When You Should Replace Your Tires

It’s standard within the automotive industry to replace your tires every six years, but many factors determine whether you need to replace them sooner. If you delay necessary tire replacements, driving can become unsafe and cause other vehicle issues.

Reasons for Tire Replacement

Exposure to the Elements

Prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures and UV rays can cause cracking and dry rot. Dry rot is when rubber elements in your tires begin to deteriorate. Regular tire inspections can help your spot dry rot before it becomes a severe problem.

Shallow Tread Depth

The U.S. Department of Transportation deems tires that tread at or below 2/32nds of an inch unsafe. While it is technically drivable, driving in certain conditions and for long distances can become dangerous. There are four ways to determine tread depth:

  • The Penny Test lets you estimate tread depth based on where the tread hits a penny. Turn a penny upside-down, and insert it straight into the groove. You must replace your tires if you can see President Lincoln’s entire head.
  • The Quarter Test is similar to the penny test. You take the same steps, but if the tread touches the top of President Washington’s head, you need to replace your tires.
  • Tire Tread Gauges are relatively cheap tools that measure your tread depth. You can purchase tread gauges at any automotive parts store like AutoZone.
  • Tread Wear Indicators are built into tires and are little raised, evenly spread sections within the grooves of your tire tread. They are not as high as the tread on new tires; however, when the tread reaches the same level as the indicators, it’s time to replace your tires.

Bubbles and Bulges

If you see any bubbling or bulging from the tire sidewall, your tires must be replaced ASAP! There are a few causes of tire swelling:

  • Manufacturer defect
  • Hitting an object on the road
  • Shipment damage
  • Driving over a curb or pothole

Tire Mileage

This may be an obvious statement, but if you put a lot of miles on your tires, they will need replacing sooner rather than later. No matter what type of tires you have, from all-season to ultra-high performance tires, they’ll eventually need to be replaced. While a good warranty and positive consumer reviews can help your decision-making process, remember that certain tire types wear down faster than others. Consider the following to get the most out of your next set of tires:

  • Road and weather conditions you commonly experience
  • Your driving style and priorities
  • Mileage warranties
  • Consumer reviews


Tire belt separation, worn suspension, or lack of tire rotation can all cause feathering (also called irregular treadwear). A tire belt separation is the result of the belt plies in the inner liner of the tire separating from each other, allowing air to seep into that open space. Worn suspension can cause the vehicle to bounce or develop unexpected motions that your tires are not designed to handle. Depending on the severity, your tires may need to be replaced, especially if belt separation is the cause.

Tire Age

While many tires are backed by mileage warranties, depending on how much you drive, your tires may need to be replaced based on their age even well before you reach your mileage warranty’s limit. Replacement because of age is more common with classic cars parked for long periods or secondary vehicles that aren’t driven as much. Even if you don’t drive much, you’ll need new tires eventually. We suggest tire replacement at six years, regardless of how often they’ve been used.

Where Can I Go for Tire Replacement?

You don’t have to go anywhere! One Hour Tires is a 24/7 MOBILE tire repair and replacement service that can have you ready to go, and you don’t have to leave your home! We offer a variety of services, so don’t hesitate to give us a call to get you back on the road in no time!

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