Tires are one of the most important and most overlooked parts of your car. However, these pieces of rubber play a huge role in your safe arrival at your destination. Prevent yourself from getting into an accident by looking for these warning signs that your tires might be on the way out.
The first and most obvious sign to look out for is your tread depth. As you put miles on your tires, the rubber wears away, reducing the amount of tread you have. To test this, grab a penny and shove it Lincoln-head first into the tread. If his head disappears into the tire, then you’re good because you have at least 2/32 of an inch left. However, if you can see the top of his head, it means you have less than 2/32 of an inch of tread left, which isn’t safe.
Sometimes, cracks can develop in the sidewall of your tire. While these aren’t a pressing issue, they can mean your tire is slowly leaking air, which could put you in a dangerous situation. Even worse, your tire could suddenly blow out on the highway, putting you and other drivers at risk.
In some cases, your tires might be wearing unevenly. If you get frequent tire rotations, this should prevent the problem, but it’s still something to look out for. Tires can wear unevenly because of being underinflated, misaligned, or overinflated. When tires wear down, they have a bar pattern that begins to appear. When you see this, you know it is time to upgrade.
Vibrations While Driving
Unless you have a problem with your shock absorbers, vibration is usually a sign of tires going bad. If this is the case, you’ll typically feel the vibrations rocking the car once you hit 40 to 50 mph. Even if the tires aren’t the underlying cause, the vibrations can still damage them, so always have this issue checked out.
Bulges or Blisters
Rubber isn’t an infallible material, meaning it can start to weaken over time. These weak spots can appear as bulges or blisters on the surface of your tire. Left unchecked, these areas can burst without warning, causing a dangerous blow out when you least expect it.
If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t put your life on the line. Get to your local tire dealer today and invest in a new set of wheels.
Lampton, Christopher. “5 Warning Signs You Need New Tires.” HowStuffWorks, 11 Aug. 2010, auto.howstuffworks.com/5-warning-signs-you-need-new-tires.htm.