Tire maintenance is often overlooked when it comes to taking care of your vehicle, especially when it comes to replacing them. Eventually your tires will need to be replaced, and you don't need to wait until they're completely bald or falling apart to know when it's necessary. It's not just about maintenance, but about safety. Worn and damaged tires can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and drastically increase braking distance, among other hazards. Figuring out when to replace your tires only requires an occasional inspection and paying attention to the way your car handles on the road.
Check Your Tread
A tire's tread is responsible for giving traction, but the designs have a purpose. The grooves on your tires push water out from under your tires so you don't lose your grip on the road. As the treads fade, so does their ability to push water out of the way, which can increase your risk of hydroplaning or losing control.
While some advocate the coin trick to figure out if your tread is too low, it's a little more complicated than that. Take into account the climate where you live, the quality of the roads and how your car handles. If the coin trick says you're fine, but you've noticed your car drifting a little in wet weather, it's time to replace your tires. Alternatively, if you live in more stable climates with smooth, dry roads, you can afford to let your tires go a little longer, providing there is no damage.
While checking your tread, look to see how your tires have been wearing down. For the most part, unless your tires are deliberately tilted, you should see even wear. If you see that your tires have been wearing down unevenly, it's unsafe to continue driving on them for much longer as they may become weak or unstable. Plus, this can also indicate a bigger problem that needs to be checked out immediately, such as improper alignment.
Bumps and Cracks
Physical damage to your tires also makes replacing them a necessity. Some damage isn't always immediately obvious, which means it's extremely important to frequently inspect your tires. If you're in a dry environment and aren't able to park your car in a garage or out of the sun, look for cracks along your treads, tire rims and by the wheels. Occasional minor cracks aren't a problem, but larger cracks are, especially if they are starting to push apart the treads. Cracks occur when the oils in the tires start to dry, which can happen faster in hot, dry environments and in direct sunlight. Depending on the severity of the cracks, the tires may need to be replaced immediately.
Bumps and bubbles in your tires often happen as a result of hitting a curb or a pothole, and are most often visible along the outer rim. Even if they aren't very big or bulging out far, you will still need to replace any tire with a bump on it regardless of how new the tire is. A bump weakens the tire and makes it more likely that your tire may blow out on the road. Talk to a professional like Euro-Tire to get the problem resolved.