Have you had your car for a while and want to know if it’s time to replace your tires? Waiting till they can no longer grip the road properly can be fatal. And if they’re old, it’s only a matter of time before they fail. So, how do you know when to replace your tires? Knowing when to replace your tires is crucial for your safety on the road. This post will show you how to tell if your tires are too old and when to replace them. Why Changing Tires Is Necessary  Regular tire maintenance is key to ensuring your safety on the road. Typically, new tires should last at least three to four years, but this can vary depending on the tire's make and model. It's always a good idea to perform regular checks to identify any issues affecting your tire's lifespan. When it comes to tire longevity, check for the manufacturer's tread wear warranty. The warranty provides the tire's expected lifespan in terms of miles driven. However, determining the right time to replace your tires can be challenging, and it's better to err on the side of caution. Remember, driving on worn-out or damaged tires can put you at risk of an accident. Being vigilant about your tire maintenance and replacing aging tires on time can help ensure a smooth and safe driving experience. How to Determine Your Tires' Age Determining the age of your tires is an important step in maintaining their safety and performance. Here are five ways to assess your tires' age. 1. Check the DOT Number Look for the DOT number on the sidewall of the tire. This number consists of a combination of letters and numbers that indicates the tire's date of manufacture. The first two numbers are the week of the year when the manufacturer made the tires, while the last two digits represent the year. For example, if the DOT number reads "2018," the manufacturer made the tire in the 20th week of 2018. This information is important because tires have an expiration date. Tires older than six years should be monitored closely, and tires over ten years old should be replaced immediately, regardless of tread depth. The rubber in tires degrades over time and can become brittle, causing even well-treaded tires to fail. 2. Inspect the Tires for Signs of Aging Tires can deteriorate over time, even if you don't use them regularly. Signs of aging can include: Cracks in the sidewalls Bulges or blisters Tread separation If you notice any of these signs, your tires may need replacement.  3. Consult a Professional If you're unsure of your tire's age or condition, it's always best to have them checked by a professional. A tire expert can help you determine the following: Your tires' age Assess their condition Recommend any necessary repairs or replacements 4. Check the Vehicle's Owner's Manual Your vehicle's owner's manual may provide information on when to replace your tires based on age or wear. The manual can give you a good idea of when to start paying closer attention to your tires and inspecting them more frequently. 5. Consider Your Driving Habits Your driving habits can also affect the lifespan of your tires. And if you often drive in extreme temperatures or harsh road conditions, your tires may wear out more quickly than tires on a vehicle used less frequently or in milder conditions. Keeping track of your driving habits and monitoring your tire's condition can help you determine when to replace them. Understanding Tread Depth and Wear Patterns Understanding your tire's tread depth and wear patterns can help you tell if your tires are too old. Here are some tips for how to do so: Check Your Tread Depth Regularly Tread depth measures the depth of the grooves in the tire's tread. As tires wear down over time, the tread depth decreases. And this affects their ability to grip the road. Use a tread depth gauge or the “penny test” to check your tread depth. Place a penny with Lincoln's head facing down in the tread groove. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, you need to replace your tire because the tread depth is too low. Look for Uneven Wear Patterns Uneven wear patterns on your tires can indicate alignment or suspension issues. These problems can affect the lifespan of your tires and your safety on the road. Some common wear patterns include: Cupping  Feathering Heel-toe wear If you notice any of these patterns, have a professional check your tires and suspension system. Pay Attention to Bald Spots Bald spots on your tires can indicate overinflation, underinflation, or misalignment. These issues can cause the tire to wear unevenly, affecting the overall lifespan of your tires and your safety on the road. Proper Tire Maintenance and Storage Proper tire maintenance and storage are essential for extending the lifespan of your tires. Here are some tips on how to maintain and store your tires properly: Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly Having the correct tire pressure is crucial to your safety on the road. It also improves fuel efficiency and prolongs your tire's lifespan. Check your tire pressure at least once a month and before long trips. Consult your vehicle owner's manual or the tire manufacturer's recommendations for the proper inflation level. Inspect Your Tires for Damage Regularly inspect your tires for cuts, punctures, bulges, or any other signs of damage. Driving on damaged tires can increase your risk of accidents and affect the overall performance of your vehicle. If you notice any damage, have your tires inspected by a professional. Rotate Your Tires Rotating your tires regularly can help ensure even wear patterns and extend their lifespan. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual for the recommended tire rotation schedule. Store Your Tires Properly If you need to store your tires for an extended period, store them in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Avoid storing them near chemicals, gasoline, or other substances that can damage the rubber. If your tires don’t have rims, store them vertically, not stacked. Also, inflate them to the recommended pressure. Use Quality Tire Cleaners To maintain the appearance and cleanliness of your tires, use a quality tire cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the rubber or cause discoloration. Keep Your Tires in Top Shape Don't take chances with old, worn-out tires. Visit us at Gipson’s Tire Pros today and let our experienced mechanics inspect your tires for wear and tear. We offer various tire services, including inspections, replacements, and repairs. Our service bays have state-of-the-art equipment, and our technicians can handle all tire issues. Trust us to keep you safe on the road. Contact us to schedule your tire service appointment today!