In our busy lives and demanding schedules, who really has the time to thoroughly inspect the tires on their vehicle to determine if they need replacing? If you have your vehicle checked regularly by a mechanic, they will most likely tell you if your tires need changing. If it's been a while, check out these 5 ways to determine if you need new tires.
Wear is an important factor for your vehicle's tires. You are endlessly exposed to the elements (heat, cold, snow, ice and water). Since rubber is a natural material and degrades over time, you should watch out for signs of wear and tear. Common signs are hairline cracks in the sidewall and between the tread blocks. If you discover these cracks (which expose the tire's inner material to the elements), your tires must be replaced immediately to avoid damage or problems with your vehicle.
This usually happens to a tire after a significant impact with a pothole or curb. Manufacturer errors can also cause this problem, but are less common. Buckling is caused by air getting between the inner layer and the outer layers of material (fabric, metal or rubber) of the tire, creating an air pocket in the weakened area. If this is not corrected, the projection can break and cause damage and/or serious injury.
Vibration is an indicator of various tire problems, from tire balance to runout problems. A major tire problem that can cause vibration is when the "belts" or inner cords of the tire separate or shift. Although this cannot be seen with the naked eye, it becomes very apparent when the tire is mounted on a wheel balancer. The separate tire ride is described as lumpy at low speeds, which transitions to very high-frequency vibration at highway speeds. A tire with these problems on the
will need to be replaced.
When is a tire considered worn out? The actual measurement of a tire that has exceeded its useful life is 2/32 of an inch. If you have a good depth gauge, just check your tires; If not, you can use this simple test to determine if your tires need replacing.
Tire age is related to some of the issues above, but is also affected by the date of manufacture. Typically, most tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires after 5 or 6 years with an absolute 10 year replacement schedule, regardless of tire condition or tread depth. Your tires have a date stamp on the sidewall showing the week and year the tire was manufactured. Use this stamp to assess the age and timing of your tire change.