There are various automotive uses for tires. Although the internal structure differs between these applications, the exterior of all tires is a specially mixed rubber compound that provides an air-tight seal, cushioning impact, and a firm grip on the road.
Tires need to be maintained too, just like the other parts of your vehicle. Each year, about 11,000 tire-related crashes occur. These are caused by worn-down tread or even tire underinflation.
Maintaining your tire is vital to their longevity. But it’s also important for you to know when you should change your tires to prevent issues or accidents.
Here’s exactly how to tell if your tires need to be replaced, or if they’re still good to use:
Look for Damage
One sure sign you need to replace your tires is if you see any damage. Some things, like a puncture from a nail, can be easily repaired at your local mechanic or tire dealer.
Other signs of damage mean you need new tires. If you see wire poking out of any part of your tire, it’s time to get new wheels, and fast.
This will look like tiny metal hairs poking out of your tire’s rubbery skin. They’ll hurt and scratch to the touch – so DO NOT touch without protective gloves.
Check the Walls
Next, check the wall of the tire. Look for any bubbling or weird bumps. Check whether the rubber is broken or has cracks, and pay attention to whether the metal wire is pierced through.
Check your tires for “dry rot” as well. Direct sunlight, ultraviolet rays and/or ozone in the air all react with the rubber in tires, causing these compounds to dry, harden or even crack over time. In order to reduce this “dry rot” effect, tire manufacturers mixed wax into rubber. However, the tire must be rotated and bent in order for the wax to rise to the surface and be effective. Therefore, vehicles that are rarely driven are more prone to dry rot.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it might indicate that you need a new set of tires.
Check the Tread
Finally, you need to check the pedals. Pedaling is essential to provide you with the traction you need for your vehicle, whether it’s preventing hydroplaning on rainy days or avoiding sliding on snow and ice packs in the winter season.
Without enough tread, you will not have the required traction for your car.
Take a penny and place it in the groove of the tread, with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it means that your tires do not have enough tread, so you need to replace them.
In addition, check whether your tread has uneven patterns. Sometimes it is difficult for untrained eyes to find these, so when changing the oil, ask a mechanic to check them as well.
The uneven wear pattern of the tread may mean that the tire is not properly balanced, or it may be a sign of another mechanical problem. Either way, you need to replace the tires and check them.
Uneven wear patterns can cause braking and steering problems, and can lead to uncomfortable rides or accidents.
Take Care of Your Tires
To get the most life out of your tires, make sure you take care of them. Check to make sure they’re properly inflated, and get them balanced and rotated regularly. Especially in areas with a lot of ice melt, regularly clean your wheels to prevent rust.
Knowing When to Change Tires Is Half the Battle
Now you have the knowledge to identify when a tire’s lifespan is over and/or needs to be replaced. Considering the inconvenience of calling a trailer or changing tires on the side of the road after a problem happens, the delay in replacing these tires will cause more trouble and may result in bigger issues or accidents.
Getting the right tires is the other half. Of course, you want to get the most life out of your tires. But unsafe tires can cause accidents and death. Understanding when to change tires is vital to your safety.
Always look for damage to your tires, like cracking, bulges, or wires poking through. Then always check your tread. If your tread is too low, or if your tires are damaged, it’s time to replace them.
Our experts at Audio City USA can help you make sure your next set is exactly what you need.
Ready to replace your tires? Check out Audio City USA entire wheel selection here.