Your tires play an essential role in the safety of your vehicle. As the only part of your vehicle that touches the ground, they are essential in ensuring proper braking and handling, along with general highway safety. Unfortunately, just like other components of your vehicle, tires do not last forever. Knowing the signs of impending tire failure can help minimize the risk of a blowout, accident, or worse.
Your tire’s tread should never be less than .0625” in depth. For situations where you are driving on wet or slick surfaces regularly, you need twice that depth. You can purchase a gauge at any tire store to measure the depth, which is how professionals do it, but there is another trick you can use, too. This trick will only cost you a penny.
Use a penny with Lincoln on it. To conduct the test, insert the penny, head down, into the tread. If you can still see Honest Abe’s head, there is not enough tread to grip the road properly. Take your car to a mechanic before you get stuck on the side of the road and need 24 hour truck tire repair service. Usually, new tires will be more affordable than an accident.
Tread Wear Indicators
Today, newer tires are designed with a level of convenience older tires do not offer. They include a bar that lets you know when the tread is worn down. These bars are invisible or almost invisible when tires are brand new but start to appear more as the tread is worn down. The bars look like flat pieces of rubber that run perpendicular to the tread’s direction. If you see more than two of the bars in the wet tracks your tires create, there is a problem. Now is the time to invest in new tires.
Cracks in the Sidewall
Not all issues with tires will relate to the tread. Problems may also appear in the sidewall. It is easy to check this visually and look for any cuts, cracks, or grooves. If you notice these problems, it is a sign the tire is developing a leak or that it may be ready to blow out. Make sure you get new tires before you experience complete tire failure.
Purchasing New Tires
While buying new tires for any car or truck requires an investment, it is one that will help keep you, your passengers, and others on the road safe. Keep the signs of issues with your tires in mind to help ensure you know when replacing the tires is required.