When Should I Replace my Tires?

When Should I Replace my Tires?


Of all the components on your vehicle, tires are often the most neglected, and that’s unfortunate because your safety – and that of everyone in the vehicle – depends upon the condition of your tires!

Even in ideal road conditions, tire wear can affect handling and performance, but in less-than-ideal conditions (like rain, snow and ice) the results can be devastating.

Tread – the pattern on the tire surface – is designed to grip the road and allow for effective stopping, starting, turning, cornering and accelerating. If the treads are worn, a tire’s contact with the road surface can be severely diminished. When you think about it, that contact is only about as big as the palm of your hand, so the quality of the tread is imperative.

How can you tell if your tires are worn? Tread wear indicator bars are moulded into the treads at regular intervals. Understanding how to read the tread bars will tell you if your tire is safe or has reached the point where replacement is recommended or necessary.

Minimum tread depth in Canada is 3/32nd of an inch. Professional tire techs will use a specially designed gauge to test tread depth, but you can also do the quarter test. Insert a quarter into one of the grooves with the caribou facing down. If you can see the top of its noise, that means the tread depth is less than 6/32nd. This is a good indicator that your tires are nearing the end and will need to be replaced in less than 10 thousand kilometres.

You can avoid excessive tire wear by ensuring your tires are properly inflated, aligned and balanced. This is especially important before embarking on a long journey. Remember, towing or hauling a heavy load (trucks specifically) may require an adjustment in tire pressure. Another essential element of tire maintenance is proper tire rotation – this will ensure that all the tires wear evenly. Tires should be rotated about every 5000 to 8000 kilometres. An easy way to maintain this routine is to ask that your tires be rotated with every oil change.

If you’ve got a heavy foot, here’s something else to consider: you can maximize your tire life by avoiding spinning your wheels on acceleration or locking them up with braking.

Here at Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre, we carry a full line of tires by the best manufacturers – available in a variety of styles and sizes. We also provide a full range of services to ensure the longest possible life for your new set of tires. And for your convenience, we offer free storage for off-season tires. Your best tire price is assured with our Price Match Promise. You get the best tire deals in Central Alberta!

Take care of your tires and they’ll take care of you. That and a little help and qualified advice from Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centre. Life really is better in the Quick Lane! You'll find us right next door to Lacombe Ford.