With quality products, it is possible to speed up its useful life with total safety guarantee and even improvements in its performance. The tires have a useful life that must be taken advantage of. The commercial war between tire manufacturers is bloody. The proliferation of new actors in such a competitive sector has opened a significant gap between traditional and new brands that seek their share of the sales pie, sometimes with bold arguments in terms of price or product positioning. In this context, the debate arises about the convenience of replacing the car covers before they reach the legal limit of 1.6 millimeters in the depth of the tread pattern.
In front of the brands that advocate replacement when reaching 3 millimeters, a manufacturer of Michelin’s prestige ensures that with quality products it is even advisable to hurry the tire to its legality, provided that regular wear occurs and recommendations are respected timely. The arguments of the popular French brand are blunt and are backed by both their experience in the sector and the results of different tests that corroborate it.
These are the 7 reasons they use to avoid changing tires early:
1. The safety of a tire is not only provided by the depth of its tread, the so-called sculpture that is the point of contact with the road. In addition, we must take into account others such as the hardness of the rubber used, the quality and use of the 200 materials that make it up and its architecture, the way in which between 20 and 50 different components are joined. That is to say, to limit itself to taking into account only the wear of the drawing is to simplify the issue and ignore other determinant aspects for safety.
2. A quality used tire brakes better at half its life than just released. Specifically, Michelin tests show that a 40% use cover reduces the distance by 3.4 meters in a braking from 100 km / h to standstill. This is because of the greater consistency of the tread when losing part of its depth, the amount of existing rubber and which can deform in sudden stops.
3. Exactly the same principle applies to wet firm. In a deceleration of 80 to 20 km / h, the half-life tire (about 4 millimeters deep) is capable of stopping at 3.7 meters less than the new one, although in this case the comparison refers to a brand of called premium versus another second level.
4. A worn tire consumes less than a new one. The rolling resistance adversely affects fuel consumption, so a cover with more rubber requires more energy to move another less. Specifically, Michelin quantifies the difference between both cases by up to 4% with the same type of product.
5. It is evident that changing the tires earlier than necessary forces the operation to be carried out more frequently and, therefore, increases the budget in this item. If they replace the 3 millimeters compared to the 1.6 that the legislation marks, the expense for the user will increase by 40% (including replacement cost and consumption differences).
6. Apart from the driver’s pocket, the precipitation in the change of tires also has pernicious effects for the economy in general and the care of the environment. If all Europeans advanced this operation, 128 million more covers would be needed each year, with a cost of 6.9 billion Euros in that period. In addition, its production would mean the emission of 9.1 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.
7. The legislation is clear on this issue, a drawing depth limit of 1.6 millimeters is sufficient to guarantee the safety of the user in any circumstance provided that the tire has the necessary quality, regular wear and optimum general condition. It is unnecessary to advance the process, being only essential to pay the necessary attention to the tread, both to the appearance of the warning lights and to the measurement of the depth in three different points of the same.
Tips to rotate your car tires correctly
The tire rotation is an increasingly widespread and recommended for proper car maintenance practice. The tires are one of the most important elements in the car and we have already given you some advice on how to carry the correct pressure and what the letters mean. Now let’s talk about what it means to rotate the tires and what is the right way to do it in each type of car. Due to different factors, it is normal for wear to be uneven between the four tires of each vehicle. The type of traction, driving or road conditions means that after several thousand kilometers each wheel has different levels of life, with differences between axles. The rotation of tires what it achieves is that there is a more homogeneous wear and that the duration can be greater.
To achieve this balance, the first thing to do is to rotate between the four tires at the same time. It is often said that it is advisable to do it every 10,000 kilometers, although if you make more intensive use of the car it could be less and less distance. It can be advanced in the event of noticeable uneven wear between axles. The same happens if vibrations or other abnormal symptoms are detected. It should also be taken into account that it is always recommended that all four tires come from the same manufacturer and, of course, have the same measures. On the other hand, remember that the rotation of tires does not serve to correct severe uneven wear caused by undue pressure or to extend the life of the tire forever. In any case, when the tread is less than the legal depth (1.6 mm) it is time to replace it.
Where does each tire go?
To rotate the tires you have to take into account the type of traction that the car has. In the case of having a front-wheel drive vehicle, the rotation must be done as follows. The front wheels pass to the rear axle respecting the side, while the rear wheels pass to the front axle changing sides. It would be as shown in the graphic the right rear wheel to the left front position and the left rear to the right front position. In the case of having a car with rear-wheel drive, the maneuver would be carried out on the contrary. In these cars it is the rear wheels that pass unchanged to the front axle, maintaining its initial side.
However, the front tires will shift to the rear axle with change of position, the left front to the right rear side and the right front to the left rear position. In the case of having a vehicle with four-wheel drive, the rotation would have to be done crosswise. This means changing the axle and position tires (exchange between right front and left rear and between left front and right rear). If you have directional tires, we will only have the option of changing the axle tires without modifying the corresponding side (indicated on the tire itself). There is also the option to rotate with the spare wheel as long as it has the same measures as the rest.
Can you do it yourself?
Tire rotation is a relatively simple task and can be done without visiting an official service. It will only take time and patience, because there are four wheels that have to be exchanged. You also have to follow the instructions in the graphic and safety measures to correctly change the wheel of a car. Most vehicles already have the tire pressure sensor (it is totally mandatory since 2014) which is responsible for notifying us in case of pressure loss. After having made the rotation it is possible that the warning light will turn on, so this function should be reset. This is only recommended after manually checking that the four-wheel pressures are those recommended by the manufacturer.