When is it time for new tires?

Published On: Feb 05 2014 11:17:18 AM EST
car tires in auto showroom

iStock/webphotographeer

Just like the soles of our shoes, eventually the tires on our automobiles wear out and it’s time to replace them. But how do you know when it’s time for new tires? Use these tips to help.

Use a penny

The tread on your tires should be at least 1/16 of an inch. To help measure there are specific tools you can buy. Or, you can use a penny. Insert a penny – head down – into the tire’s tread. If the head of Abraham Lincoln remains visible, then it’s time for new tires.

Look for tread wear indicator bars

Newer tires have tread wear indicator bars built into them to warn you when your tread is low. If you can see these bars then it’s time for new tires.

Look for cracks

Another visible check you can do on your tires is to look for cracks. If you see cracks along the sides of the tire this can be a sign that your tires are wearing down and that they might be at risk of leaking, or that they might even be ready to blow.

Look for bulges

Older tires may develop bulges on the outside. If not treated or replaced, the tire is at risk of blowing out.

Feeling vibrations?

If you start to feel more vibrations than usual when driving it could signal an issue with your tires. It’s best to get this checked out sooner than later as it could also signal other problems with your car.

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