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5 Signs You Need New Tires
Please don’t wait for a flat before you take stock of your tires!
We often have people coming into the shop with a hole in their tire that caused a day of trouble, such as calling a tow truck, putting on a spare, missing meetings, and the like. Sometimes flats aren’t preventable, but taking care of your tires can help your car run how it should!
So, we at D&E invite you to take time today for a tire check-in. Are you feeling vibrations while driving, noticing bulges and blisters on your tire sidewalls, or seeing uneven tire pressures? These are all signs that it is time to consider replacing your tires. In this article, we will discuss five key signs you need to buy new tires and provide tips on identifying and responding to each one.
1. Wear and Tear on Tread
Tire tread is an essential indicator of tire health. As tires are used, their tread depth decreases, leading to decreased performance, including decreased traction in wet and icy conditions.
In non-car terms, think about your sneakers. They have grooves and patterns on the bottom to help your shoes stick to the floor better. Without tread on your sneakers, you’re essentially wearing ballet flats. Try to run, jump, skip, etc., and you'll probably fall without the grace of a ballerina.
Your tire tread works in the same way. Bald tires mean slipping, sliding, and a lot of trouble.
Tread Depth & The Penny Test
Tire tread patterns can also provide clues about tire health. To determine tread depth, you can use a tread depth gauge to measure the amount of tread left on the tire. If you notice that the tread is wearing unevenly, this could also indicate that it is time for new tires.
Additionally, I like to tell people about the “Penny Test’. Simply find a penny and stick it in between the tread of your tires. If you can see Abraham Lincoln’s face, your tread is low.
2. Vibrations While Driving
Vibrations while driving can be a sign that you need new tires. If you feel your steering wheel vibration when driving, this could be an indication that it is time to replace your tires. Additionally, if you hear any strange noises coming from your tires, such as squeaking or squealing, this could also be a sign that you need to get new tires.
Sometimes you can’t feel the vibration, but you can definitely hear it. If you’re starting to hear strange noises, it’s always a good idea to bring your car in to your mechanic right away for a diagnostic.
3. Uneven Tire Pressure
Another indicator that it’s time for new tires is uneven tire pressure or low tire pressure in general.
If your tires are over or under-inflated, it can lead to decreased performance, reduced fuel efficiency, and decreased safety. To check tire pressure, you can use a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which will provide an alert if your tire pressure is too low or too high.
Additionally, you can visually inspect your tire pressure by pressing down on the tires – if the tires are under-inflated, they will appear slightly flatter than the others.
4. Bulges and Blisters on Tire Sidewall
We’ve mentioned visually checking your tires in this article, but I want to take a moment to talk about the obvious signs that you need a new tire.
If you notice any bulges or blisters on the sidewalls of your tires, this is a sign that your tires need to be replaced. These bulges and blisters can be caused by under-inflated tires or a puncture that has caused the tire to weaken. Additionally, these bulges and blisters can cause the tire to fail prematurely, leading to decreased performance and decreased safety.
Bulges, blisters, and visible holes (or nails sticking out!) are key indicators that you need to see a mechanic right away!
5. Tire is Over 5 Years Old
If your tires are aged, it is time to consider replacing them. Most tires are designed to last around 5-7 years, depending on how often they are used and how they are maintained. If your tires are older than 5-7 years, it is time to consider replacing them for better performance and safety.
Come See Us At D&E For Your Tire Needs!
When it comes to car maintenance, one of the most critical components to check is the tires. If you notice any of the five signs discussed in this article, it is time to get new tires. At D&E Auto Repair, we offer a wide variety of tire options and provide quality service to ensure your safety on the road. Contact us today to learn more about our tire selection and to schedule an appointment.