Tire replacement is among the most important of all the maintenance and repair tasks drivers have to take care of over the life of their Kia. It may be tempting to put tire replacement off for as long as possible to reduce costs. However, the longer drivers wait, the more likely the tires will fail, possibly resulting in far higher repair and medical costs. Here we’ll take a look at the signs that tires need replacing and how often they need to be replaced.
Signs That Tires Need To Be Replaced
There are a number of signs that can show themselves when a tire or set of tires needs replacement. Some are more serious than others, but all indicate an imminent need for replacement for one reason or another. The Kia owner’s manuals contain schedules for tire replacement, but these signs may show themselves before the listed limits arrive, especially if the tires see heavy use.
Bulges and Blisters
Tires are made up of multiple layers of rubbery material of different kinds, with harder rubber on the outside and softer rubber on the inside. Bulges appear in tires when an inner tire layer has been compromised, but the outer layer has not. Bulges vary from barely noticeable to considerable, but all indicate an immediate need to replace the tire in question.
Bulges along the treads are especially dangerous to drive on, as the pressure caused by regular driving causes them to burst more easily. Drivers should replace tires with tread bulges with a spare or have the vehicle towed for repair immediately, whichever is safer under the circumstances.
Tires with sidewall bulges are less likely to burst swiftly than their tread-compromised counterparts, but drivers should be very careful when driving them into a shop for repairs. Vehicles with large bulges along a tire’s sidewall should never be driven; rather, they should be towed. Blisters are discolorations and texture variations on the outside of the tire that also indicate internal damage. They may not be as serious as bulges, but the tire should still be replaced as soon as possible when they’re detected.
Sidewalls or Treads Compromised from the Outside
Tires look tough, especially the larger, thicker off-road versions, but they’re far from impervious to exterior damage. Tires that have taken impacts from road debris or potholes often have bits of rubber chipped away from their sidewalls or treads. These tires may look stable, but their appearance when the vehicle is parked isn’t accurately indicative of their viability when it’s moving.
The increased pressure put on them, especially during highway driving or driving on uneven roads, can cause them to lose structural integrity. Drivers should replace tires with exterior damage as soon as possible to maximize their safety and that of others.
Tire Wear and Increased Vibration
Tires inevitably wear down over time as a result of normal driving. Tires sets that wear down unevenly often cause increased vibration throughout the drive system, from the tires to the steering column and wheel. Drivers who experience heavy vibration in their wheels and/or their steering column as a result of this or another cause should have their vehicle checked by certified service personnel as soon as possible. Driving with a vibrating drive system will cause damage throughout the system over time, eventually resulting in the need for extremely expensive repairs.
Visible Tire Wear Bars, the Coin Trick, and Direct Measurement
Newer tires often have bars set into their treads that indicate the tread depth at which they should be replaced. The tires should be replaced when these become visible to any degree, whether uniformly along the treads or not. These bars line up perpendicularly with the treads. Older tires without wear bars can be checked using the coin trick. This requires a penny for regular tires and a quarter for off-road tires with thick treads.
Place the president’s head top-down into the central tread. The tire need to be replaced if most or all of the head is visible from the side. Direct measurement can also be used to check tread levels. Treads that wear down to or beyond 1/16 of an inch or 1.6 millimeters should be replaced immediately.
Kia Tire Replacement Scheduling and Warranties
Tires used on Kia vehicles tend to last around six years or 50,000 miles. When the time comes to replace your Kia’s tires, contact a dealership to get the work done. It may be tempting to have it done at an independent shop for a lower price, but Kia uses original equipment manufacturer tires that are made to be used with each Kia model. No other tire setup will do better than those made to work with each Kia, and no one is more qualified to work on Kia vehicles than Kia Certified Service Professionals .
Kia offers a Road Hazard Tire & Wheel Protection Plan that covers tire replacement under a very wide range of circumstances. This is the only warranty Kia offers that covers the tires. This is the best way to cover the cost of tire replacements over the life of the vehicle because it’s cheaper than covering each replacement out of pocket over time.
Full-Set Tire Replacement and Rotation
One tire may become worn before the others, but it’s important to replace the entire set when this happens. Tire sets with varied wear depths and patterns are less capable of hugging the road properly than their evenly worn counterparts. Replacing a single tire may seem cheaper, but an unexpected tire burst that causes vehicle damage certainly isn’t. Tires that are somewhat worn may need to be rotated. Kia tires generally need to be rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Keeping tires rotated on time maximizes their running life while minimizing costs.
Come on into Huffines Kia of Corinth, Texas, when the time comes to have your tires replaced or rotated. Our experienced service professionals are very adept at getting these operations done quickly and accurately, so you’ll be back on the road in no time. Feel free to reach out and schedule an appointment or drive in for service as needed.