When to Change Tyres

Car tyres generally have an average life expectancy between 25,000 and 50,000 miles before they need to be replaced. However, it’s good to know when to change tyres as these are only average figures – different vehicles will vary.

Here are a few quick reasons why you may need to replace your cars tyres:

  • You may have a puncture
  • Your current tyres may be past their best
  • You could have damage to your existing tyres
  • You may have the incorrect tyres fitted to your vehicle

If you know when to change tyres for your car, then you will know that its best to go to a recognised garage that specialises in vehicle maintenance such as tyre replacements.

Changing Tyres Yourself Can Be Dangerous

However, some people insist on trying to complete the replacements themselves without the correct equipment and tyres. Incorrectly fitted tyres can cause:

  • Loose tyres (health and safety hazard to you and road users)
  • Incorrect wheel alignment and tracking
  • Irregular wear
  • Frequent tyre replacements and realignment

If you suspect that you may have a tyre fitted incorrectly, take your vehicle back to the garage that fitted them. They have a duty of care to ensure that any work completed on your vehicle is to a safe and satisfactory standard.

How to Handle Tyre Punctures

Let’s be honest – nobody wants to deal with a tyre puncture, especially if it happens to be hammering it down with rain outside.

Although modern car tyres are a lot more durable, punctures do still occur and you need to know how and when to change tyres in an emergency. Of course, if you do encounter a puncture your first priority is to keep yourself and any passengers safe.

Consider the following if you think you may have a puncture when travelling:

  • Don’t take any chances, pull off major roads and find a safe place to stop
  • When you stop, make sure you apply the handbrake (parking brake)
  • Switch on your hazard warning lights to make others aware
  • Place a warning triangle 100m behind your vehicle to warn other cars

Warning Triangles
[Image Source: Deflecto]

If you do not have a safety triangle – you can purchase one here. It’s worth purchasing a high visibility jacket in case you breakdown in dark conditions. These can usually be purchased relatively cheaply and wont break the bank.

If you’re not comfortable replacing a tyre for a spare – contact your roadside recovery provider. Most companies can get to you within an hour.

Knowing When Your Tyres Are Illegal or Past Their Best

Now then – by law vehicles must have car tyres fitted that have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Anything below this is considered illegal and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Garages such as us complete various maintenance tasks for motorists daily – car servicing in Milton Keynes and tyre fitting is an easy task for any experience mechanic.

Most replacements can be done within 30 minutes depending on the technician’s workload.

Use these tips for replacing overworked or illegal tyres:

  • Replace any tyre with a tread depth that is less than 1.6mm
  • Consider replacing tyres before they get to the legal limit
  • Fit tyres that have limit indicators built in (easier for maintaining)

Remember to Take Action With Damaged Tyres

Whether it be accidental or not, if you ever make contact with a solid while driving, chances are your tyres have taken a bit of damage.

Always check your tyres for damages after you connect with any of the following to be sure:

  • Kerbs
  • Potholes
  • Sharp Objects

There are a few things that you want to keep an eye out for. If you see any of the below, you will need to have the tyre replaced as it could cause further damages and become a hazard to other road users:

  • Punctures
  • Cuts and Scratches
  • Deformations & Bubbling

Make Sure You Fit The Correct Parts

Remarkably, many people assume that any tyre fits every vehicle. Of course – that’s not the case.

Each vehicle has a specific tyre size. The details can be found on the side of the tyre before fitting. If you can, try to find out the tyre specifications in advance of replacing them.

This will help the garage that you go to, get the tyres prepared in advance and in some case have them ordered ready for your booking.

Find Car Tyre Size
[Image Source: Fresh Motorcare]

Traditionally, a tyre size will include the following information:

182/60 R14 82 H

Each one of these figures represents information relating to the tyre.

182 – This is the width of the tyre in millimetres (mm)

60 – This is the aspect ratio as a percentage (%)

R – The “R” is the construction type of the tyre. R = Radial

14 – This is the rim diameter

82 – This is the load index for the tyre

H – This is the maximum speed category. H = 130mph max (210km/h)


Not all car tyres are the same:

They all come in different shapes and sizes, handling different loads and speeds. It’s important to know when to change tyres as it can increase safety and prevent you from incurring avoidable repairs and potential fines.

After you have had new tyres fitted, it is advised that you have the alignment and tracking checked. We provide wheel alignment in Milton Keynes in our garage. Please contact us if you would like a free quotation.

In some cases, some vehicle owners will prefer a specialist for their manufacturer completes the work. There are many specialist garages available across the county but one of the leading ones specialises in BMW servicing in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

If you ever fall victim to a puncture – remember to take your safety seriously and come off of any major roads, bringing the car to a stop. If you’re comfortable replacing a punctured tyre with its spare – do so, if not, make sure you contact a roadside recovery company to assist you.

Tyres have a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm – never let your tyres fall below this. Try to have your tyres replaced before you get to this limit.

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