Signs You Need New Tires
Driving takes a toll on your car, specifically the different parts which are designed to wear out after some time. This would include your brakes, battery, and perhaps most importantly, your tires. Even the most well-built set of tires is going to have a finite lifespan; the continual contact between your tires and the road beneath them will slowly wear away at the rubber, causing it to wear out, your tread to disappear, and eventually your tire to fail.
One of the questions we receive fairly often is “how often do I need new tires?” While we’d love to give you an easy answer, there unfortunately isn’t one. So many different factors play into how long your tires will last that giving you an exact mileage is fairly difficult.
For example, how you drive will play a big role—do you tend to turn aggressively and push your car to the limit? Your tires will wear out faster. Do you tend to keep your tires properly inflated? They’ll last longer. Do you use performance-quality tires? They’re probably a softer rubber compound so they won’t last as long. Are your tires properly balanced and you're vehicle properly aligned? Good, they’ll both last longer and wear evenly.
So as you can see, it’s better to ask “Do I need new tires?” rather than “When will I need new tires?” There are a few ways you can tell that your tires may be approaching the end of their life that include the tread depth, sidewall damage, pressure and vibration.
Tread depth is the single largest indicator of how much life a tire has left. Your tire treads should never dip below 1/16th of an inch, and in fact it’s better to replace them a bit before this, especially if you drive on wet or slick surfaces. The penny trick helps here: insert a penny with Lincoln’s head down into your tire tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head above the tire tread, you need new tires. Tires also have wear bars built in. They are little bumps in-between the tread.
Your tread is designed to withstand the rough and tumble world of making contact with the asphalt you drive on. However, your sidewall is generally much softer, thinner, and more prone to damage. Sidewall cracking is one example. If cracks or cuts in your sidewall are visible to the naked eye, this is a sign that your tire may be leaking or on the verge of a blowout. Bulges and blisters in your sidewall are also signs of a weak point in your tire’s sidewall, which could be on the verge of giving way and causing a blowout. If you can spot any of these signs of damage, you need to have your tire replaced as soon as possible.
It’s normal to expect your tires to inflate a bit during hot weather and pressure to drop when it’s cold, but a tire that can’t keep its pressure consistently is one that more than likely has a slow leak and needs to be replaced. A slow leak can be caused by something as small as a pinhole in a strategic place on your tire. In fact, it’s more than likely so small that you have virtually no chance of ever finding it. While some of these leaks can be patched when they’re in the tread, a leak in a sidewall mandates the need for a new tire.
Vibration is a normal part of driving, but too much vibration may be a signal that you need to have one of your tires replaced. Internal or structural problems with your tires can jeopardize their ability to work properly, which puts your safety at risk. If you’re feeling or hearing a lot of vibration, it’s strongly suggested you bring your car in to your local Christian Brothers Automotive and have it checked. In some cases, this vibration may be nothing more than your tire being out of balance. In others, it may be more serious, and you’ll be glad you stopped in.
About Christian Brothers Automotive
For over three decades, Christian Brothers Automotive has sought to change the way you care for your vehicle. We strive to do things right, including offering transparent and honest service from ASE-Certified technicians and customer service you can depend on. We even offer a free shuttle service and a comfortable waiting room for you while your car is serviced.
Call your local Christian Brothers Automotive today to request your appointment and let us outfit your car with a new set of tires.