We know the possibility of having to replace your tires is not a fun thing to think about. But when you consider how crucial your tires are in getting you and your family from place to place – and keeping you safe while doing so – it’s fair to say they deserve a periodic check to make sure they’re in good condition. Here’s what to look for when you examine your tires.
Cracks, Bulges, or Blisters
When looking at your tires, those in good condition should appear smooth and without blemish. After some miles, they’ll start to show visible signs of wear. Cracks in the sidewall look like tiny slits. If left unattended, these can cause your tire to leak. As the tire’s surface weakens it may start to bulge or blister in spots. These areas can rupture and ultimately lead to a blowout. It’s important, if you see any of these, to bring your vehicle in for a tire inspection immediately.
As a general rule, the tread on your tires should always be at or above 1/16 of an inch in depth (even higher if you frequently drive on slick, wet surfaces). Measuring your tread depth is simple. Take a penny and insert it upside down in between the treads. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, your tread is too low. Even if the tread does cover the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s still important to keep checking. Try other spots on the same tire, as well as each tire individually. Tires don’t always wear evenly. If any area fails the penny test, get to a repair shop soon.
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Tread Wear Indicator
Today many new tires come equipped with a fail-safe tool for knowing when it’s time to replace your tires. It’s called a tread wear indicator bar, and it’s built into the tires themselves. As the tire wears down, these bars – strips of flat rubber running perpendicular to the direction of the tread – become visible. If you can see more than one or two of them, it’s time to replace.
Your safety is our primary concern, so keep an eye on those tires as you’re out running the roads this summer. And let us know if we can help!
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