Tires cost a fair amount of money, which is why many people put off tire replacement for as long as they can. However, these deceptively simple looking technological wonders are what connect your car to the road. They provide the friction force with the pavement that makes steering, braking and acceleration possible. Worn tires severely compromise your ability to brake and steer. Rather than risk an accident, know the five signs of when it's time to replace your tires.
1. Insufficient Tread Depth
When the tread depth is 2/32 of an inch or less, your tires must be replaced. A convenient method for checking this is inserting a penny into the tread with the top of Lincoln's head pointing straight into the tread. If his head disappears into the tread, the tire is fine. If you can see the top of his head, then it's time to replace the tire. Tires also have wear bars in the treads that become level with the top of the tread when it's time for tire replacement.
2. Uneven Tire Wear
Uneven tire wear has a number of possible causes. These include failure to rotate your tires, an unbalanced wheel and a front end misalignment. Uneven tire wear is often accompanied by vibration, excessive wheel noise or shimmying of the steering wheel. A tire with uneven wear must be replaced. However, the conditions that caused this wear must be repaired by a mechanic. Failure to do so may compromise your steering and rapidly wear out the new tire replacements.
3. Cracks in the Rubber
If you see cracks of any size in any location on your tire, get them replaced at once. Failure to do so means you're risking a blowout. Chronically under-inflated tires fatigue the rubber and produce lots of small cracks along the sidewall.
4. When Your Tires Reach Six Years of Age
Regardless of the few miles of usage your tires may have seen or how deep the treads are, your tires should be replaced after six years. The reason is that tire rubber ages and loses its flexibility with time. This also causes small cracks to appear. Tire rubber is not an inert substance. It slowly oxidizes with the oxygen in the air. Don't forget to replace your spare tire every six years as well.
5. When You Drive with a Flat
Even if the car was moved only a few feet, the damage to the side wall has already been done. There is usually a tell-tale ring of slightly lighter colored rubber along the side wall of the tire.
Driving on old or worn tires to put off spending money is not worth the risk of an accident. Tire negligence that causes an accident may also increase your car insurance premiums. So, make sure you take care of your tires to stay safe on the road.
Are you driving safely? Call Owen & Associates at (770) 422-0456 for more information on Marietta auto insurance.