Useful Car Tips

Is it time for new tires?

May 10, 2018
If you are a responsible driver, you know you must keep your car at optimal driving condition at all times. Perhaps the most important way to keep your car in this condition is to replace your tires accordingly. But how do you know when it’s time for a new set?

Look for obvious signs

Your tires are the only thing that ever makes contact with the road, so I can’t stress their importance while driving. The best thing to do is check your tires once a month (aside from weekly tire pressure checks) or before going on a long trip. By simply looking at your tires, you may be able to spot thread wear, which is caused by bad wheel alignment. Make sure to pay attention to the “feel” of your car. A rough ride or vibration is an indication that there is something wrong with your tires. There are other signs that you must look for such as Damaged areas (chunks missing) and small objects such as nails and rocks that may have punctured the tire. If you spot any of these signs, you should evaluate the severity of the damage and take action accordingly. Keep in mind that if you choose to replace a damaged tire with a spare, this is a temporary fix and you cannot use the spare full time unless it’s the same exact size and type as the rest.

Penny Test

If you have checked your tires and haven’t found any visible damage, but think it’s time for new tires, test your tire thread. The easiest way to do this is the Penny test. Basically, grab a penny with Lincoln’s head on it and place it inside one of the tire grooves head first. If some of Lincoln’s head is hidden by the tire, you are still within the legal tire thread. If you can see Lincoln’s head fully, you have less than 2/32 of an inch of thread left and need to replace your tires immediately. This is the easiest way to check your tires yourself but you can always take your car to a trained professional if you’re uncertain.


Perhaps you don’t see any damage in your tires but you noticed that your car is not driving well in different weather conditions. Depending on the weather in your area, you might need to think about purchasing a set of seasonal or winter tires. Summer tires ride great in perfect driving conditions but lack the proper thread grooves necessary to take on the winter snow. This lack of thread makes your car a liability when driving in the snow. By investing into a seasonal or winter set of tires, you’re reducing your risk or a potential accident. Now that you have assessed and replaced your tires, you must think about maintenance. The longevity of your new tires depends on its design, driving habits, road conditions, climate and the care that is put into the tires. Protect your investment by performing proper wheel alignments and balancing. If you bought your new tires from a Tire retailer, there are protection plans you can buy for scheduled maintenance to make it easier. Don’t prolong the inevitable, regularly check your tires and replace if necessary to make the road safe for you and everyone around you. is a great place to start if you decide a change is necessary.
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