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How Long Will Tires Last With Cords Showing?

Have you ever wondered how many miles a tire with cords showing up has left? As the cords on your car or truck’s tires begin to appear, it's usually only a matter of time before they start losing traction. We've researched how much life a tire with exposed cords has and whether or not it's safe to drive with it or not.

As a general rule of thumb, you should not drive a car with tires with exposed cords. If you should, then you should only drive to get the car off the road quickly and have the tire replaced. Some say it's safe to drive as long as you don't go over 80 to 100 miles, but it's best to avoid the risk.

The lifespan of tires is based on several factors, including the quality of the rubber and proper maintenance. One thing is for sure though: no matter how conscientious you are, you can't possibly keep your tires in pristine condition over the course of their lifetime and the cords will soon start showing. Keep reading as we show you what other options you have aside from tire replacement. We'll also cover a few relevant questions related to this topic that you may find helpful.

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What's the Purpose of Tire Cord in Tires?

Tire cord, also known as reinforcement, is a material used in the construction of tires to provide strength and support to the tire's structure. It is typically made of a strong, durable material such as steel or nylon and is used to reinforce the rubber in the tire.

Macro of very old deteriorating tire cords

This helps the tire maintain its shape and prevents it from collapsing under pressure, which can lead to a blowout. Tire cord also helps transfer the weight of the vehicle to the road, which provides better traction and handling.

Additionally, tire cord can help to reduce the amount of road noise generated by the tire and improve fuel efficiency.

Why Shouldn't You Drive a Car With Exposed Cords?

According to Dean Romanski, a car engine builder, a tire with exposed cords has a higher risk of being involved in a road accident than a tire that still has its rubber tread intact. The rubber tread in tires is designed to be on the receiving end of wear and tear as it grips the road.

Further, if the cords are exposed, then the tires will have nothing to grab onto. This means that the tread area will be reduced and the risk of a blowout is increased. 

Automotive tires damage, burst, leakage. Changing tires in the garage.

What To Do When Your Tire's Cords Are Already Showing Up?

Tires with cords showing are not usable anymore because the cords are the innermost layer of the tire and are made of reinforced steel or other strong material. These cords provide the tire with structural integrity and support the weight of the vehicle.

When the outer layers of the tire wear down and the cords become visible, it means that the tire has reached the end of its life and is no longer safe to use.

With the cords exposed, the tire has lost its structural integrity and can no longer support the vehicle safely.

Finally, it's important to replace tires when the cords are visible as they can cause blowouts and other dangerous issues while driving. The only course of action to take is to replace the tire.

How To Replace Tires

To replace a car's tire, you will need a few tools and some basic knowledge of the process. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Make sure the car is on a flat and stable surface, and engage the parking brake.
  2. Remove the hubcap or wheel cover, if there is one.
  3. Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the tire you will be replacing. Turn them counterclockwise to loosen them.
  4. Jack up the car using a jack and place it on jack stands.
  5. Remove the lug nuts and take off the flat tire.
  6. Check the tire pressure of the replacement tire and make sure it is at the recommended level.
  7. Place the new tire on the wheel and line up the holes with the studs.
  8. Put the lug nuts back and tighten them by turning them clockwise.
  9. Lower the car from the jack stands.
  10. Tighten the lug nuts further using the lug wrench.
  11. Put the hubcap or wheel cover back on, if there is one.

See this lug wrench on Amazon.

It is important to be careful when jacking up the vehicle, making sure the jack is properly positioned and not exceeding the vehicle weight capacity of the jack. It is recommended to consult the vehicle's owner manual for specific instructions.

Check out this car jack on Amazon.

Proper Care and Maintenance To Extend Your Tire's Life

  • Regularly check tire pressure once every 3,000 miles and make sure it's between 32 to 35 psi.
  • Swap your tires every 6,000 miles to ensure each of the tires is wearing evenly. A visual inspection of how the tires wear will let you know the condition of your tires. Check your vehicle's owner's manual for proper rotation intervals.
  • If you notice that your car is starting to pull on one side, have its wheel alignment checked right away. 

Travel Safety Concept : Tire inflation and proper pressure monitoring by specialist technicians : Close-up Pressure Gauge Handle

Best Driving Habits To Minimize Tire Wear and Tear

Driving in the curve. - How Long Will Tires Last With Cords Showing?

Avoiding sudden braking and acceleration

Rapid braking and acceleration can cause your tires to wear out more quickly. To avoid this, apply brakes gently and accelerate smoothly. If you’re driving in the rain, be sure to drive at a moderate speed and maintain a safe distance from other cars. 

Avoiding sharp turns

Sharp turns can cause your tires to skid, which can lead to uneven wear. Avoid sudden maneuvers and slow down before making sharp turns or other abrupt changes in direction. Sharp turns can also put a lot of strain not only on your tires but also on your steering and suspension systems. 

Do Bald Tires Make Your Car Consume More Gas?

Bald tires can cause a car to consume more gas due to increased rolling resistance. When tires are worn down, they lose their tread and are not able to grip the road as effectively, which means the engine has to work harder to maintain the same speed.

This can lead to a decrease in fuel efficiency and an increase in gas consumption. Additionally, driving on bald tires can also cause the car to handle poorly, making it more difficult to drive safely and efficiently, which can also lead to increased gas consumption.

Finally, it is important to regularly check your tires and replace them when they become worn to ensure optimal fuel efficiency and safe driving.

worn out bald old car tire close-up

Which Tires Should I Prioritize During Replacement: Front or Back?

It is generally not recommended to have bald tires on any part of a vehicle. Bald tires can lead to reduced traction and handling, which can increase the risk of accidents. It is important to maintain the tread depth on all four tires and to replace them when they become worn.

If you have to choose between bald tires on the front or back, it is generally considered safer to have them on the front, as the back tires play a larger role in providing stability. However, for best performance and safety, all four tires should have adequate tread.

How Often Should I Replace My Tires? They Look Fine To Me

Tire replacement frequency can vary depending on several factors such as usage, driving conditions, and tire maintenance. It's recommended to replace tires every 6 to 10 years or sooner depending on the tread depth, tire wear, and any visible damage.

How to check a tire's tread depth

The George Washington test

A simple way to check the tread depth is to insert a quarter into the tread groove with George Washington's head upside down, if the top of his head is visible, it's time to replace the tires. It is also important to have the tires inspected regularly by a professional to ensure they are in a safe condition for driving.

Inspecting The Wear Of A Balding Tire Tread Using a Penny

In-tire sensors

While the George Washington test is a common way to determine tire mileage, there is also a more high-tech way you can figure it out. Tires can be equipped with electronic sensors that count the number of revolutions and provide information on how many miles are left on the tires. This data can be accessed via a mobile app.

So if you are wondering how many miles you have left on your tire, you may be able to find the answer online. The next time you're faced with an older tire, look at your tire information system app for the answers.

One of My Tires is Punctured By a Nail. Should I Stop Driving Or Should I Continue?

It is not recommended to keep driving with a nail in your tire as it can cause a slow leak and potentially lead to a flat tire or even a blowout, which can be dangerous. It's best to have the tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Can Overspeeding Potentially Cause a Tire Blowout?

Speeding can increase the likelihood of a tire blowout, as it can generate more pressure due to the heat generated by friction and wear on the tires.

Additionally, driving at high speeds can cause the tires to come in contact with road debris or other hazards, which can puncture or damage the tires, leading to a blowout.

It's important to stay at the recommended speed limit for your vehicle, maintain the proper tire pressure, and check for any signs of wear or damage, as doing so will reduce the chances of a blowout. 

In Closing

Tires with cords showing up are something you may want to avoid if at all possible. With that said, there are still times when you have no choice but to drive a tire that has cords showing up. While you could technically drive a car with exposed cords, you should only make use of the little life that is left on that tire to get off the road as quickly as you can.

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