When is it Time to Get New Tires?

February 15th, 2017 by

We all spend plenty of time driving in our cars. Therefore, we can quickly recognize when something seems off. We all seem to notice when our acceleration isn’t working or the brakes don’t seem to be doing their job. These issues are easily identifiable, and many drivers respond by visiting a mechanic as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, it can be a bit more difficult to understand why your tires aren’t working properly. It’s tough to distinguish when a particular warning sign is attributed to the car’s mechanic or the actual wheels, and a simple look at a tire may not give away any hints regarding its integrity.

However, there are several ways to identify when it’s time to get a tire change. We dive into these warning signs below, which should allow you to recognize when it’s time to go seeking tires for sale

Unusual Vibration

No, we’re not talking about some random disco hit from the 1970s. Instead, we’re talking about that random shaking you’ll feel while driving.

We’ve all experienced vibrations emanating from our vehicle, and this sensation could be attributed to a number of different issues. Your shock absorbers may be wearing, your engine may be sputtering, or you may simply be driving over a slippery or uneven road.

These vibrations could also be the result of a tire issue. While there’s a chance that these reverberations are a result of misaligned or unbalanced tires, it’s more likely that your actual tires are compromised. While they may be insulated by thick rubber, your wheels are still delicate, and it doesn’t take much to ruin the integrity of the tires (inside or out).

Either way, if you’re experiencing vibrating sensations while driving in your car, it’s important to immediately get it checked by a mechanic. Even if the issue can’t be attributed to your tires, there’s still a good chance that these oscillations will have a negative impact on the rubber and wheels.

External Blemishes

This warning sign should be rather obvious, but there are still drivers who will ignore a small blemish on their tires. Small holes or bumps will naturally appear on your tires over time. These can result from driving on poorly paved roads, and tires may also weaken when exposed to uneven and inconsistent elements. This will happen, and you shouldn’t freak out when you notice a small scratch.

However, any punctures, bulges, or (gasp!) holes in your tires should be addressed immediately. While you may be able to drive a short distance on the ruined rubber, it won’t be safe to drive on these tires for very long. Any holes could easily expand, which will inevitably lead to a flat tire. These holes could also tear through the rubber, resulting in the actual wheels being exposed. This is not good, and it could eventually lead to issues that go beyond your tires.

How can you tell if a small hole is cause for concern? Regardless of the size of the puncture, the air from the tire will slowly leak out over time. If you notice that filling a tire doesn’t seem to help, this is an indication that the tire needs to be replaced. There may also be situations where you’re not even aware of a small hole. In these cases, if you notice that one tire is losing pressure more rapidly than its counterparts, you should consider taking a closer look at the rubber.

Those random bulges or bumps are even more worrisome, as the uneven pressure could cause the tire to burst. Older tires will naturally warp, so you shouldn’t be overly concerned about a small, barely noticeable blemish. However, if that random bulge is clearly effecting the quality of your driving, then it should be fixed as soon as possible.

When you’re inspecting your tires for any cuts or holes, make sure you’re not only inspecting the part of the tire that touches the road. It’s also important to focus on the tire’s sidewall, as this area can also compromise a tire’s integrity. It shouldn’t be difficult to identify any issues, as you can easily see any blemishes to the sidewall. Small cracks are natural on aging rubber, but if you notice any cracks that dig too deep into the tire, you should consider a change.

Tread Wear

This is probably one of the most common issues seen on older tires, and it’s natural for the rubber’s tread to wear down after several years on the road. Therefore, it’s important to understand when the tires are simply wearing or when the tires are completely worn down.

Car aficionados generally say that you don’t want your tire’s tread to drop below 1/16th of an inch in depth, with 1/8th of an inch of depth being ideal. When the tread drops to these low levels, it’s tough for your tires to create traction on the road. This can be especially dangerous if you’re driving on wet or sleek surfaces, as the aging tread will make it difficult to prevent a spinout.

This is all well and good, but how in the world are you supposed to identify whether your tire’s tread is below the recommended limit?

Fortunately, many new tires have a built-in indicator that will easily show the driver when the tread has worn to dangerous levels. You can identify this built-in warning sign by focusing on the random bars going perpendicular to the tire’s tread. While it’s hard to distinguish these lines early in a tire’s life, they’ll become clearer as time goes by. If you can see more than one of these random lines, the tread is likely too low.

If your tires don’t have these indicator lines, there’s another simple trick that will indicate whether the tread is approaching dangerous levels. Simply take a penny and push ol’ Honest Abe’s head into the tire. If you can still see Lincoln’s face, this means your tires don’t have enough tread. Some experts even suggest using a quarter, but you should be fine using whatever loose change you have in your pocket.

Of course, it’s always important to get ahead of any potential issues. If you have a random 15 minutes of time, it will benefit you (and your car) if you quickly inspect your tires. While it’s more likely that you’ll notice an issue after something has happened, it could save you some money if you can identify an inevitable problem beforehand.

Posted in Tires for Sale