Your car’s tires are the steadfast soldiers trained to guard your car, your family, and your possessions while traveling. From your daily errands to those long road trips, tires do their job without complaining, no matter what the weather or the road conditions. You depend on your tires whenever you turn on the ignition and begin driving. You trust that they will navigate the way and get you to your destination safe and sound.
But tires deteriorate over time. Made up of synthetic rubber, natural rubber, fabric, wires and other chemical compounds, tires fade and grow old as they make contact with the road. Over time your tires will wear down and become a hazard to your car, yourself, and those driving around you.
A report form the National Transportation Safety Board stated that 500 people die every year in tire-related passenger vehicle with more than 19,000 people injured annually.
Use these 5 tips to check your tire’s health and know if it is time for a new set on your car.
#1- The Penny Test
Honest Abe never steered us wrong, and the sentiment rings true with the lowest of the American currencies. Take a penny and place it between many of the treads along the tire. If Lincoln’s head is always showing, you need new tires. If his head his covered at least half of the way down, your tread is fine.
#2 Vibration When You Drive
Even on the worst of roads, your car should not be vibrating for long periods of time. Vibration in your tires can point to a lot of issues. But the tire’s age and condition is certainly one of them and should you experience heavy vibrations while driving, especially on smooth roads, have your tires checked immediately to avoid serious damage or harm.
#3 Bald, Bulged, or Blistered Tire
If your tires begin to show bulges on the side lining or tread, the tire is showing its age. Blisters that pop up and hard extrusions from the surface can cause blowouts, ripped tires, and flats if not inspected and changed out. If your tire or tires are balding in spots, you are way past time for new tires. Bald tires offer zero surface traction and can cause your vehicle to slide and spin out in even the lightest of wet conditions.
#4 Cracks On The Sidewall
Cracks and cuts on the sidewall of your tire are indicators of an aging tire and will lead to leaks soon after. These abrastions cannot be fixed and will become larger and deeper over time and you will eventually find yourself ready for work with a flat tire in your driveway or garage.
#5 Fabric or Metal Showing
Your tires have metal and fabric inlays that run like veins beneath the rubber of your tire. These weavings are there for structure, support, durability, and function and are never to be brought to the surface. If your tires are showing prickly pieces of wire or metal or you begin to see mesh fabric showing through from the rubber, you need new tires.