How Do I Know I Need New Tires?

October 3rd, 2014 by

Test Tire Tread Level with PennyGiven all of the components of your vehicle and all of the wear that they go through, tires probably have one of the hardest and most important jobs. Since they are the only part of your car that actually makes contact with the road, they are completely essential to the function of every other part of your car. If something goes wrong with one, you aren’t going anywhere. It could be much worse than that though, a tire blowout at speed could be catastrophic. Due to these concerns, it is paramount to keep on top of the condition of your tires, or at least, visit a mechanic regularly so they can keep an eye on them.

What You Need to Inspect your Tires For

Because tires are the component of your car that actually rolls you down the road, while turning and stopping the car as well, they suffer a lot of wear. The tread patterns on your vehicle’s main function is to maintain great traction in any condition, especially in wet conditions. The tread forces water out from underneath the tires so they can maintain grip. The tread depth is what you need to keep track of, it should never be less than 1/16th of an inch deep. More likely, you don’t want to le t them get any shallower than 2/16ths of an inch. There is a special tool that’s used to measure the depth exactly, but you can use many things to get yourself a good idea of where your tires are at. The most basic tool you can use is a penny. Take the penny, face Lincoln toward you and point his head down and stick the penny into the tire tread. If you can still see Lincoln’s entire head, then you’re skating on some very thin ice and should look into new tire immediately. You can make an educated guess about the life of your tires by the amount of Lincoln’s head that is hidden by the tread.

New tires also have an added feature built in that tires of old didn’t have. If your tires are starting to get pretty worn nowadays, you can look at the rubber of the tires and there will be marks becoming apparent perpendicular to the tread pattern. The more apparent the marks are and the more marks that are visible, the closer your tires are to needing to be replaced. If you can see any marks on your tires at all that are small and perpendicular to the tread, it’s time to do the penny check and probably go check in with a trusted mechanic.

Inspect the Entire Tire for Warning Signs

There are a ton of possible issues that can come up with tires, just like any other component of your car, and not all have to do with the traction surface of the tire. The sidewall of the tire, the side that is visible when you just look at your vehicle, can develop cracks. This is a pretty uncommon appearance but should be taken seriously. If the cracks ae easily visible, then they are worth serious concern as they could lead to a leak in the tire or even a blowout at speed. If you can see cracks in the sidewall of your tire, see about getting them replaced immediately.
Another possible issue with the sidewall of the tire or even the traction surface, is bulges in the tire. At any point, if a weak point develops in your tire, the pressure in the tire will make it bulge at that point and this is a huge concern. Any bulge is a weak point and is an impending blowout. Limit your driving and get it taken car of immediately before it leads to a serious accident.
Something that could signify many issues is vibration while driving. Motor vehicles are bound to vibrate, but you probably know what the normal level is. If the level of vibration seems strange to you, there is probably something going on. It could have to do with an imbalance or misalignment of the wheels, but it could also signify something odd going on inside one of your tires. Even if there is nothing wrong with the tire right now, that vibration could easily cause something to go wrong. If you’re experiencing more vibration than is normal, you should have it checked out as soon a possible because there is almost certainly some underlying issue.
There are some of the issues that can come up and require your ties to be replaced but this is in no way a comprehensive list. If you’re having any sort of issue with your tires, its either pretty serious or really serious and requires action. Get them checked out at you local mechanic and if you’re in the area of Boulder, CO, come into Fisher Auto to get checked out and see why we have over 1800 Google Reviews and 4.8 stars.

Anything else you inspect on your tires or are wary of? Let us know in the comments below:

Posted in Tips