It doesn’t matter if you’re a routine, disciplined driver, a vehicle-obsessed fanatic, or even a regular passenger. Blowing your UTV tire is always going to thwart your spirits.
You’d be willing to go lengths to ensure it doesn’t happen in the middle of your off-road trail or whilst you’re out on the dunes.
You can prevent all of the above scenarios (at least, while you’re not asleep and dreaming). This guide is the holy grail of letting you know when your UTV tires have had enough of the roads and are in dire need of replacement.
Lifespan Of UTV Tires
Before we get down to business, we must discuss how much your UTV tires are going to last.
Typically, the answer to this question is subjective to numerous factors, such as
- The surface you commonly drive on
- The material and make of the tire
- The style of the tire
- How often your vehicle is in use
On an average scale, this could be as low as one year or as high as five. Quite a vast range, isn’t it?
This is why it’s important to perform routine checks on your tires and follow the steps written in this guide.
Visual And Phonetic Irregularities
If your UTV tire is wearing away, it indicates that you’ve used them for a long, long time. And if the aforementioned is true, then you know the ins and outs of your vehicle due to long usage. You know about its off-hand characteristics and otherwise indistinguishable sounds.
So as soon as you hear something out of the ordinary or feel a difference in the way it works, your 6th sense should be tingling and on high alert.
And if isn’t, you need more training than Brandon Stark did for his throne. Run an immediate inspection. Want to know what you need to look out for? Read on.
Weathering In The Treads
This would conventionally go unsaid, but its importance bears it worth a mention. Are you about to head out for a ride? Make sure you throw a glance at your tires.
In the case you end up noticing a significant number of cracks, it’s a cause of concern for the lifespan of your UTV tire.
If your treads are weathered and worn down, your car is going to cause you trouble. It’s not going to respond well when taken out in slightly unfavourable weather conditions and decrease your grip massively.
However, not all hope is lost. Look out for the depth of the cracks that are present. Are they just surface level or are they penetrating right into the tire’s rubber? How do you measure this?
Got a spare penny? Don’t throw it into the fountain just yet. It may bring you luck sooner than you think. Lincoln is saving everyone a lot more time and money than he knows.
A popular and fun way to check the depth of your worn away treads is inserting a penny in between it. Be careful, you might need some serious concentration for this one folks.
Here’s the methodology to perform The Lincoln Penny Test.
If you’ve failed this test, it’s completely alright. This one time, life is allowing you a retake. Pretty cool, right?
It’s about time to start considering a replacement. Your tire is growing its wear for worse, and let me assure you, no ageing cream is going to work here.
Unusual Cracks In The Sidewalls
While you’re in the middle of an inspection, you might spot some alarming splits in between the treads. You might even see an unusual bulging.
Don’t overlook it, because it may eventually lead to a full fledged-blowout. Your tire may eventually puncture and go flat because the tread has been stretched far enough from its carcass.
And once those treads have appeared, there’s no reversal or repair. You can’t sew them back together now, can you?
No, it’s not what you think. The tire never had hair and it’s certainly not losing it. A bald spot, in its simplest terms, depicts the fading away of a pattern initially present on the tire. It is a sign your tire is over-inflated and is stretched a tad-bit beyond its average limit.
What is over-inflation and how is it caused? Overinflation of your tire tends to take place when the middle portion of your tire is used in more abundance than the treads on either side.
In simple terms, this causes the damage to be concentrated in a certain area, making it a lot more vulnerable to damage from various scenarios.
The interesting part? It may not even be due to long usage. But it could lead you to a flat in the blink of an eye, leaving you confused as to why your recently purchased tire is now punctured beyond repair.
The question that arises thereafter is, how do you prevent these bald spots from appearing?
In the big, bag world of motor vehicles, maintenance of tire pressure is traditionally referred to as PSI.
If your pressure is below average, this could lead to several consequences. Some of them could be an increase in the number of cracks in the sidewalls, more irregularity in wear and tear of the tire and distinguishable bald spots.
It may be hard to spot these but a puncture in the rubber of your UTV tire is your final step to certifying that it is now damaged.
After this, your vehicle will begin to face performance issues and risk the safety of anyone using it, by:
- Deflation of the whole tire
- Causing tires to spin
- Uncontrolled steering
You know as well as I that the probability of you negating the aforementioned steps is very probable.
You may not be able to afford new ones at the said time, or you may just be too lazy to do anything about it. Believe me, we’ve all been there
What you saw above were signs and symptoms of a tired obtaining “The UTV Tire Replacement Syndrome”. The disease has now spread and it comes bearing drastic consequences
The final straw entails obvious characteristics, with the aftermath presenting itself in the form of:
- Loss of automation and control
- Unrecognisable sounds
- Spinning of tires
- Uncontrolled steering
- Wearing away of other parts of the vehicle
- Complete deflation
This may seem like the end, but certain additional points are key. Without them, your knowledge remains incomplete. Ignorance is not bliss in this scenario, so make sure you read on to find out the essentials.
Create a Timeline
If you’re a long term user of vehicles using UTV tires, creating a timeline would make the entire process much less daunting and a lot of more efficient.
There’s no reason for you to take a laborious route when you can employ an effortless one. Get with the times, we’re all using the easy way out here.
Over the span of the years whilst the tires were being used, keep a record depicting the appearance of the uneven cracks, bald spots, and weatherings. Correlate it with the time performance issues began to arise.
This will allow you to always have an estimate of the average lifespan of your tires subjective to your make and use, allowing you to remain cautious and prepared in the long run. Which brings us to the last, defining point of this guide.
Always Be Prepared. Even for an Alien Invasion.
A little goes a long way, and while you may now know when to replace your UTV tires, one can never be too prepared. Circumstances do not have mercy on anyone.
So make sure you’re well equipped with a spare and all the tools you need with it at all times. I’m sure your newly replaced tires will be highly capable of lugging around some extra mass.
Knowing when to replace your tires is no big feat. You don’t require fancy equipment or lots of spare time. A penny and a few spare minutes will do the trick!
Make it a routine habit to inspect for
- Cracks on the sidewalk
- Splits in between your treads using a penny
- Bald Spots
If your tire checks at least two of the above, the time for replacement has arrived. If it doesn’t, then you’re good to go.
Whatever the case may be, practising precaution and keeping required items with you at all times is the best way to go when you’re on the road (or in the case of UTV tires, off the road?)