What if you were risking death every time you picked up the keys?
When it comes to cars, many of us worry about things like oil changes and engine temperature. But the biggest threat to you might be the old tires you are driving on.
Wondering if it’s time to replace tires on your vehicle? Keep reading to discover the five biggest signs your car needs new tires!
1. Treading the Depths
The primary reason to replace tires is almost always that the old tires are worn down. And one of the best ways to check this is to measure the tread depth of a tire.
For maximum safety, you should replace a tire when the tread depth reaches 2/32″. While there are complex instruments to measure depth, you can always try the easy way!
Take out a penny and put it, head facing down, into the space between treads. If you cannot see the very top of Abe’s head, your tire is good. If you can see the whole head, then it’s time for a replacement.
Don’t forget to check multiple points of that tire and to check the rest of your tires while you are at it!
2. Wearing It Out
Tread depth isn’t the only measure of a tire that is past its prime. You also need to worry about tread wear.
The tread of a tire is a large part of what keeps you safe on the road. It gives your vehicle traction and helps you drive across different conditions (like roads that are covered in rain or snow).
If you’ve recently lost traction while driving in such conditions, then you may have too much tread wear. Alternately, if your tire has wear bars and they are now clearly visible between treads, then it’s time for a replacement.
3. Over the Years
So far, we’ve been focusing on some of the physical signs that you need tire replacement. However, another sign that you need new tires may be the calendar on the wall.
Even if there are no problems with your tire tread or tread wear, you should replace tires every six years or so. Going longer than this means that you may be putting lives at risk.
In fact, an investigation into the death of Paul Walker found that the tires on his car were 9 years old and may have factored into his death. Unless you want to get more information on car accident lawyers, it’s good to go ahead and change the tires out!
4. Poor Maintenance
So, time for some good news and bad news. The good news, like we said, is that tires may safely last you up to six years.
The bad news is that this maximum is assuming that you regularly have your tires maintained. This includes having them rotated, having the air pressure checked, and so on.
Many people get busy and find it difficult to perform this kind of regular maintenance on their tires. If this sounds like you, then you may need to get new tires sooner rather than later.
5. Change In Driving Conditions
The final sign that you might need a change in tires involves your location. Have you recently moved to an area with different drive conditions than your previous area?
For example, it doesn’t really matter if you are moving from one suburban area to another. But if you go to an area with lots of potholes and speed bumps, you may be adding to the wear and tire of the tire.
Similarly, if you move to an area with an extremely different climate, you may need tire replacement sooner rather than later. But so long as you change your tires when you change addresses, you should be safe!
What Are the Dangers of Old Tires?
Those are our top 5 signs for knowing when to get new tires. However, you may find yourself asking: just how dangerous is it to drive around on old tires?
The primary danger of driving on old and worn out tires is that you will get into a car accident. And such accidents may have many tire-related causes!
For example, if the tread is worn down enough, it’s possible for it to separate entirely while you are driving. This can lead to accidents that are fatal for you as well as other drivers.
And if your tread wear is bad enough, you are basically giving up on having good vehicle traction. This means you might be one rainy day away from dying on the road!
Don’t wait around for things like automobile recalls. Play it safe and regularly replace your tires.
One for All or All for One?
Here is a bit of an open secret: getting new tires can be expensive. This is why many people try to replace their tires one at a time.
However, we recommend replacing either all your tires at once or at least replacing an entire side at a time (such as getting two new front tires).
One, this makes it easier to keep track of how long you have had the tires. And tires bought around the same time should have similar levels of tire wear and tread depth.
If you still end up replacing tires one at a time, be sure to regularly check the depth, wear, air pressure, and so on. This will keep you safe as you drive!
Always New, Never Used
Another cost-saving measure is buying used tires. We have some advice about that: don’t do it!
With used tires, you may not know how old they are, so it’s tough to know when to replace. And you are inheriting all of the wear and depth issues of the previous driver.
Play it safe by always buying new tires. And don’t forget to do this right away if you buy a used vehicle!
When to Replace Tires: The Bottom Line
Now you know when to replace tires. But do you know how to stay safe while working on your car?
We bring you the latest and greatest news each week. To keep safe while working on your car, check out our guide to common handyman injuries!