Your vehicle’s tires need to be in tip-top shape to ensure your safety and that of other drivers on the road. If you think about it, you will realise that your tyres are your car’s only contact with the road, so they must be well maintained.
It wasn’t until 1888 that John Boyd Dunlop, “unbeknownst” to him, reinvented the pneumatic tyre whilst trying to improve his son’s bike. Dunlop’s tyre, like Thomson’s, didn’t seem to sell at first – until a bike race in Belfast was won by a rider using his tyres. With that victory, people began to take notice of the pneumatic tyre (Dunlop.eu/Dunlopeuen, 2014).
In 1895 the pneumatic tyre was first used on automobiles, Andre and Edouard Michelin. It was also around this time that legislation was put into effect that discouraged the use of solid rubber tyres. All over the world companies sprang up to meet the new demand for the newt yres. The age of the pneumatic tyre had begun! (blackcircles.com, 2015).
A question that is commonly asked is how long should they be used for? There are varied answers to the question because there is an array of determining factors that influence the durability of vehicle tyres.
Generally speaking, a normal set of tyres should last for 60,000 to 75,000 miles, which equates to about four to five years.
Here, we explore major factors that will affect your tires’ lifespan:
- The manufacturer
The average tyre on the market is designed to last about 60,000 miles, but every tyre is different. Some manufacturers offer a warranty as high as 100,000Kms or more, while other tyres may be built to provide 50,000Kms of service.
The type of tyres you purchase also plays a role in how long they last, as studies have shown that ultra-high-performance tires last nearly half the number of miles than family-car tyres.
- The vehicle
Believe it or not, the vehicle on which your tyres are mounted plays a role in how long they last. SUVs and trucks put more weight on tires than a sedan, so if your vehicle is not outfitted with the appropriate tyres, the tyres might wear out faster than expected.
- Driving style
If you regularly subject your vehicle to hard acceleration, heavy loads and aggressive driving over speed bumps and potholes, your tyres will wear out prematurely.
- Driving destinations
Driving in a country with higher temperatures such as Nigeria means your tyres are at greater risk, due to the increased friction against roads. This could lead to damages such as cracks, especially if your tyres are not inflated properly.
How to make your tires’ last longer
Now that we’ve looked at factors affecting the longevity of tyres, here are some suggestions for prolonging their durability:
- Check your tyres pressure regularly: It is also recommended that you check the most suitable amount of air pressure in your owner’s manual.
- Rotate your tyres frequently: For even wear distribution, tyres should be rotated as specified in the owner’s manual or new-tyres warranty guidelines, usually every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
- Examine your wheels’ balance and alignment routinely: If your wheels are unbalanced or out of alignment, it can cause irregular tread wear and shorten your tyre’s life.
- Inspect your tread-wear: Worn-out or damaged treads are extremely dangerous, as they contribute to car accidents. If the surface of your tyres is too smooth, they will not grip well when you step on your brake pedal.
- Assess your tyres for damage and signs of ageing like cracks, low tread depth, air bubbles and uneven wear.
On the whole, the lifespan of a vehicle’s tyres is dependent on several factors ranging from the manufacturers to driving habits. As long as a conscious effort is consistently put into their maintenance, you should start enjoying extended use of your tyres.
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