Your tires are one of the most important elements to your car's performance. They impact everything from fuel efficiency to smoothness. Perhaps most importantly, they impact the car's safety. A tire blowout can easily cause an accident, especially if you're driving at high speeds. If you don't have enough tread on your tires, you could have trouble driving through water or snow.
There are a few things you can do to maintain your tires. One is to check the air pressure regularly and keep them filled to the appropriate level. You can also have your tires regularly aligned and rotates to help preserve the tire tread. Eventually, though, you will likely need to change your tires. Below are a few signs you may need new tires. If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to take your car to your mechanic or local tire shop.
The tread is worn down. The most obvious sign that you may need new tires is that tread around the tires is worn down. Tread is important because it expels water from beneath the tire. That prevents the car from hydroplaning.
If your tread is worn down significantly, you should be able to tell just by looking at the tire. You won't seen deep grooves running along the outer edges. If you're not sure if the tread is worn, you can use a coin to check. Simply place a penny upside down in the grooves. If the top of Lincoln's head doesn't disappear into the groove, your tread is likely to worn down.
The tread bar is showing. Newer tires have a feature that makes it even easier to tell if your tires are too worn. They're called tread indicator bars and they're small, flat bars in the middle of the tire that run perpendicular to the actual tread. They aren't visible on newer tires, but they come more visible over time as the tread wears down. If you can see the tread indicator bars, it's time to consider new tires.
There is damage to the sidewall. Tread isn't the only sign that you need new tires. You also may need new tires if there are cracks, bulges, or blisters in the sidewalls. Regularly inspect the sides of your tires. Cracks in the sidewall could indicate a leak, which may mean that your tire is on the verge of a blowout. A bulge or blister may mean that the outer walls of the tire are weakened and your tire may be ready to blow. If you see this kind of outer damage, it's time to take your car in to the shop.
Ready to get your tires checked? Visit a local tire shop in your area. They can inspect your tires and make a recommendation.