How to Check if You Need New Tires

September 15, 2021 7:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One often overlooked area of automobile maintenance is the tires. If your tires are old and worn down, it can lead to you having less control on the road. It’s important for the safety of you, everyone in your vehicle and the other drivers and pedestrians around you to make sure your tires are in good condition. But how do you know when to replace your tires?

There are a few visual inspections you can do to quickly and easily determine if your vehicle needs its tires replaced. Before you start to feel a loss of control on the roads, try these ways to check if your tires are bad.

Check the tread

The tread on your tires helps them grip the road better. Some specialized tires also can be helpful in wet weather by channeling away more water more quickly as you drive through it. If the tread is low, your tires will not be as effective at grabbing the road. This can create less stability and may also lead to an increased likelihood of hydroplaning in wet weather.

One easy way to determine when to replace your tires is to check the tread. If the raised tread is down to 1/16 of an inch from the base of the tire, the tire is no longer safe to drive on and should be replaced immediately. It’s best to get your tires replaced before they reach that point.

The penny test

One easy way to check the depth of your tread is by using the penny test. Take a Lincoln cent, and place it in the tread with Honest Abe’s head facing down into the tread. If you can see the very top of his head when the penny is all the way down into the groove, then it’s time to have your tires replaced right away. It’s a good idea to check in multiple spots, as tires do not wear evenly all the way around.

Tread bar

Tires have tread bars in the grooves between the treads to indicate when it’s time to change them. If these small, horizontal bridges are even with the tread, that means the tread has worn down to 1/16 of an inch and the tires are no longer safe to drive on. Again, be sure to check multiple areas of the tire if using this method.

Check for damage

If you notice that your tires are wearing in an irregular way, this might be a sign that your wheels need alignment, that the tires are not properly inflated or that the tires need to be rotated. This also may be an indicator that the tires need to be replaced if the damage is severe enough, regardless of how much life may be left on the tread.

No matter what, it’s important to have your tires replaced at least every six years. For the best tire service and selection, contact or pay a visit to Tom’s Body and Paint, Inc. today. We look forward to assisting you.

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