Car Care 101: How to Know if your Tires Need Replacement
Written By: Sean
April 1, 2015
The tires on your car go through a beating every time you go out for a drive the same way that your feet get sore after walking for miles. Having worn down tires doesn’t mean you’re a bad driver; it’s just an inevitable part of car ownership. The problem may not be as obvious as when you have a noisy muffler, but it’s important that you regularly check if your tires are roadworthy. For this Car Care 101 entry, we’ve listed down the 5 signs you need to look out for to check if your tires need replacement.
Check Your Tread Depth
Your tires’ thread should never fall below 1.6 millimeters. If you live in an area where you regularly drive in the rain, then you’ll need twice that much. To check the tread of your tires, you can have professionals do it for you, or you can check it yourself using a thin ruler. If you find that the tread depth falls below 1.6 millimeters, schedule a visit with your mechanic ASAP.
Check the Tread Wear Indicator Bar
Newer tires have a tread wear indicator bar that is built in so you can check your tires conditions. These bars are usually almost invisible when the tires are new, and they only become visible as you use the tires. If you’re using this type of tire and you notice one or two of bars become visible, this is a clear indication that your tires are starting to become worn. It’s time to check with your local tire dealer for great deals on new tires for your car.
Look for Tire Blisters and Bulges
Sometimes it’s the outer surface of the tires that develop problems. If you see or feel a blister or a bulge on your tire, then you need to replace that tire. That blister or bulge is the weak spot of your tire, and if you’re not cautious, it could end in a dangerous blowout. Don’t wait for something bad to happen before you replace your tires.
Look for Cracks
Aside from the tread, you also need to check the sidewall for cracks. To do this, all you need is a good pair of eyes to see tracks or cuts. You can also try to feel for grooves to see if any of your tires have developed a leak. Leaks can easily lead to your tires blowing out, so if you see anything wrong with the sidewall, let your mechanic know. For your own safety and your car’s as well, do this frequently. After all, you don’t want your tires blowing up when you least expect it. As they say, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Feel the Vibration
You can’t avoid feeling a bit of a vibration when you’re driving, but if you start to feel a strong or an unusual vibration, then that’s already a signal that something’s wrong to check if your tires are just misaligned or unbalanced, or worse, if your tire has already given out. Too much vibration is a clear indication that something’s wrong.
Without tires, you’ll never get anywhere. After all, if there’s a wheel, there’s a way. So, do you have any tips you would like to share about tire care? If so, we welcome your thoughts in the comments section below.