When Is A Good Time To Replace Your Tires?

December 2nd, 2015
Tires in Enterprise, ALLike anything else on your car, your tires will wear out over time. Worn tires will lose traction and will result in poorer ride quality and handling, but it happens slowly enough that it can be hard to notice. Here’s a little rundown on things to look for as your tires age: 
  • Tread depth is the surest indicator. States mandate a minimum of 2/32” tread depth, but really anything under 4/32” (1/8”) is too low. Here’s an easy way to check your tread depth. Insert a penny into a tread groove, Lincoln’s head down. If any of Abe’s hair is covered, your tread is at 2/32” or better. Now, try the same test with a quarter. Does the tread reach Washington’s head? That’s a depth of 4/32”. Then, one more time with the penny…if the tread reaches the Lincoln Memorial, you’re at 6/32”, which means there are several thousand more miles left on your tires. 
  • Tires have wear bars that are molded into the base of the tread, perpendicular to the tread grooves. These bars will appear as the tread wear down; once the tread is flush with the wear bars, it is definitely time to replace the tires. 
  • Look for uneven wear patterns, which can be an indicator of poor wheel alignment angles or suspension problems. That could include wear along the inside or outside edge of the front tires, or a “feathered” wear pattern all the way across. Run your hand up and down the tread surface – feathered tread will have a sawtooth profile to it, with edges that are almost sharp. Remember that proper wheel alignment and regular tire rotations will help extend tire life greatly. 
  • Get a look at the sidewalls for scuffing, tears, cracking or bulges that could be signs of imminent failure. 
  • Believe it or not, tires have a shelf life and a ‘best-used-by’ date. Ozone, the sun’s UV rays and other factors all take their toll on tires, drying them out and causing cracks and dry rot. Tires that are older than six or eight years old, regardless of mileage, should be replaced. 
At RoadMart Tire in Enterprise, AL, we don’t want you to have a nasty surprise with your tires…the kind that leaves you by the side of the road, that is. If your tires are showing signs of age, give us a call, set up an appointment and let us get you a new set of tires that’s a good fit for your vehicle. 
  Posted in: Tires 101