Tips for seasonal tyre changeover
A tyre is one of the main components of the car, which is responsible for contact with the road surface and guarantees driving safety. Therefore, a few recommendations should be taken into account during seasonal tyre replacement to feel confident and comfortable on winter roads.
Wearing out of tread depth
When installing old winter tyres used in previous seasons, pay attention to the tread wear. When the tread wears out, its depth decreases, which means that the tyre loses some of its properties, which were ensured by special lamellae and other elements of the tread pattern. Critical indicators of tyre wear is tread height of 1.6 mm for summer tyres and 4 mm for winter tyres – this is the distance from the outer edge of the tyre to the bottom of the groove. The depth can be measured using special rulers with depth gauge. For convenience of customers there are special wear indicators on tyres – small ridges in the grooves, located opposite the letters TWI. If the tread is worn down to this level, this means that the tyre shall be replaced (fig.).
Uneven tread wear
Depending on the driving behavior (active starting or braking, which shorten the tyre life) and on the road surface, as well as other factors, tyres wear out differently and unevenly. That’s why the depth of the tread shall be measured in different places around the circumference – from the sides and in the middle. If one side is worn down more than the other, then these tyres should be rearranged in pairs from the front axle to the rear and vice versa. It is advisable that this procedure is performed by a specialist in the service center. If the tyre wear is too uneven, you may need to check the suspension. Incorrect adjustment of the suspension or its worn components can greatly reduce the service life of the tyre.
Date of manufacture of a tyre
Even if the tyres were used not for a long time or not used at all, they could eventually become unserviceable. Signs of “aging” are the appearance of cracks on the sidewall and sometimes deformation of the carcass. Each product has its useful life. Therefore, regardless of the tread depth or mileage, it is better to replace the tyre 5 years from the date of manufacture. The date of manufacture is marked on the sidewall in the form of 4 figures (the first two figures indicate a week, the last two – the year). For example, figures 3213 mean that the tyre was made in the 32nd week of year 2013 (fig.).
Installation of identical tyres
It is recommended to install tyres of identical models of the same manufacturer on a car. Different models have different tread pattern and rubber compound, and, accordingly, specifications and load. That is, different tyres will not guarantee the same safety and effectiveness as the identical ones. This is especially true for those drivers who, for the sake of saving money, mount 2 summer and 2 winter tyres. According to statistics, a car with such tyres has two times longer braking distance, it can sideslip or skid, depending on what axle – front or rear – the summer tyres are installed.
Studded or non-studded tyres
Decision regarding studding of tyres is made depending on the climatic conditions of the region where the tyres will be used. In regions where most of the winter the roads are covered with ice or poorly cleaned from snow, you can install studs. It shall be done in specialized car service. In this case, it is necessary to install them in all holes made in the tread for studs, as in ROSAVA Snowgard tyres. Their number corresponds to international standards. For convenience of customers there is a drawing of a stud on the sidewall, the size of which corresponds to the tyre size. In such tyres as Snowgard, the tread design is specially developed from several layers of new rubber compounds of different rigidity. Due to this, the tread remains soft and provides reliable grip at low temperatures even without the installation of studs. The rubber layer, where the flange of the stud shall be located, has a more rigid structure and holds it firmly, preventing it from falling out.
Dangers of buying used tyres
Some motorists buy used tyres for various reasons. Such imported tyres are several times cheaper. But, as a rule, they have reduced gripping and other performance characteristics, bearing the risks that can be determined only by detailed diagnosis by specialists. After all, visual defects in the form of tread wear, “bald” areas, patches, cracks, etc. are not all the flaws a used tyre can conceal. For example, corrosion of metal elements inside a tyre or a set of microcracks, which can be seen only with a magnifying glass. In addition, tyres with the same tread pattern could be made at different time periods, mounted on different cars operating under different conditions (driving behavior, loading, storage conditions, etc.), and therefore their service life can be different. Saving money when buying used tyres won’t let you count on them for as long as you expect. Most importantly, in this way people consciously increase the risk of getting into an accident, endangering not only their own life, but the lives of other road users as well. In terms of money, you lose more. That’s why it’s better to refuse to use such tyres and buy new ones instead with a warranty from the manufacturers.
When replacing tyres, it is necessary to observe the rules of storage of the removed tyres to use them efficiently the next season. Tyres mounted on rims should be stored horizontally, without rims – vertically. The place should be protected from direct sunlight and well ventilated. Keep the tyres away from heating devices, paint-and-lacquer materials and flammable materials, as well as sharp objects that can damage a tyre.