When your tires are worn or past their prime, accidents are more likely to occur. While they might not seem like pressing matters at the moment, even low tire pressure can cause a blowout or pricey damage if left unaddressed. This is why you should inspect your vehicle’s tires regularly to make sure they are still performing as they should. If you notice the following signs, you should plan on replacing your tires as soon as possible.
1. Worn Tread
Tire tread is the rubber of your tire that makes contact with the road. You are likely familiar with a tread pattern, which is made up of the grooves that are molded into the surface. As you drive your car, the tread will naturally wear down. This reduces its ability to provide traction and grip the road, increasing the likelihood of a collision.
Your tread depth should never fall below 1/16 of an inch. You can measure this with measuring tape or use the penny test. Stick a penny upside down in one of the grooves with the head facing you. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, then your tread is too low. Plan on replacing your tires right away.
2. Uneven Wear
While inspecting your tire tread, also take note of its uniformity. Do all tires show the same amount of wear, or are the front tires significantly more bare than the back set? While poor tire pressure or a bad alignment is often to blame, you should also consider how often you rotate your tires.
For front-wheel drive vehicles, the front tires are more likely to wear first. This is because they’re responsible for accelerating, steering, and braking, receiving most of the force of these normal driving functions. To encourage even wear, it’s smart to have your tires rotated on a regular basis—preferably every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
3. Bulging At Sides
Are your tires misshapen and appear to be bulging at the sides? This is a common sign of deflation. You might be dealing with something as simple as low air pressure or more pressing like a puncture that is causing air to leak.
Inspect your tire for damaged areas that might be allowing air to escape—there is a chance you might have run over a nail or cracked your sidewall. A technician might be able to patch up minor damage or suggest that you replace the entire tire.
4. Making Strange Noises
While a certain amount of road noise can be expected while driving, your ride should be relatively quiet. If you are hearing strange sounds coming from the areas where your tires are positioned, that’s often a sign of impending auto repair in Longmont.
A probable cause is that your tires are out of balance, especially if you hear a thumping sound coming from under the seats. However, if your steering wheel is also vibrating, you might be dealing with suspension issues.