Use my location” feature to find the list of dealers near you.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you know when it's time to change the tires on your car?

Replace your car’s tyre if you notice the following:

  • Tread depth has become less than recommended
  • Uneven wearing of treads
  • Cuts or cracks in treads or the sidewalls
  • Nails or rocks jammed on tyre surface
  • Valve cap is damaged

Even if there are no apparent problems with your tyre, you should still get them replaced after maximum six years of use.

What is the tyre life for cars on Indian roads?

A lot of factors contribute to how long a tyre lasts. But generally speaking, tyres on Indian roads can used for up to 50,000 km before you need to replace them. Apollo Tyres offers car tyres with up to 1 lakh kilometres of mileage.

What things should I keep in mind while replacing my car tyres?

You should consider the following before getting your car tyres replaced:

  • The correct tyre size - Since you can now buy tyres online too, it is important you know the correct tyre size.
  • Traction requirement – What kind of tractions would you need? Dry or wet or ice or a combination of all three. 
  • Treadwear – It can be expressed in numbers of letters. Check the tyre company you are buying from. 
  • Load and speed range
  • Temperature performance

Can I get my tyres replaced online?

While it’s not possible to replace car tyres online, you can now buy new tyres online and go for an offline fitment at a tyre dealer near you. Apollo Tyres offers this facility through their online tyre shop. Buying online and getting the tyre fitment offline also helps you avoid the hassle of replacing the tyres yourself at home.

What is the most durable tyre brand in India?

Apollo Tyres have been serving Indian drivers since the brand’s inception and we have the expertise and the knowledge that gives us the edge in designing new tyres for Indian roads and drivers. Our Amazer and Alnac series are among the most trusted car tyres by both customers and car makers. We recently launched Vredestein tyres in India to cater to the growing demand for the premium and luxury car tyres.

What are the advantages of timely car tyre replacement?

Replacing car tyres on time helps you in the following ways:

  • Maintaining the safety of your car, yourself and your loved ones
  • Enjoying your drives in comfort and without the inconvenience caused by punctures and tyre blowouts
  • Keeping your car’s mechanical health intact by avoiding wheel balancing and wheel alignment issues
  • Getting more value per kilometre with increased fuel efficiency
  • Retaining your car’s looks and more importantly its market value


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