Tires are parts of a vehicle that wear out over an extended period of time. Today’s U.S. averages of 13,500-miles driven annually and 45,000-mile tread lives means it takes the typical driver a little over three years to wear out a set of tires.
However it’s important to note that tire traction in wet and wintry driving conditions gradually diminish as the treads wear. This is because as tread grooves become shallower, they lose some of their ability to channel water, slush and snow from between the tread and the road. Worn tires increase vehicle stopping distances, as well as reduce wet road traction and hydroplaning resistance when driving through puddles of standing water,.
During every vehicle’s development, its handling and driving dynamics were engineered with tires featuring the same tread depth on all of the vehicle’s wheel positions. In order to maintain the vehicle’s original handling balance, it is important to maintain equivalent tire tread depths at all wheel positions. Mismatching tread depths may upset the vehicle’s response to driver input and control in emergency driving conditions.
Periodic tire rotations help share the work and share the wear between all of the tires being rotated. Tire rotations promote more even and equal treadwear of all wheel positions, as well as permit the set of tires to wear out and be replaced at the same time.
Tire and vehicle manufacturers typically recommend rotating tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, which results in six and nine tire rotations during a typical set of tires’ lifetime. Periodic tire rotations help tires resist irregular wear and the possibility of experiencing mismatched tread depths, as well as the undesirable need to replace tires in pairs.
Monitoring tire wear quality and tread depth quantity throughout the life of a set of tires will help identify minor concerns before they become serious problems. And as the tires near the end of their life, it will give drivers time to choose appropriate tires and budget for the cost of replacement.
With today’s longer scheduled service intervals, it may be necessary to measure, inspect and rotate tires more frequently than the vehicle’s other service intervals.
If tires are discovered to be nearing the need for replacement, it may be more convenient to consider immediate replacement than risk loosing driving control in challenging driving conditions.