Knowing When To Replace Tires Is Crucial
If you’re one of the thousands of people wondering when to replace tires, you’re not alone. Understanding that the performance of your car tires is critical to the safety, efficiency and the performance of your vehicle is the initial step to learn when to replace car tires.
The majority of tires on the market today are designed to provide you with consistent performance within the lifespan of the tire itself. But, at some point they will begin to effectively lose some performance in regards to things such as braking and traction ability.During these times it is absolutely critical that you recognize when to change tires accordingly.
We have compiled some helpful information and tips that will aid you in deciding whether it is time to begin searching for a replacement set of tires and try to prevent you from spending more money than you actually need to.
Steps To Knowing When To Replace Tires:
1. Start with a visual examination of the tread pattern on your current tires. The majority of tires are manufactured with ‘tread wear indicator bars’ built right into the tire itself.You can recognize them easily as they are usually small bridges that form in between your treads. Carefully inspect the tread pattern and you should be able to see the start of these bars begin to form between the treads.In some tires you can see them running across the tires. As time passes, and the life of the tires begin to wear, these indicator bars will become flush with the tire's tread. This is a sure sign on when to change car tires on your vehicle.
2. Next, you will need to inspect the tread by using a simple test called the ‘penny test.’ You don’t need any fancy equipment here, as all you need is a penny to determine when to change tires.Take the penny and place it upside down with picture of the head facing you in the center of the tread. You should do this at the thickest part of the tire tread to obtain a more accurate reading.
* If you are able to see the very top of the picture of the head, or the copper above it, replace the tires right away.
* If the hair on the top of the head of the picture is moderately visible, this is an indication that you will need to go searching for replacement tires.
* If you are not able to see the hair on the top of the pictures head, then this is a sure sign that your tires are not in the need of being changed yet.
Tips You Need To Know Before Deciding When To Change Tires:
* Rotating your tires at least twice a year is recommended by most professional mechanics.Make sure that you are doing this consistently and evenly by rotating from front to rear and also in pairs. Don’t try to switch just one or cross switch them.Do it evenly by taking both the front tires and then changing them to the rear and vice versa every time you rotate them.
* If you are one of the owners of a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle, it is even more important for you to replace all four tires at the same time since they are all being used equally as much. This is especially true if it is recommended in your factory service manual. If there are differences in the diameter of the tires you are replacing, it can permanently damage differentials on your vehicle.
* For those of you that have uneven wear on any of your front tire treads, this is a good warning to let you know that the front end of your car may be out of alignment. Have this checked as soon as possible and, if you can do it yourself quickly, rotate the tires to the rear of your vehicle if possible (note: this will only work if the tire size of both your front and rear are exactly the same).If you car is front wheel drive then the tires from the back should be fine and the uneven front tires that you change to the rear will begin to adjust and correct themselves.
* Even if you have perfect alignment on your vehicle, tires do not wear perfectly evenly.So before deciding when to change tires, be sure to use the penny test at various points along the width of your tire tread beginning from the outside and then moving to the inside of your tire tread. As a rule of thumb, car tires generally wear more on the inside but if you have over-inflated tires they will wear more in the middle of the tire tread.
* Test all of your tires at the same time and after you decide when to replace tires make sure that you replace them all at the same time.Remember that mismatched tires will not give you the adequate safety and performance as a matched pair of tires will.
* Last not but not least, make sure you maintain your tires correctly by keeping them properly inflated. This not only makes sure that they are performing at their optimum level but it also helps you save gas as well.
Caution Before Deciding When To Replace Car Tires:
* After a thorough visual inspection, if you discover that your uneven tire wear is excessive or if you notice that your tires actually wear down much quicker than manufacturer specifications suggest, bring it to your nearest mechanic and have them check the suspension of your vehicle.If there is a problem they can fix it properly before deciding when to change tires. If your vehicle has improper alignment or even worn down suspension parts it can dangerously limit and shorten the life of your tires.
* After deciding when to replace tires, be extra cautious so that you buy tires that are the correct size and type for your vehicle and wheels. If you like the look and performance of low profile tires it may be necessary for you to purchase larger sized wheels so that the outer circumference of the tire remains unchanged and is unaffected. Incorrect tire size or mismatched tread is the leading cause of the low tire pressure warning light to turn on especially if your car is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
* The tires that you buy should never rub against the fenders or any other part of your car. If your tires rub while turning or driving over speed bumps, this means that they do not fit correctly.Correct this immediately or else you will suffer the consequence of a blown tire or even an accident.Remember, safety is first and looks are second (no matter how cool it looks), especially when deciding when to replace car tires.
* Be extra attentive when rotating tires, and especially when moving tires to different wheels or rims. A lot of current tires are manufactured with a specific rotational direction and corresponding rotation method. Again, remember to reference your tire manufacturer’s specifications or tire dealer for details on when to change tires.