Ah, tires: The only thing connecting your vehicle to the road. Since tires are so paramount to the overall performance and safety of your vehicle, it’s extremely important to know when they need to be replaced, by periodically assessing a variety of factors. Knowing what to look for in worn-down tires will significantly help you determine when the time is right to buy car tires, and also figure out the best tires to buy for your vehicle.
Sadly, a lot of people drive on bald or nearly bald tires, giving them inferior grip and presenting a potential safety hazard when it comes to braking – especially in adverse weather conditions. Use this information provided by Wholesale Tire Inc. to know when it’s time to replace or even upgrade your car tires.
Tread Is Everything
The tread on your tires is what gives you grip on the road, especially in rainy, snowy, or other poor weather conditions. If you tread is anything less than 3/32 inches deep, then you should replace your tires for legal and safety purposes. All tire retailers know this.
You might be familiar with the old penny in the tire trick. If not, it’s a good way to easily determine the rough amount of tread left on your tires. If your tread is below a certain legally mandated level, then you need to get your car tires replaced as soon as possible!
Check Your Tread
To do the penny trick, simply insert the penny into the grooves on your tire tread. You’ll want to make sure that President Lincoln’s head on the penny is pointed down. If any part of Lincoln’s head is hidden by the tread, your tires should be fine. If you can still see Lincoln’s head, then your treads are most likely too shallow and it’s time to replace your tires.
A number of miles and overall wear that you’ve put on your car tires over time also affect your tread level. If your car tires feel smooth to the touch and don’t appear to have any rigid, distinct grooves anymore, this also indicates a low tread level. As a convenience, some newer models of tires actually have a tread wear indicator bar built into the tire itself. The indicator becomes more visible over time as the tread wears down. Check to see if your tire has an indicator, and if you’re not sure, ask the manufacturer.
Over time, extreme heat exposure and ultraviolet rays from the sun may cause structural damage to your tires. Keep in mind if where you live is frequently subjected to extreme heat, and if you garage your car or park it outside in the sun all day. Even any extreme weather conditions like freezing temperatures can combine with rocks, potholes and various road conditions to progressively wear down and damage your tires.
This is why it’s also important to choose the right tire for your climate and season. It may sound obvious, but if you don’t live in a snowy area, don’t get snow tires. If it rarely even precipitates where you live, basic all season tires are more than fine. Consult your local tire shop for more details.
It is generally recommended by most tire manufacturers that you get your tires replaced roughly every six years or so, ten years at maximum. For your specific tires, you can check the manufacturer’s recommendation as to when you should replace your own set of tires. Remember, the tire’s age is independent of tread level. This means that even if you have most of the tread left on your tires, if they’re 6-10+ years old, then they probably won’t be safe to use on the road anymore. Although this rarely happens, make sure to get the most out of your tires while they’re still new, so they won’t go bad!
Are your tires making an excessive amount of noise or causing a lot of vibration when you’re driving? This is generally a clear indicator that your tires are going bad. There can be a number of causes for this vibration, including misaligned or unbalanced tires, or perhaps your shock absorbers are starting to wear out. This vibration could also indicate that there’s some sort of internal problem with the tire itself. If you’re driving on a smooth road and your car is still vibrating badly, take it to a mechanic immediately for inspection.