Tires are all made for superior performance. However, with the passage of time, car tires demonstrate normal aging signs. To prevent compromising your safety, it is important to regularly check your tires for worn out indications. If car tire treads have gone “bald,” traction is heavily compromised and may be the cause of accidents. Here’s how you can determine if your tires are worn out and need replacement.
- Do a thorough look. Have your car parked in a level-surfaced, well-lit place. Closely look at the tires. If you notice your tires having a flat, smooth surface, it is time to shop for a replacement. The tires are likely to have gone bald. If you notice uneven tire wear, your vehicle may have alignment problems. Immediately address this and hire an expert mechanic to correct the alignment. A prompt action is especially important if the tires have extremely uneven tire wear, which can be a result of under- or over-inflation. Remember that under-inflation can cause wear on the outside parts of the tire, while over-inflation can cause wear in the middle.
- Use a tread-depth gauge. A tread-depth gauge is a mechanical tool that can accurately measure your tire wear. Use this around the tire’s circumference. When the tread depth is already determined, calculate the difference between the measured tread depth and the tread depth of a new tire. If the measured tread depth is 60% less than the tread depth of a new tire, your tire has worn out and must be immediately replaced to avoid any accident.
- Look at the wear bars. Most tires have small, vertical bars, commonly called wear bars, in between the treads, which help determine if the tires have worn out. When the treads wear out, they will thin until they level out with the wear bars. If the treads have thinned down to 1/16 inch and are already even with the wear bars, the tire needs to be changed.
- Do a coin test. Another method of testing your tire for wear is the coin test. Get a penny and put it in between the threads. The penny should be placed wrong side up so that Abe Lincoln’s head is stuck between the treads. If you can see only a part of Lincoln’s head, the tire can still be used but should be replaced soon. But if Lincoln’s head is showing completely, the treads are worn out, making the tire unsafe to use. Buy a replacement immediately. You may need to perform the coin test at all points of the tire to accurately measure tire wear.
If you need to change your tires, make sure to change all of them in one go. This is because using new tires with old tires may pose dangers and decrease the overall performance of the car. Also, always buy the recommended tires for your car. Otherwise, you may need to buy new rims to fit your new tires. To prevent any mishap, the tires should be securely attached and correctly aligned. Should you need to rotate them, follow the rotating directions specified by the manual.