When The Rubber Meets The Road: When Is It Time For Tires?

November 2, 2017

The Penny Test.  It’s a tried and true method, passed down from generation to generation as a rite of passage for the new driver.  Take a Lincoln head penny, shove Honest Abe’s head into the tire tread and if his entire head is still visible, you don’t have enough tread on your tires, and it’s time to replace them.  Abe was more than just a great President with a manly beard.  He’s been posthumously keeping motorists safe for years.  But if that was the only way to check for tire viability this would be a short article.  Here some other ways to answer the age-old question: “Do I need new tires?”

Check the Tread Wear Indicator Bar.

You probably pay more attention to the battery bar on your cell phone, but this indicator can be a real life-saver!  There are little bars on your tire that run perpendicular to the tread on your tires and they are there to let you know when you need to get new tires.  When you first get tires, you can barely see them, but as the rubber wears they become more apparent.  If you can see more than one or two of them, it’s time to get new tires.

Check for Bubbles and Blisters.

This one tends to kind of jump out at you if you regularly check your tires.  If you see any cracks, bubbles, bulges or blisters, it’s time for new tires. If you’ve ever seen those blown out tires strewn across the freeway, you are on your way to joining their ranks.  If your tire is showing this kind of wear and tear, you are in serious need of a new set of wheels.

Feel The Vibration.

If you’re Marky Mark, you want to “Feel The Vibration.”  If you are on your way downtown to buy a Wahlburger, you don’t want to shimmy and shake.  It could be just an alignment or balance issue, but if your car starts to vibrate when you drive, use one of the above tools to determine whether or not it’s time for some new tires.

Look for Cracks.

If the sidewall of your tire is showing cracks, you could be on your way to a blow-out.  Not all tire wear and tear is evidenced by the treads.  The sidewall is an important indicator as well.

If Honest Abe is suggesting that it’s time to replace your tires, then schedule an appointment and come on down to Rad Air and let our tire experts help you find the right fit for your vehicle.  And don’t forget, we also carry a full supply of snow tires for winter in Northeast Ohio.