How To Tell When Your Car Needs New Tires

Published by Partnered Content, Date: June 10, 2024
Close-up of a tire on a silver sedan. The tires look new and have a deep, detailed tread, which shows they are in good shape.

When people think about taking care of their car, they often consider the engine and the physical body of the vehicle. However, tires are an equally important element to keep an eye on as time goes on. Older and worn-out tires aren’t just visually unappealing but can be dangerous to drive around with. If you’re wondering how to tell when your car needs new tires, here are some helpful tips to guide you.

Check the Tread Depth

Many people will examine the tread depth of their tires to see if they need a new one or not. As your tires wear down, the tread becomes more shallow and, therefore, more dangerous since the tires struggle more to grip the road.

The simplest way to check your depth is an old trick called the penny test. Simply insert the penny into the groove in a way in which you can see the heads side of it. If you can still see the top of Lincoln’s head when it’s all the way in, the tread is far too shallow, and you should get some new tires.

Pay Attention to Your Driving Experience

Sometimes you can just feel if your car needs new tires based on the way that it handles while you’re driving. Do you feel the car pulling more to one side? Does it feel like your vehicle slides a bit more when you hit the brakes? Are there any unusual vibrations?

All these are common signs of your tires wearing down or wheel misalignment. Cars with faulty tires are more likely to get into an accident. If you get yourself into a fender bender or bumper bender and your insurance company learns that you’re driving with unsafe tires, they may not pay for damages. So if you start to notice things feel weird while you’re driving, it doesn’t hurt to get them checked out.

Inspect for Cracks and Bulges

One of the most obvious ways to know when your car needs new tires is when you can visibly notice cracks, bulges, or other abnormalities on them. Cracks can develop from exposure to sunlight, chemicals, or rough driving conditions. Bulges often result from impact damage, such as hitting a pothole or curb, causing the tire’s internal structure to weaken.

These imperfections can lead to tire failure, posing a risk to your safety. Regularly inspect your tires for any visible signs of damage, and consult a professional if you notice anything unusual.

Knowing when your car needs new tires involves regular inspection and attention to detail. By staying proactive, you can ensure your vehicle remains safe and efficient on the road.


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