You can know everything about your car—the perfect motor oil for your engine, when you need your radiator checked, how to keep your paint from peeling—and yet you can’t control everything. One particular unknown is how your tires, which contact everything from metal nails to discarded trash, will respond to driving over different surfaces. This unpredictability makes tire maintenance more challenging, but there are still things you can look for over time. To help, here are five signs it’s time to look for new tires.
Your Tires Lack Tread Depth
Tire depth is the first thing people think of when they consider their tires’ health. As you drive, the friction between your tires and the road wears away your tread. Eventually, if it’s too worn and your tires are bald or smooth, you lose some handling and risk a blowout. There’s a tried-and-true method for checking tread depth—the Penny Test. Take any penny, turn Lincoln’s head upside down, and insert it between your tire’s treads. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, that means your tread is less than 4/32 inches high and, thus, worn enough that it hazards your handling and safety.
Your Sidewall Cracks
Your tire sidewalls are another potential point of failure. Assess your sidewalls routinely to ensure that none of them have cracks, indentations, or other signs of damage. Sidewall damage can result from either tire aging and resultant rubber breakdown or roadway damage. Objects you hit can, if they hit at the right angle and with force, harm the integrity of your sidewalls and even puncture it.
Your Tires Wear Unevenly
Another sign that it’s time to look for new tires is uneven wear. While some segments of your tires may pass the Penny Test, that doesn’t automatically mean your tire has a clean bill of health. If you ignore your tire pressure, drive with bad alignment, or have a bad suspension, your tires could wear more in some areas than others. Here are some types of uneven wear to watch for:
- Center Wear
- Outer Edge Wear
- Toe Wear (One worn edge)
- Cupping Wear (Horizontal scalloping)
Your Car Vibrates When Driving
Your car may vibrate more than usual due to bad tire balancing or suspension, but it’s also possible there’s an internal issue with your tires. If there is a structural problem with the tire itself, you’ll experience shaking that will worsen and lead to a flat unless you replace it quickly with a brand new tire.
Your Tire Bulges
After some impacts, an internal layer of your tire sustains damage and leaks air. If the outside of the tire is intact, this forms a bubble that bulges out from the tire’s surface. This surface-level sign shows that you have a serious internal issue. The end result—you need to buy a new tire.
If you have further questions about tires, contact RNR Tire Express. We sell tires in Moore, OK, and offer many types of car maintenance services as well.