Checking for worn tires is more important than you might think, and probably something you don’t do often enough. But every time you are on the road, your tires do the brunt of the work and take the most wear. Unfortunately the National High Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that tire failure causes about 11,000 vehicle crashes every year. This is why they suggest you check your tires once a month. What are you looking for? Here are just a few warning signs:
1. Low Tread Depth
The treads on your tires give you the traction you need to drive safely and efficiently. If you consistently drive on wet, slick, or snowy roads, this is even more important. The tread depth should never fall below 1/16 of an inch. Newer tiers have a tread wear indicator bar built in. But with older tires you will have to measure manually. You can buy a professional gauge to measure the tread depth, or simply use the penny test. Take your penny, head side down, and insert it between the tread blocks on your tire. If you can see President Lincoln’s entire head, then you need new tires. If you can’t see his head, because it is buried, then your tire tread is still in pretty good shape.
2. Gouges or Cracks
Damage also can appear on the sidewall, especially if you have driven too long on a deflated tire. It is easy to spot this issue with a visual inspection. At the first or second glance you will notice distinct grooves or cracks. This shows you have either developed a slow leak or your tire is close to a blow out. This is serious, and you should get to an auto repair shop as soon as possible.
3. Bulges or Blisters
With time, the outer surface of the tire can weaken, and result in a blister or bulge. If you notice that part of the tire extends outward, bulging away from the rest of the surface, it’s only a matter of time before it pops. So pay attention to any bulges, blisters, or anything else that looks odd. If you notice something, don’t wait to take your car in for an inspection.
4. Consistent Loss of Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is also something you need to check regularly. In a month, your tires typically deflate about one pound per square inch. Keep in mind, tire pressure drops in extreme cold and rises in extreme heat. You want to carefully monitor your tire pressure, and keep it consistent with the recommended pressure in your owner’s manual. If you notice a more serious drop in tire pressure, then you likely have a leak. Take your car to a technician so they can test for leaks and patch them up.
5. Excess Vibration
A little vibration is inevitable when driving, and if you have been driving for a long time, you will know how much vibration feels wrong. Several things can cause vibrations, but poorly aligned or unbalanced tires are often the culprit. If the tire itself isn’t the problem, the vibrations can eventually damage the tire. If a vibration gets bad, don’t ignore it. Get your car to the Grand Blanc, MI auto repair and have it looked over.
Visit Holly Tire Today
If you notice any of these signs, visit us at 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442. We employ the best skilled technicians and they will look at your tires and tell you if you should repair or replace them before something more serious happens. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road in Ortonville, MI. If you have any questions about your tires call us today.