Last Updated on August 1, 2023 by John Robinson
Having the right tires on your car is essential for a safe and comfortable driving experience. Unfortunately, tires don’t last forever, and it’s important to keep an eye out for signs that they may need to be changed. It’s important to recognize the signs that your tires may need to be replaced and take action as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common signs that you might need to change your tires.
1. Low Tire Tread
One of the most common signs that you may need to change your tires is if the tread appears to be low. Over time, as you drive, the rubber on your tire’s surface will gradually wear away. This can cause a reduction in grip, which can affect how your car handles and performs in certain conditions. To check for low tire tread, use a penny or a tread depth gauge to measure the depth of the grooves in your tire. According to Tire Grades, the depth of your tread should be at least 4/32 inches. If it’s lower than that, you may need to replace your tires.
2. Uneven Tire Wear
Uneven tire wear is one of the most common signs that you need to change your tires. Over time, the tread on your tires will become worn down, making it more difficult for them to grip the road and maneuver as intended. If you notice any clear differences in the level of wear between each tire, then it’s likely time to get some new ones. You should also check for unusual bulges or cracks in your tires, as these can be a sign of internal damage and could lead to further issues if they aren’t addressed. Additionally, make sure that there are no pebbles or other foreign objects stuck within the treads of your tires; this could cause uneven wear and compromise their performance.
3. Vibrations in the Steering Wheel
If you begin to feel a vibration in the steering wheel while driving, it could be indicative of irregular tire wear. This means that your tires may not be evenly distributed on the road surface, resulting in a bumpy ride. In some cases, this could even cause damage to other components of your car. It is important to have your tires inspected and changed if necessary as soon as possible. While driving with tires that are in poor condition can be dangerous, it will also decrease the overall lifespan of your vehicle.
4. Age of the Tires
One factor that will tell you when to change your tires is the age of the tires themselves. Generally speaking, tires should be replaced every 6 years regardless of how much they have been used. This is because rubber naturally degrades over time and a tire that has been sitting for too long may become brittle and not provide as much traction. Additionally, if you can’t seem to find the date of manufacture on the sidewall of your tire, it’s probably more than 6 years old and should be replaced immediately.
5. Noise When Driving
You should also be aware of any strange noises your car might be making. If you hear a humming, buzzing, or whining sound coming from the tires when driving, it could be an indicator that something is wrong with them. This type of noise usually occurs at certain speeds and can get louder over time. It may be a sign that your tires are worn out or need to be balanced, so pay attention to what you’re hearing and make sure to have them checked by a professional if necessary.
6. Blistering or Cracking of the Sidewall
If you notice that your tires have started to blister or crack, this is an indication of potentially dangerous damage and a sign that your tires need to be replaced. Blistering or cracking of the sidewall can occur due to age, heat exposure, or even just uneven wear and tear. If you see any signs of blistering or cracking on your tires, it’s important to get them replaced right away. Otherwise, they may become prone to punctures or blowouts while driving which can lead to serious accidents.
Keeping an eye out for these signs that you may need to change your tires is essential in maintaining the safety and performance of both your car and yourself. With regular inspections, you can ensure that any problems are caught early and addressed before they become a bigger issue. At the end of the day, it pays to be proactive when it comes to tire maintenance and replacement.