How do i know when to replace my car tires

Tire Replacement Guide - When & How to Replace Tires

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Check For Tread Depth

The best way to know if it’s time to buy new tires for your vehicle is to have them inspected by a professional, but there are ways to check them yourself. To meet legal safety standards in the U.S., a tire’s tread needs to be at least 2/32” deep. If the tires do not meet the 2/32” standard or are approaching not meeting it, you should replace your tires. When replacing tires, it’s important to select the right tire size for your vehicle. Not sure what size you need? Learn more about determining tire size.

Tires should also be free of sidewall damage and irregular wear for optimal performance and safety. It’s also a good idea to learn what types of damage can be repaired vs. replaced so that you can safely extend the life of your tires.

You can evaluate your tires on your own through a visual inspection. Start with the tread — the part of the tire that contacts the road surface. Make sure the tire tread is deep enough and worn evenly all the way around without any irregularities. All DOT-regulated tires feature built-in treadwear indicators, commonly called “wear bars”, that will help you see when the tread is getting low. These indicators can be found in various places throughout the tread and will be even with the tread surface when the tread is worn to two-thirty seconds (2/32) of an inch. You should also examine each tire’s sidewall to ensure there is no visible damage.

The Penny Test

You can also use the Penny Test to check your tire tread. This test can be performed in your own driveway in just a few minutes. 

The idea of the penny test is to check whether you’ve hit the 2/32” threshold. Here’s how it works:

  1. Place a penny in the tread of your tire.
  2. Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s head points down into the tread.
  3. See if the top of Lincoln’s head “disappears.” If it does, your tread is still above 2/32” and you're good to go. If you can see his entire head, it may be time to replace the tire because your tread is no longer deep enough.

Check all four tires, especially in areas that look the most worn. If any parts of your tire fail the penny test, it may be time to replace the tire.

Consistent wear around the whole tire is normal. Uneven tread wear could be a sign of improper inflation, wheel misalignment, or a variety of other things. If you see uneven tread wear, you should have a technician inspect your vehicle.

If your tires pass these tests, you may not need to buy new tires just yet. It’s a good idea to reassess the tread every few thousand miles, or once a month, and even more often if you’re putting a lot of wear on your vehicle or driving long distances.

When Should Your Tires Retire?

No matter how new your tire is, Bridgestone recommends checking inflation pressure every month and scheduling regular inspections with a pro. After five years, an inspection is essential to determine if a tire is still road-worthy.

We recommend tires that were manufactured 10 years prior (or longer) be taken out of service and replaced with new tires. Same goes for the spare. If it’s 10 years old, it needs to be replaced, even if it appears new.

It’s important to note that the age of a tire is not the only indicator of whether it needs to be replaced. Many tires will need to be replaced before 10 years of age due to routine tread wear and other conditions such as punctures, impact damage, improper inflation, overloading and more. If a tire is worn out or otherwise unserviceable from damage or conditions of use, it should be replaced regardless of when it was produced or purchased.

Do I Have To Replace All Four Tires At Once?

Another common tire-buying question is if it’s necessary to replace all four tires at once. The simple answer is yes. It is recommended to replace all four at once because your tires are key to the performance and handling of your vehicle, it’s important for them to be as identical as possible. If your tires don’t match, one end of your vehicle may not be able to respond as quickly as the other, making it difficult to control. Your tires are what keep your vehicle connected to the road, so having an even surface is vital.

If you are in a situation where you will be replacing fewer than four tires, select tires that are similar to what is currently installed on your vehicle. If you are replacing just two tires, those two tires should only be installed on the rear axle. You should only consider tires that are within the same category as your existing ones.

If you have a vehicle that came equipped with a staggered fitment (different size tires on the front and back) then you should check your vehicle owner’s manual for replacement recommendations.

Which Tires Are Better, New or Used?

There are a lot of risks associated with buying used tires. Since you don’t know the history of the tires, it can be difficult to know if they’ve been previously run under inflated, overloaded or have other unseen internal damage which could lead to an unexpected failure. Used tires might also have uneven wear, which can cause noise, vibration or other problems and may need to be replaced much sooner than new tires. It is best to replace tires with new tires of the same category, size, load capacity and speed rating as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

Check for Tire Recalls

When it comes to recalled tires, there is only one position to take.  We do not want anyone driving on recalled tires. We are committed to replacing, free of charge, any Bridgestone or Firestone tire (or other brands warranted by Bridgestone) subject to a customer satisfaction, quality and/or safety recall, at any time. The easiest way for consumers to get answers to questions about recalled tires is to call 1-844-293-7514 or locate an authorized Bridgestone or Firestone dealer to examine the tires in question.  You can also check current tire recalls online at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site. 

Ask The Pros

There’s no reason to guess. Talk to a tire dealer or other authorized professional so you can make certain you’re choosing the best tire option for your vehicle. Find out if tire rotation and balancing are included with your new tires. If they are not, see if you can bundle the maintenance service. Ask the dealer to outline the manufacturer’s warranty and replacement options to make certain your new investment is protected in the long run, and inquire about any specials they may be offering. With these tire-buying tips and some trusted ratings in hand, you should be able to confidently pick out new tires.

Bridgestone consistently strives to connect with drivers through our stores, dealers and media campaigns to raise awareness and educate consumers on safe driving and tire safety. We encourage all consumers to learn all they can about tire safety and why it's important to have their tires, including the spare tire, regularly inspected by a qualified professional.

Position on Recall Awareness and Tire Age

Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

  • Bridgestone Americas has been very clear about our position on recalled tires: we do not want anyone driving on recalled tires from our company or any other company.  We are committed to replacing, free of charge, any Bridgestone or Firestone tire (or other brands warranted by Bridgestone) subject to formal recalls, at any time. The easiest way for consumers to get answers to questions about their tires is to call 1-844-293-7514 or locate an authorized Bridgestone or Firestone dealer to examine the tires in question. 
  • Our company continues to reach out to drivers through its stores, dealers and media campaigns to raise awareness and educate consumers on safe driving and tire safety. We encourage all consumers to go to www. to learn about tire safety and why it’s important to have their tires, including the spare tire, regularly inspected by a qualified professional.
  • Bridgestone recommends that tires more than 10 years old should be taken out of service and replaced with new tires. Be sure to check your spare tire and replace it if it is more than 10 years old, even if it appears new.
  • In addition, Bridgestone recommends that all tires be regularly inspected and that inflation pressures be checked monthly. In particular, tires should be inspected after five years to assure that they are in appropriate condition for further service.

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When the tread depth gets too low or your tires hit the six-year mark, it's time for new rubber.


Whitney Vandiver 

Whitney Vandiver
Writer | Car ownership, car maintenance

Whitney Vandiver writes for NerdWallet about ways car owners can save money on ownership and maintenance. She previously wrote in the oil and gas industry, where she was published in national journals and international magazines. Whitney became a writer out of enjoyment and finds stories that highlight or help the LGBTQ+ community the most rewarding to craft. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading and walking with her Irish wolfhound. She is based in Houston.

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Julie Myhre-Nunes
Assistant Assigning Editor | Auto loans, consumer credit

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While the consensus across the auto industry is that you should consider replacing your tires at least every six years, there’s no magic number for how often you should replace them.

Tires become unsafe when tread becomes too thin, rubber is degraded by time and temperature or their sidewalls are damaged. A flat is an inconvenience, but a blowout or sketchy grip can lead to an accident.

Although tires can be a substantial expense for a car owner to handle at one time, wear and tear — and their replacement — is mostly predictable. Here’s a rundown of how to determine if your tires need to be replaced and common signs that your tires aren’t up to par.

Tread depth

Tires have grooves known as tread that help them grip the road. While most new tires have a tread depth around 10/32nds of an inch, the tread wears down over time. This makes it more difficult to steer your vehicle, reduces traction and increases braking time.

The U.S. Department of Transportation deems tires that have tread at or below 2/32nds of an inch to be unsafe. While your tire technically has enough tread to drive at this point, it can be dangerous to drive your car in certain conditions or for long distances.

There are three ways to figure out your tires’ tread depth:

  • Tread wear indicators are built into tires and are raised, evenly spaced sections in the grooves of your tire tread. On new tires, they are not as high as the tread. However, when the tread reaches the same level as the indicators, it means it’s time to replace the tires.

  • Tire tread gauges are relatively cheap tools that let you measure your tread in thirty-seconds of an inch. This will show you the exact measurement of your tire tread.

  • The penny test lets you estimate tread depth based on where the tread hits a penny. To do this test, take a penny, turn it upside-down, and insert it straight down in the groove of a tire’s tread. Look straight on at the penny to determine where the tread hits President Lincoln’s profile. If you can see his entire head, you’ve hit the mark and need new tires.

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Tire age

Regardless of how many miles they’ve driven, tires degrade over time and become more prone to failure. Factors like environmental conditions, storage and maintenance can influence how long a tire will last even if it’s only driven a few hundred miles a month.

While there’s no set requirement for when to replace tires according to age, the general recommendation is to replace them six years after the manufacture date and to never drive on tires that are older than 10 years.

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Signs you might need new tires

Of course there are other times when your tires are telling you it’s time for replacement despite what your tread measurement might say.

You moved to a new climate. Some tires are designed for specific conditions such as extreme temperatures. Winter tires, for example, have deeper tread and are meant to be more flexible in cold weather; driving them on warm pavement can wear them down more quickly. If you move to a new climate, pay attention to road conditions and weather patterns to determine if you need different tires.

You’re losing traction. If it feels like your car is slipping or sliding during wet weather, this could be a sign of low tire tread that is failing to channel water away effectively. Because tire tread can wear unevenly, you might not notice that some of your tread has worn thin and is affecting your traction.

Most modern cars activate a warning light when your car loses traction. If you are seeing this warning light more frequently as time goes on, check the condition of your tires.

Your tires aren’t holding pressure like they should. Certain types of tire damage, including debris between the rim and the tire and damage to the sidewall, can cause continuous pressure loss. Some damage might be repairable, but some situations will call for new tires.

🤓Nerdy Tip

An average of 2% air loss in tires is common for every drop of 10 degrees in outside temperature. So don’t worry if your tire pressure varies a bit when it starts to get colder outside.

Frequently asked questions

How long do tires last on average?

On average, tires last about six years or between 36,000-75,000 miles. But the actual lifespan of tires varies with factors like climate, maintenance and driving habits. No matter how they look, tires should never be used longer than 10 years.

When should I really replace my tires?

You should consider replacing your tires when the tread has worn down below the recommended depth of 2/32nds of an inch or they’re over six years old. You might also need to replace your tires if you notice changes in how your tires perform. Losing traction and constantly having to air them back up are common issues with worn out tires.

Should you replace all four tires at once?

If you drive an all-wheel drive vehicle, you’ll likely need to replace all four tires at the same time to avoid affecting the vehicle’s drivetrain. In other types of vehicles, you have more options. If you’re needing to replace a damaged tire and the other tires still have substantial tread and are in good shape, you can replace just the one tire. Talk with a tire specialist about the best way to go about replacing tires if you’re unsure.

How often should you replace tires if you don’t drive much?

All tires will start to deteriorate over time. Even if they have very little mileage on them, their tread will start to become thinner. So while you might get more than the average five to six years out of a tire, always replace tires before they hit their 10-year anniversaries regardless of how often you drive.

About the author: Whitney Vandiver is a writer at NerdWallet currently focusing on car ownership and maintenance. She's previously written about small business and payments. Read more

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When to change tires for summer tires in 2023 according to the law: advice from lawyers and motorists

General recommendations on when to change tires for summer tires are as follows - when the average daily temperature rises more than +5 С° . In such conditions, the mixtures from which summer tires are made are already beginning to “work”, that is, they can fully perform their functions. At the same time, in comparison with winter tires, summer tires save their owner not only fuel, but also a resource. After all, they are heavier and wear out more strongly at positive temperatures.

Does this mean that tires should be changed as soon as the snow melts? No! It is important to be patient and to wait not only for a steady “plus” in the afternoon of , but for the absence of night (and sometimes daily) short-term frosts, which are quite possible in our climate. In this sense, as they say, it is better to "move".

This is especially true for those who travel on rural secondary roads (and icy yards). For city streets and highways from the highway are actively treated with anti-icing reagents.

Technical Regulations of the Customs Union "On the safety of wheeled vehicles" 018/2011, in particular paragraph 5. 5, prescribes:

"It is forbidden to operate vehicles equipped with tires with anti-skid studs during the summer period (June, July, August).

Vehicles not equipped with winter tires that meet the requirements of paragraph 5.6.3. of this appendix during the winter period (December, January, February) are prohibited. Winter tires are installed on all wheels of the vehicle.

The terms of the prohibition of operation can be changed upwards by the regional government bodies of the member states of the Customs Union.»

Formally, following the letter of the law, owners of only studded tires are obliged to change winter tires to summer tires in 2023 and only with the onset of June. However, taking into account the increased wear of winter tires at positive temperatures, higher fuel consumption and mediocre braking performance, it is better to change shoes from winter to summer in a timely manner. Cars equipped with studless winter tires can be used all year round. But, for the reasons described above, I do not recommend doing this. The author of these lines had a sad experience. Wheels with a 5-6 mm tread remaining were worn out almost over the summer. At the same time, the car noticeably “floated” at speeds of more than 100 km / h and an outboard temperature of more than +20 C. Of course, the sensations will be different from the control of the “fours” of the Zhiguli and BMW. A good car eliminates the negative consequences of using tires that are inappropriate for the season. But according to my personal feelings, properly selected tires allow not only to ensure safety, for example, on the same "seven" from AVTOVAZ, but to fully reveal the potential of the S7 from AUDI, charged with more than 400 horsepower.

But back to the timing of the replacement. In a more southerly warmer region, the authorities may ban the use of winter tires, for example, from March to November. Or in the northern regions - to prescribe the use of winter tires from September to May. At the same time, the authorities at the regional level cannot limit the duration of the ban in force on the "union" territory: from December to February, cars throughout the territory of the Customs Union must use only winter tires, and from June to August - only summer tires.

Thus, if we proceed strictly from the terms specified in the Technical Regulations, we get:

Summer tires (without marking m & s) can be used from March to November
Winter Tires (with marking M & S) can be used from May
Winter inopharyngear М&S) can be used all year round

As a result, if you have wheels with summer and winter studded tires, then you will need to change winter to summer tires in spring within three spring months: from March to May. And before winter - from September to November.

There is still a lot of controversy surrounding the statement: “It is better to have complete wheels than to have tires replaced every season”! Deformation of the onboard zone and sidewall cord is possible. In theory, it’s true - it’s cheaper, easier and more useful to change the wheels as an assembly: when the tire is mounted on the wheel (in everyday life - “disk”). In practice, my more than 20 years of experience and my friends (6-7 seasons already) have shown that nothing criminal happens with tires if tire fitting employees have the necessary and sufficient experience. By the way, did you use such a convenient service as an on-site tire fitting this season? Please write in the comments about your experience. Many, I think, will be interested. After all, this not only saves precious time, but also allows you to maintain health by storing the wheels "in stock" of the service provider. The wheels of modern cars are increasingly increasing in diameter, reaching over 20 inches. Only a physically strong person can lift these!

If you don’t have time to change your tires on time, you will get quick wear and new expenses. Photo:

I hope I have fully covered the topic of spring tire changes. It remains only to wish you to guess with the weather forecast and always have the opportunity to entrust someone to lift your ever-increasing diameter and weight wheels.

How to choose tires for a car, when to change tires, how to understand that tires have expired

Konstantin Ishchenko

experienced motorist

Much depends on the condition of the suspension, springs and shock absorbers, but tires provide direct grip. Wrong or worn tires can cause accidents. In this article, we will tell you how to avoid this.

What you will learn

  • When to change tires according to the season
  • How to know when it is time to change your tires
  • How to store your tires
  • How to choose tires for your car
  • Tire construction
  • Other characteristics and features of car tires
  • How to choose the right tires for different conditions
  • Is it possible to put different tires
  • How to choose a manufacturer
  • Where to buy car tires
  • What affects the cost of buying tires
  • Rules for the use of tires
  • How to get rid of unnecessary rubber

When to change tires for the season

In spring - from winter to summer. There are no strict requirements in the regulatory documents: it is recommended to use winter tires from December to February, and summer tires from June to August. There are requirements for studded tires: they cannot be used from the first of June - for this they can be warned or fined 500 R. From winter to summer, they change shoes at an average daily temperature above +7 ° C. After this mark, winter tires wear out quickly and hold the road poorly.

Rules of the Customs Union "On the safety of wheeled vehicles"

In autumn - from summer to winter. It's time to change tires if the average daily temperature drops below +10 °C: summer tires become dull, grip becomes worse. In autumn, it is much more difficult to sign up for a tire fitting: the closer the frost, the longer the appointment. People are afraid of ice, the prospect of hitting someone else's car or flying into a ditch.

What to do? 02/21/20

Wheels scratched in my car service

How to understand that it is time to change the tires

Car tires are a consumable item. In addition to seasonal replacement, it is important to replace them as soon as they are worn out or seriously damaged.

When the tire is worn. Each car tire has a wear indicator - a special jumper between the tread islands. As soon as the tread wears off and matches the level of at least one of the indicator jumpers, it's time to change the tire. Such a tire is dangerous, especially on wet surfaces.

/car service/

How to save money on the operation of the machine

Insufficiently high tread poorly removes water from the contact patch of the tire with the roadway. Where you can confidently drive 70–80 km/h on new tires, on worn tires you can lose control of the car already at a speed of 55–60 km/h.

Indicator bar on a tire that has been through a season and a half

Some manufacturers apply their own wear indicators in addition to the standard ones. For example, on Nokian tires, numbers are cut in the middle of the tread: the larger the number, the deeper the cut.

A relatively new tire will have a lot of numbers, a worn one or two will remain - the rest will be erased. A drop with a cross is applied to the sidewall of the Continental tire. As soon as it is worn down to half, the tire should be considered worn out and replaced. But all these are rather exceptions - most tires do not have such indicators.

Wear may be uneven. If the tire has been inflated, the center of the tread will be worn off. If the tire pressure was too low, it will be relatively fresh and the sidewalls of the tread will be worn out.

Non-standard wear indicators. From left to right: Nokian with numbers - summer and winter, Continental summer - with a drop and a cross Tire that was pumped over: wear on the central part of the tread is much stronger

It also happens that either the inner or outer side of the tread wears out on one wheel. This means that the camber is broken - the angle of the wheel relative to the vertical plane. In this case, it is important to sign up for wheel alignment - this is a service during which the wheel alignment angles are adjusted.

It happens that the wheel angles cannot be adjusted. For example, if the car has been in a serious accident and its power parts of the body or suspension parts are deformed. In this case, you will have to eliminate these malfunctions, and then go to the wheel alignment stand again.


As I sued the auto service

Sawtooth or comb wear occurs on winter tires if the toe-in is broken - the angle of the wheel position in the horizontal plane. Sign up for a wheel alignment so that the same wear does not appear on the new tire.

Uneven tread wear. The tire was on a wheel with unadjusted camber Comb-shaped tread wear. Source:

When the tire is damaged and it is noticeable. The tire is quite easy to damage: cut the sidewall, run into a piece of reinforcement or get hit, in place of which a hernia will come out. All sidewall damage is a good reason to buy a new tire: repairs will be expensive and ineffective. Damage to the working part of the tire - the tread - is less critical.

When damage is present but not visible. Hidden damage may appear on the back of the wheel. For example, a driver caught a hole, felt a good hit, got out, saw that everything was in order, and drove on. And on the reverse side, a piece of rubber was torn out and the cord became visible - the metal carcass of the tire. Such damages are found only when inspecting the chassis or at a tire fitting, and this is bad: they can cause an accident or serious damage to the car.

Service life of car tires. The tire life recommended by most manufacturers is five years, but this does not mean that they cannot be used for the sixth year. The expiration date is not limited by any documents.

GOST R 52900-2007

Tire manufacturers estimate tire service life differently. Nokian provided the most detailed explanation: “Tire life is not defined by law, but tires can only be considered new if they have been manufactured within the last five years. The recommended tire life is 6 years and the maximum is 10 years. Then the tire loses its consumer properties: grip deteriorates, vibration may appear on the body or steering wheel.

5 years

tire life recommended by most tire manufacturers

How to store tires

Storage location - less than a meter away from direct sunlight and heaters. In the sun, near the battery and in the rain, the tire will quickly lose its properties: the rubber will dry out and collapse. Permissible temperature - from -30 to +35 ° C, humidity - 50-80%. Do not leave the wheels dirty; they must be thoroughly washed before seasonal storage. Tires can be stored under a canopy in the open air for no more than a month.

GOST 54266-2010

The method of storage depends on the set: either tires separately or wheels as an assembly. Tires up to 205 mm wide can be stored in even stacks up to 2 m high. Tires from 210 mm are stored vertically - on edge. Every three months, all tires, regardless of width, should be rotated to change the footprint.

GOST does not explain how to store the wheels as an assembly, but Nokian has a visual manual for storage. Continental recommends hanging wheels by rims or storing them in a stack, similar to tires, turning them over every 4 weeks. It is advisable to reduce the air pressure in the tire to 1-1.5 atm and not make stacks of wheels - a tire plus a disk - more than four pieces.

Nokian Tire Storage TipsPDF, 2.1 MB

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How to choose tires for your car

First of all, you need to decide which tires are suitable. All important characteristics are written on the sidewall of the tire.

It is important to consider the dimensions of the tire when selecting it for a specific car and rim. All options provided for by the design of the car are written on special plates.

Depending on the brand of car, they can be found on the gas tank flap or on the B-pillar in the driver's doorway. The recommended tire pressure is also written here.


How to buy a used car

Decal with Mini John Cooper Works tire parameters in the doorway: size and recommended pressure at different loads Decal on the gas tank flap of the Skoda Octavia

Tire sizes are indicated in the format xxx/xx Rx. They are on the sidewall of the tire.

The first parameter is the tread width in mm. The size step is 10 mm, always 5 at the end. Next is the tire profile, or its height as a percentage relative to the width. The width of a tire with parameters 235/55/R16 is approximately 129 mm, and for a tire 195/55/R16 it is 107 mm.

R - an indication of the type of tire, in this case, that it is radial. There are also diagonal ones, but this is an outdated design. These have not been used for cars for a long time. The difference is in the design of the cord. A popular misconception is that R is a radius.

The last two digits are the diameter of the rim in inches, on which the tire can be placed.

It is undesirable to deviate from the tire parameters recommended by the car manufacturer. This can adversely affect handling, as well as cause the tire to rub against the wheel arch or suspension parts: this will damage the tire and increase the likelihood of an accident.

It happens that on the front and rear axles from the factory there are disks for different sizes of rubber. Usually we are talking about the width - the rear wheels can be wider than the front. In the people, such a set of disks is called a different-wide one.

Tire construction

Tube or tubeless construction. Previously, a car wheel consisted of three main parts: a disc, a tube, and a tire. The tire was responsible only for traction and overall strength, the chamber was a container for air. This design had serious drawbacks:

  1. The wheel weighed more.
  2. It was impossible to repair a puncture without dismantling the tire and in general to use the "harnesses" that are used to treat punctures now.
  3. The wheel heated up more due to the friction of the chamber on the tire.
  4. Difficulty balancing.

Now you can find a tube tire on a car only in a museum or in your grandfather's garage: the technology is outdated.

Modern tubeless tires do not have these drawbacks. Special protrusions in the disks — hubs, for which the tire clings, help to maintain the tightness of the tubeless wheel.

Manufacturers still mark tubeless tires with a special tubeless mark, and those intended for use with a tube - tube type, but now these are only rare domestic models

Cord construction type. Each tire is multi-layered, a single rubber product will not be able to provide the desired shape and strength. Therefore, inside the tire there is a cord - a kind of carcass. The cord can be metal, synthetic fibers or textile threads. According to the method of laying the cord, tires are divided into radial and diagonal.

Tire properties depending on the paving method

Bias tire Radial tire
2 or more cords 1 ply cord
Smaller contact patch Larger road contact patch
Tire heavier than Tire lighter
Used on commercial vehicles Used on passenger cars
Cheaper than More expensive


Radial tire

2 layers of cord or more than

1 layer of cord

Less contact stain with an expensive

Contact stain with an expensive

Tires 9000


are used on commercial equipment

used on cars


More expensive

Radial tire cords are parallel to the wheel circumference, on top of each other. For diagonal tires, the cord layers overlap each other diagonally. Source: Kolobox

Other specifications and features of automotive rubber

DOT marking. The name comes from the American Department of Transportation - an analogue of our Department of Transportation. In 1978, this department approved mandatory labeling for all automobile tires, which includes Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature grades marked on the sidewall. Now most manufacturers use this system, selling tires without such marking is illegal in the USA.

Treadwear. Some people want tires to last as long as possible, others want good grip. So far, these qualities have not been learned to combine in one tire.

The wear rate of a tire is indicated by the Treadwear index. Typically, for products for passenger cars, this parameter ranges from 100 to 600. In terms of kilometers, this is approximately 10,000-15,000 km per hundred points. For example, index 240 corresponds to 24,000-36,000 km. At the end of the range there will be tires that were used with a calm driving style.

Traction also shows the grip class, but unlike Russian traffic rules and technical regulations, the classification is based not on distance in meters, but on the deceleration coefficient - G, which the tire can provide. According to Traction, all tires are divided into classes according to their ability to effectively stop a car on wet asphalt and concrete: from the best AA to the worst C.

Traction classification

Class G on asphalt G on concrete
AA More than 0.54 m/s² 0.38 m/s²
A More than 0.47 m/s² 0.35 m/s²
B More than 0.38 m/s² 0.26 m/s²
C Less than 0.38 m/s² 0.26 m/s²

Class AA

G on asphalt

More than 0. 54 m/s²

G on concrete

0.38 m/s²


G on the asphalt

more than 0.47 m/s²

G on concrete

0.35 m/s²

G on asphalt

more than 0.38 m/s²

G on concrete

0.26 m/s²

G on asphalt

less than 0.38 m/s²

G on concrete

0.26 m/s²

Temperature curve, Temperature. All tires are divided into three classes according to the resistance to heat generation during movement: A, B and C. Class A tires effectively remove heat at speeds over 185 km / h, class B - from 160 to 185 km / h, class C - from 137 up to 160 km/h. For passenger cars, there are almost no tires on sale, except for class A.

Run flat. This rubber has a thick and stiff sidewall. It can be driven up to 80 km at speeds up to 80 km/h after a puncture or side cut with a complete loss of pressure.

It is important that the machine is equipped with a tire pressure system, otherwise the driver may not recognize a flat tire, exceed the recommended speed, or drive more than 80 km, which at best will lead to damage to the rim, and at worst, to an accident.

Many vehicles come with runflat tires from the factory. Especially on those who do not have a spare tire. Such tires are 1.5-2 times more expensive than ordinary ones, they make driving less comfortable: due to the hard sidewall, such rubber smooths out bumps much worse and is heavier than conventional tires.

But you don't have to call a tow truck: you can almost always get to the tire shop on your own. If you drive on a relatively flat road, there will be no damage to the alloy wheel: it is still a few centimeters from the road surface.


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Load and maximum speed indices. Load Index is a two- or three-digit number that indicates the maximum weight that the tire can support. The speed index is denoted by a Latin letter. It shows the maximum allowable speed that the tire can withstand. All indices are summarized in tables.

How to read speed index

Speed ​​index Maximum speed, km/h
L 120
M 130
N 140
P 150
Q 160
R 170
S 180
T 190
U 200
H 210
V 240
W 270
Y 300
Z 300+

Speed ​​index

Maximum speed, km/h

If you want to know how to read the load index, find your value in the table.

How to read the load index

load index

Mass per tire, kg





900 9000 9000 105 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000


































Load index Weight per tire, kg Load index Weight per tire, kg Load index Weight per tire, kg
62 265 83 487 104 900
63 272 84 500 105 925
64 280 85 515 106 950
65 290 86 530 107 975
66 300 87 545 108 1000
67 307 88 560 109 1030
68 315 89 580 110 1060
69 325 90 600 111 1090
70 335 91 615 112 1120
71 345 92 630 113 1150
72 355 93 650 114 1180
73 365 94 670 115 1215
74 375 95 690 116 1250
75 387 96 710 117 1285
76 400 97 730 118 1320
77 412 98 750 119 1360
78 425 99 775 120 1400
79 437 100 800 121 1450
80 450 101 825 122 1500
81 462 102 850 123 1550
82 475 103 875 124 1600

Pressure index is another name for the load index.

Euro label. Manufacturers put special stickers on tires. They have three parameters that are not written about on the bus itself. These stickers appeared in 2012. Since then, they have been on any tire sold in the EU.

The label complies with EC Regulation 1222/2009. This is a complex document with formulas and parameters like rolling resistance - it does not have the usual values ​​​​like fuel consumption or braking distances. The sticker describes the tire according to three characteristics: noise level, fuel economy class and wet grip class.


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Noise level shows the noise level in decibels. One black sound wave is 3 or more decibels below the 2016 European norm. Two waves - at the normal level or quieter, but less than 3 decibels. Three - noisy tire, out of limit.

Fuel economy class. A is the most economical. The lower the class, the more the tire resists rolling and the higher the fuel consumption. There is a 7.5% difference in fuel consumption between the most economical class A tire and the most "wasteful" class G. That is, for an average car with a consumption of 10 liters per 100 km and an annual mileage of 25,000 km, class A tires will save up to 187 liters of fuel - 8000 R.

Road grip. Same letters, but without color indication. This estimate was obtained when checking the braking distance on asphalt. The shorter the stopping distance, the closer the letter is to the beginning of the alphabet. The difference between A and G is more than 18 meters: A is the minimum stopping distance, B is plus 3 meters to A, C is plus 7 meters to A, D is plus 10 meters to A, E is plus 12 meters to A, F is plus 18 meters to A.

Sticker on a new tire

Color markers on tires. There are another colored stripes on the tire tread - these are technological marks, they are of no use to the buyer. These drawings guide the production line, and they can also show the batch and release date.

The most pedantic car owners may try to buy a set of new tires with necessarily the same stripes, but it is better to focus on the stamp with the release date on the sidewall.

How to choose the right tires for different conditions

Features of choosing all-season tires. Theoretically, they can be ridden all year round. The rubber compound works in the temperature range from -7 to +15 °C. In severe frosts, rubber hardens like summer tires at temperatures below +10 °C, and in hot weather it becomes softer, like winter tires at temperatures above +7 °C. In any case, all-season tires are not suitable for either hot asphalt or ice ruts.

All-season tires are chosen when they want to save on tire fitting and buying an extra set of tires. This is true for crossovers and SUVs with relatively low annual mileage.

Features of the choice of summer tires. There are models for quiet city driving. Such tires will help save fuel, please with a low noise level and will last three to four seasons. At the same time, they will not tolerate overheating, will not provide perfect grip on the road and will not allow you to drive a car with great comfort.

The opposite - tires for those who like to push the gas to the floor. Such tires will make noise, increase fuel consumption and wear out in one or two seasons. In return, the driver will get excellent grip and driving pleasure.

Features of the choice of winter tires. There are three types of winter tires.

The studded tires are good for driving on ice and packed snow. They have relatively hard rubber, deep tread and studs. And they also hold the road well on asphalt: the spikes have been hidden in the tread for a long time.

Ideal conditions - ice cover above -15°C. The ice is soft enough for the spikes to grip most effectively.

Disadvantages: they are very noisy, they have a low speed index. Usually, you can drive on studded tires no faster than 160-180 km/h. And they are also banned in many European countries because they spoil the asphalt.

Scandinavian style friction tires, aka Velcro, studless and made for harsh winters. Rough tread pattern, soft rubber compound and many sipes - horizontal slots on the islands of the tire tread.

Ideal conditions are snow and ice below -15°C. They are noticeably quieter, you can move at a much higher speed on them.

Disadvantages: such tires wear out quickly, almost do not hold the car on melted smooth ice at temperatures above -5 °C. There is a small distance between the tread islands, such tires do not drain water well from the contact patch with the roadway.

Alpine type friction tires without studs and made for mild winters. There are 1.5-2 times fewer sipes on the tread, the grooves for water drainage are much wider. This is the most wear resistant winter tire.

Ideal conditions - puddles, asphalt, -5 to +3 °C. Well remove water from the contact patch with the roadway.

Disadvantages: poor grip on any ice and packed snow.

Is it possible to put different tires

According to the Rules of the Road, different tires cannot be put on one axle of a vehicle. This is considered a malfunction in which the use of a car is prohibited.

p. 5 of the Traffic Regulations of the Russian Federation: wheels and tires

At the same time, the rules do not prohibit installing tires of different brands and models on different axles of the same car, but it’s better not to do this. The car and all its systems are designed for the same tires with the same grip.

This is especially true for modern cars with many electronic assistants: stabilization systems, brake force distribution. You can drive on such a combination of tires, but no one knows how the car will behave in an extreme situation.

How to choose a manufacturer

Like everywhere else, there are premium brands and there is something cheap. But cool brands have failed models, while budget brands have successful ones.

There is a lot of research and testing behind well-known brand tires. Before entering the market, large companies test each new model in the most extreme conditions. Tires can be rolled on arctic ranges or in the desert.

Often, rubber is tested in the conditions of sports competitions and only then the technology is sent to the mass market. The more famous the manufacturer and the more expensive its products, the greater its budget for the development of new models.

There are also very cheap tires, often from China. They can directly write that they copied the tread pattern of a prestigious model, but this is not enough: there is also a rubber composition, cord design and other parameters.

Prices for tires of the same size may differ by multiples. The smaller the profile and the larger the width, the greater the difference.

To look at something other than the brand and choose what you need, there is an algorithm:

  1. Decide on the type of rubber: summer, studded, friction or Eurowinter.
  2. Specify the size and features of the tires, if Runflat is needed.
  3. Assess the driving style: calm, active, desire to play checkers, break from a traffic light and brake hard.
  4. Read the latest tire tests for the correct size. The same model may behave differently depending on the profile, width and diameter.
  5. Select 3-5 finalist models and read reviews about them on Drive-2, in Yandex Market or see reviews on YouTube.
  6. Select shop, pick up tires.

Where to buy car tires

Specialized stores. There is a large selection, manufacturers' catalogs and competent advice. This will appeal to those who buy car tires for the first time or are simply not very interested in the technical side of cars. There is a service here - there will be a guarantee for tires, there is tire fitting and seasonal storage. The one-stop principle works: you can arrive on spikes and leave on a new summer and with an empty trunk.

Online hypermarkets and warehouses. Rubber is sold by large Internet sites and small shops. The option is suitable for those who want to find cheaper, are ready to take risks and waste time for this. Here, the entire responsibility for checking the parameters of the tire, the date of its release and, in general, compliance with the order lies with the buyer. If something goes wrong, you will have to take all four tires to no one knows where and change them. Tire fitting and storage is the buyer's concern.


How to save on car maintenance?

Flea markets, car club forums and ad services. Avito, Yulia and specialized automotive forums offer a lot of rubber. You can buy a completely fresh set at a good price, or you can buy rubbish and expensive. There is a great risk of buying tires with hidden damage: the fact that the tire is crooked will only be opened at a tire fitting, many hernias will be visible only on an inflated tire.

Sometimes the ability to measure depth and read parameters does not help. To put the correct year on an old tire, there is a special stamp. The tread depth can be machined, and a tire that is white from old age can be treated with ink.

With the help of special equipment, you can even remove the remnants of the old protector and stick a new one. It remains to hope for the reputation of the seller and look at the goods that he sells or sold. I try to avoid those who sell used rubber all the time.

What affects the cost of tires

First of all, the size. The larger the diameter, the more expensive. But at the same time, the lower the tire profile, the more expensive it is. This may seem counterintuitive, as less material is used.

Tire inner layers and construction play an important role. Due to the low profile height, the sidewall of such a tire must be much stronger than the same tire with a high profile.

Tire make and model affected. Rubber from large, famous brands with a century of history is more expensive, but the budget lines of well-known companies will allow you to save a lot. Tires of young, unknown manufacturers, especially Asian ones, will cost even less.

Tires with runflat technology are more expensive than conventional tires, because their sidewalls have special requirements.

How to save money on tires

Is it worth buying retreaded tires? It is almost impossible to buy such tires for a passenger car in Russia in 2021. The cord design of car tires for projector restoration is not intended, unlike truck tires, for which this is a very popular service. In some countries in Eastern Europe, you can buy retreaded tires in popular sizes, but their properties are mediocre: long braking distances, poor handling.

When is the best time to buy tires? The popular theory that tires are best bought between seasons is no longer relevant. You won’t be able to save money this way: the price of tires almost does not change throughout the year.

The tire business is seasonally cyclical, and you should not hope for discounts on studded tires and its wide selection in June. For the next winter season, it will be delivered in August, and summer tires in March.

But by the season, the freshest tires will be on sale. This is true for those who drive very little, or for sports tires. The fresher the tire, the better the grip will be: the rubber compound loses its properties over time.

Rules for the use of rubber

Always make sure that your tire pressure is correct: it is critical to tire health. If you lose pressure, do not continue driving on an empty wheel: this may destroy the tire.

Avoid keeping tires and the vehicle within half a meter of heaters.

How to dispose of unwanted rubber

Old tires cannot simply be thrown in the trash or buried. This is hazard class 4 waste, they must be disposed of.

GOST 12.1.007-76

Tires can be sold on Avito or other ad service. It will turn out if there is no serious damage and the tread depth allows them to be used further.

Old tires are readily picked up by a tire shop.

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