So you think you need new tires, but how can you be sure? You don’t want to waste money if your tires are still good. Well here are some obvious and not-so-obvious ways you can tell when it’s time to change:
Low Tread Depth
Probably the most common reason for changing your tires is because they’re worn down. Either you’ve lost some traction, or your tires are below the state limit (for most states it’s 2/32”). Either way, you’re going to want to get some new tires on there. You can read about how to measure your tread depth here.
Dry rot is basically when the rubber in your tires dries out and starts cracking. This can be a sign that your tires are really old, as it happens to rubber naturally as it ages. However, it can also be caused by environmental factors, such as excessive heat, so it can also show up in tires that have been sitting in the sun a lot. You can see an example of dry rot in the photo above.
This is a pretty common way for a tire to fail. Since tires are made in two sections fused together rather than one chunk of rubber, this separation can sometimes happen after excessive wear or improper care of your tires (like over inflating them). It could also be a result of a manufacturers defect. Keep an eye out for wavypatterns on your tread, this is a pretty good sign that it’s started.
Vibration is tricky, because it can be caused by more than just your tires. Vehicle issues like suspension and alignment problems can be the cause as well as tire related issues like balancing or wear. But if you’re experiencing vibration it’s a good idea to get your tires and your vehicle checked out, because even if it’s a mechanical problem your tires could be worn badly or damaged by it as well.
One of the more obvious signs you might need a new tire is if you see something sticking out of it. Maybe you’ll run over a nail or some metal or glass on the road, or have an angry ex. While some punctures can be repaired, some can’t, so if you’ve got a nail sticking out of your sidewall, you’ll definitely need a new tire. If it’s punctured in the tread or you’re not sure, it’s best to have the tire checked out.
If you notice your tire losing air over a period of hours or days, you may have a slow leak. This is usually a very, very small hole, but you can check for it using soapy water. You can either have it repaired (if possible) or just change the tire out, but whatever you do sooner is better than later. Not only can driving on it for a while make the leak worse, but it can damage the tire.
Bulges, Blisters, and Bubbles
This is another obvious sign you should get new tires. These bubbles can be caused by aging, rubber failure, or the failure of some internal part of the tire structure. They can be subtle or obvious, but just like soap bubbles these guys can pop, so get it taken care of quickly!
If any of these seem to fit the bill, go ahead and check out our inventory.