How can I tell if I need new tires? We hear that question a lot here at CAR FIX. You can tell you need new tires when the tread is worn or is wearing down unevenly. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, please know that it is unsafe to drive on bald tires. This is why tire manufacturers put an expected lifespan on their products. The tread can only last so long because the roads wear it down. Bald tires cannot grip the road or funnel water through the tires properly. This increases your chances of losing control of your vehicle. Bald tires can also blow out. Are your tires bald? Here’s a quick DIY check you can do at home.
Visually Inspect Each Tire
Pull your vehicle out into some sunlight or grab a flashlight and visually inspect each tire. You should see rows of tire tread with valleys in between them. If you can barely see the tread rows and valleys, your tires are bald. Check for uneven tread wear, as well. You shouldn’t see circular or feathered patches where the tire tread is worn nor should you see excessive tread wear on the outside or inside edges of the tires. Make sure to check the whole tire on each wheel. In other words, once you’ve inspected each tire, back your vehicle up a few inches, shut it off, and put in park to inspect the tread that was resting on your driveway or garage floor. If your tires are bald, replace them. If you still have tread…
Do the Penny Test
Grab a shiny, new penny and let Honest Abe be honest with you. With your vehicle still in the sunlight or an assistant holding the flashlight, insert the penny between the tire tread rows with the head side facing you. Make sure the top of President Lincoln’s head is facing the tire. As you insert then penny in between the rows of tire tread, the tread itself should cover some of Abraham Lincoln’s head. If it doesn’t, your tread is worn down too low and you need to replace your tires. This test can also help you see if your tread is wearing down fairly evenly or unevenly depending on the results around the tires.
If Abe told you something you didn’t want to hear, call CAR FIX in Oak Ridge, TN, at 865-214-6307. We’ll see about getting you into an affordable set of tires that are perfect for your car, truck, CUV, or SUV.