Could your tires be on their last leg? Unless you know what to look for, you might not realize when it’s time for a replacement. If the following five warning signs appear, schedule an appointment with your local tire dealer today to get new tires.
1. Low Tire Tread
The tread on your tires is what helps you maintain traction on the road. Over time, it wears down, reducing your car’s grip. You never want to drive on tires with tread less than 1/16 of an inch in depth.
Rather than investing in expensive measuring equipment, there’s a simple trick you can use to tell if your tread is worn. Grab a penny and place it into the tread, with Lincoln’s head on the bottom. If you can see his whole head, you need to replace your tires.
Additionally, most modern tires have what’s known as wear bars. These are rubber bars that appear across the surface of your tire as the tread wears down, and they generally signal the need for a tire replacement.
2. Low Tire Pressure
While it’s normal for tires to slightly deflate (at a rate of about one pound per square inch (PSI) per month), they shouldn’t be dropping large amounts in a short time. If your tire warning light keeps popping on every few days, chances are you have a tiny leak in one or more of them.
Often, the leak can be patched; however, the tire will never be as strong as it once was. Over time, the patch may rupture, causing a full-blown flat tire. Talk with your mechanic to see if it’s worth patching your tires or ditching them for new ones.
3. Vibration on the Road
Does driving in your car feel like you’re lounging in a Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed? If so, you very likely have a problem with your tires. Usually, this means the tires are unbalanced or misaligned. Left unchecked, this can seriously damage the tire and cause you to need a replacement.
4. Cracks or Bulges
Perhaps one of the most obvious signs you need a new tire is when it begins to crack or bulge on the outer surface. It’s extremely dangerous to drive when your tire is in this condition, as the tire could give out at any moment. Don’t risk having a blowout going 60 mph down the highway.
5. Wear on One Side
If your tires are not inflated to the correct PSI, they will begin to show wear in specific locations. If you overinflate your tires, they’ll wear down faster on the center strip, while underinflation leads to wear on the edges. To keep your car steady, it’s best to replace your tires when you notice these odd patterns of wear.
Now that you know a little more about tire safety, you should have no problem identifying when to get a tire change.
“5 Warning Signs That You Need a Tire Replacement.” Precisiontune.com, 27 July 2015, www.precisiontune.com/5-warning-signs-that-you-need-a-tire-replacement. Carter, Maria.
“5 Signs You Need New Tires.” GEICO More, 29 Dec. 2017, www.geico.com/more/driving/auto/auto-care/5-signs-you-need-new-tires/. Lampton, Christopher.
“5 Warning Signs You Need New Tires.” HowStuffWorks, 11 Aug. 2010, auto.howstuffworks.com/5-warning-signs-you-need-new-tires.htm.