Cracks In The Sidewall
Not all problems with the tires are going to be in the tread. They can also appear in the sidewall. Fortunately, it’s easy to do a visual check of sidewall problems. Look for tracks or cuts in the sidewall — grooves that are distinct enough to be visible to the naked eye. This could be a sign that your tire is developing a leak . This is definitely something you want to avoid. So if the cracks in the sidewall are starting to look serious, get that car to a repair shop at the next opportunity and start talking about getting them replaced. Better safe than sorry, as they say.
When To Replace Your Tires
How to determine whether the tires on your car, SUV, or truck need to be replacedbefore they fail
Youre driving at 65 mph with the kids in the back and the rain pouring down when a deer dashes across the highway. You nail the brakes and . . . what happens next may hinge on how worn your tires are. And now isnt the time to realize you need new ones.
Too many drivers dont think about their tires until they have to swerve or brake suddenly, or they have a flatoften with serious consequences. About 9 percent of vehicle crashes are tire-related, according to estimates from a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But many could be prevented just with proper tire maintenance.
So its important to inspect your tires every month for wear. To gauge tread depth, all you need is a quarter. Put George Washingtons head into one of the big grooves. If the top of his head is flush with the tread, you have about 432 inch of tread left, meaning you have some grip remaining for rainy or snowy conditions. Thats the time when you should start shopping for new tires. If you can see space above Washingtons head, you may need to replace your tires immediately.
The Most Important Reason To Worry About Tread Wear Is Safety
When your tire treads are worn, your car may respond poorly in adverse weather conditions like rain and snow. With good treads, your car will grip the road better. Also, having insufficient tread is considered illegal in many states. And finally, worn treads can make other parts of your car wear prematurely.
Potential Problem Areas:
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Check The Tread Wear Bar
Some tires have a built-in tread wear indicator. This feature can make it easier to know when your tires need to be replaced. Indicator bars are found in between your tire treads, and when the tread depth is even with the bar, its time to replace your tires. Not all tires have these bars, but light truck, medium commercial, and performance tires are often equipped with them.
Warning Signs You Need New Tires
By: Christopher Lampton | Updated: Apr 1, 2021
Just as your feet are sore after a long walk, the tires on your car take a beating every time you drive. This isn’t a sign of bad driving –well, not usually — but rather an inevitable fact of life. Tires get old and worn down. And because a tire failure while you’re driving can be catastrophic, causing your car to go out of control or leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere without any easy way to get home, you want to know when your tires are in bad shape so you can get new ones before something goes wrong. Of course, if you have a mechanic look at your car periodically, he or she will probably tell you if the tires need to be changed, but there are several things you can do yourself short of a visit to your local auto center to make sure your tires are in good shape.
We’ve listed five of the warning signs that indicate you need new tires over the next few pages.
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Tyre Tread Depth And Tyre Safety Checks
Having worn tyres means the only contact patch between you and the road is past its best.
You could almost call it an accident waiting to happen.
If the safety risks dont hit home, maybe the risk of a £2,500 fine and three penalty points for a worn tyre will?
Thats per tyre, too. If all four tyres are worn below the legal limit, you could potentially lose your licence and face a £10,000 fine.
And How To Know When To Buy New Tires
Michelin doesnt want you to buy new tires.
Not before you need them, anyway. The company is committed to being the safest tire on the road. And now, it wants to also be seen as the most responsible and sustainable tire on the road. But being responsible and sustainable, in the tire world anyway, means getting the most mileage out of your tires. And it turns out, many people many, many peoplereplace their tires too soon.
So heres a stunning statistic: Globally we waste $25 billion on unnecessary tire purchases. $25 billion!!! Couldnt you do a lot with an extra $25 billion?
And, replacing tires before its necessary costs the average car owner $250 every two years.
But it gets worse: 400 million tires unnecessarily go into landfills every year because tires are not very recyclable.
If youre buying new tires before you need them, this is what its costing you. Photo: Michelin
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What To Look For While Buying Used Tires
If you have a money crunch or dont want to invest more than $500 to get a new set, you can surely go for a used one. But April to October is still the best time to buy tires, even if you are planning to buy a used one.
Although there is no harm in buying used tires, you must check the conditions properly to be on the safe side.
First, you need to check if there is any visible sign of wear, tear, deformities, and irregularities in the face and sidewall of used tires. Besides, those tires must not have any cut mark or bump. And you must also check if the thread thickness is even throughout the tire.
While buying a used tire, you must ensure that the thread thickness is larger than 2/32nd of an inch. You can use a penny and insert it in the groove to ensure it meets the ideal tread thickness.
Besides being your own advisor about tires, you can also help your friends to select the best set, as it is one of the ideal ways if you dont know how to make money without paying anything.
How To Check Your Tires With The Penny Test
Run your tires at the proper pressure. Over-inflating a tire will accelerate wear along a central ring around the tire, and under-inflated tires will tend to wear our more quickly Rotate your tires. Use winter and summer tires and switch them out at the right times. Keep your wheels in alignment.
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How To Check Your Tires
Check Tread Depth
Evaluate the tread depth of your tires to make sure you have enough traction to grip the road. The penny test is a simple way to do this. Just place a penny upside down in your tread. If you can see the top of Lincolns head, it may be time for new tires.
Check Tire Pressure
Use a tire pressure gauge to make sure your tires are properly inflated and then fill your tires with air as needed. To check your pressure, remove the valve stem cap, press the gauge head evenly onto the valve stem, use firm pressure so that the hissing sound stops. Remove the gauge and read the pressure. Compare this to your vehicles recommended inflation pressure. Always check your tires while they are cold . Never bleed pressure from a hot tire.
Check Tire Condition and Age
In addition to tread depth and inflation pressure, you should also inspect your tires for any damage or conditions that would warrant their replacement. Look at the tread and sidewalls for any cuts, scrapes, punctures, bulges, bumps or cracks. If you see anything suspicious, have a tire service professional take a closer look.
You also want to keep an eye on your tires age. Depending on how much you drive each year, your tires tread may last for years but just because the tread is not worn out does not mean that your tires dont need to be replaced. Bridgestone, following industry standards, recommends that tires be removed from service no more than ten years after the date of manufacture.
Evaluate Your Oil
How Long Have You Had The Tires
The health of your tires can deteriorate over time, even if you only drive a few miles each day. Factors like sunlight, heat, and ice, can all speed up the process. Eventually, a tire will simply fall apart, just like an old rubber band!
The lifespan of a tire depends on its age, but also the number of miles its driven. If you drive a typical number of miles, writes Edmunds, somewhere around 12,000-15,000 miles annually, your tire tread could wear in as little as three to four yearslong before the rubber breaks down. Think about how many miles youve put on your tires, as well as their overall age. According to Car and Driver, theres a general consensus that most tires should be inspected, if not replaced, at about six years, and should absolutely be swapped out after 10 years, regardless of how much tread they have left.
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What Is The Advantage Of Buying All Four Tires At Once
You must have already known about the best time to buy tires. But it will be better if you go for a full set rather than buying just one.
Buying a full set can save you some headaches during the winter months, as there is no guarantee that even the good tires wont start wearing during winter.
If you replace the whole set, your car will be more balanced, as the thread thickness will be the same in all four tires. And if the thread thickness is equal in all four tires, you will achieve better traction.
Moreover, buying a complete set can save you some money as well, as most companies offer around a 10% to 25% discount on the whole set.
What Is The Minimum Tyre Tread Depth
Tyre and safety experts believe the 1.6mm legal minimum is insufficient to guarantee safety most recommend a minimum tread depth of 3mm for tyre replacement.
Tests by UK technical organisation MIRA found that, once tyres are below 3mm, stopping distances increase dramatically.
The difference in wet braking distance between a tyre worn to 3mm and one worn to 1.6mm can be as much as 44%.
Worn tyres are particularly dangerous in the wet because a tyres tread helps disperse water away from the contact patch between tyre and road.
If theres less tread depth, less water can be shifted, increasing the risk of aquaplaning and losing grip.
In heavy rain, each tyre can shift one gallon of water every second, illustrating just how hard tyres work.
Simply put, deeper tread means they can work better, improving grip.
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Easy Ways To Check Your Tread
Use the Tread Wear Bars
All tires sold in the United States today have what are called tread wear bars. The tread wear bars on your tires are there to help you see how much tread you still have. These wear bars are small, raised bars of rubber in the grooves of your tire. Look at the tread pattern and youll see these bars running between the tread blocks.
How do I use them to diagnose worn tires?
Look at the tread pattern and youll see these bars running between the tread blocks. As your tires wear, these bars will become increasingly flush with the tires tread. Its important to replace your tires before this happens.
Depending on where and how you drive, and the conditions you face on the road, you might consider getting new tires before they reach that point. City driving in mild conditions may allow you to wait until the tread is closer to the tread wear bar before replacing your tires. More adverse conditions, such as rain, snow, and unpaved roads, may require you to replace your tires earlier.
Do the Penny Test
An easy way to check the tread on your tires is to do the penny test. Take a penny and place Lincolns head in one of the grooves of the tire tread. If you can see all of Lincolns head, its time to replace the tire.
If the penny goes in enough that the tire tread is at least as deep as Lincolns forehead, your tires are generally considered safe and do not need replacing. Check all four of your tires when conducting the penny test.
How To Check If You Need New Tires In Under A Minute
Worn tires with thin tread can lead to big headaches on the road. Youre more likely to get a flat tire, lose traction with the road, or hydroplane. Thankfully, knowing when to replace tires is easy to determine with the tire penny test or by reading your tread wear bar. Follow along and we’ll show you two simple methods for how to check tire tread depth. Both take less than a minute to do!
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Check For Tire Recalls
When it comes to recalled tires, there is only one position to take. We do not want anyone driving on recalled tires. We are committed to replacing, free of charge, any Bridgestone or Firestone tire subject to a customer satisfaction, quality and/or safety recall, at any time. The easiest way for consumers to get answers to questions about recalled tires is to call 1-844-293-7514 or locate an authorized Bridgestone or Firestone dealer to examine the tires in question. You can also check current tire recalls online at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site.
How To Tell If You Need New Tires
Every year in the U.S., tire-related crashes cause 200 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thankfully, its easy to monitor your tires, and how to tell if you need new tires, with a quick video and some basic information.
5 Warning Signs You Need New Tires
The primary functions of the tread on your tires are to grip the road and to divert water that causes hydroplaning. Tires with plenty of tread can help you maintain control and reduce your chances of getting a flat. With a quick monthly check of your tread and tire pressure, youll know if you need to replace your tires.
Tread Wear Bars are Flush with the Tread:
Tread wear bars are small, raised bits of rubber that run between the tread blocks. As these bars become even with the top of the tread, it is likely time for new tires. See more about tread wear bars below.
Tires will wear down over time, even if you dont drive much. Sunlight, heat, and chemicals used to melt snow and ice can reduce rubber flexibility, causing tires to crack, lose air, and eventually fail.
Uneven Tire Tread:
Tire Pressure Issues:
If you hit a curb, pothole or other obstacle, your tires can develop sidewall bulges due to a break of the inner liner. These bulges can rupture causing a potentially unsafe situation. If you spot a bulge on your tires, get to your nearby Les Schwab and have your tires inspected.
Other Possible Issues:
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Which Tires Are Better New Or Used
There are a lot of risks associated with buying used tires. Since you dont know the history of the tires, it can be difficult to know if theyve been previously run under inflated, overloaded or have other unseen internal damage which could lead to an unexpected failure. Used tires might also have uneven wear, which can cause noise, vibration or other problems and may need to be replaced much sooner than new tires. It is best to replace tires with new tires of the same category, size, load capacity and speed rating as recommended by your vehicles manufacturer.
Tire Value: Why Type Matters
- Each tire type has strengths and limitations.
- All-season tires are made to perform well in a wide range of conditions and achieve a long tread life.
- Performance all-season tires tend to grip better and provide better handlingbut sometimes at the expense of longevity.
- UHP all-season and UHP summer tires deliver the ultimate in road holding but have an even shorter tread life.
- The general rule is that higher-performance tires cost more and wear faster, leading to a greater cost per mile, as shown below.
- But its usually best to stick with the type of tire that came on your car when you bought it. Downgrading to another tire type to save money could hurt your cars braking and handling performance. The figures below are averages for the category, which includes all tested tires, not just those on the facing page.
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