Tires, like most things on your car, eventually need to be replaced. Very often, when you go to get your alignment done, the auto shop will let you know if if you need a new set of tires. However, it’s good for you to know the status of your tires so that you aren’t buying four new tires unnecessarily. There are three things that can help you decide if you need new tires: tread wear, exposure to the elements, and the age of the tires. Here are some good ways to check your tires:
The Penny Method. Tried and true, using a penny to check the wear of your tire tread is a great way to go. Just take a penny, and dear, ol’ Lincoln’s head upside down, stick it between the tread block of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire’s treads are shallow and worn and you should probably consider replacing the tires. If part his head is covered, the tires should probably be fine..
Tire Age. You should be replacing your tires around every 10 years. Of course, it depends on the model you drive, the type of tire you have, and where you’re driving.
Exposure to Elements. If your tires have been exposed to extreme amounts of heat or cold, there’s potential for problems. In most places, the weather is not extreme enough to cause damage, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.
Check Your Tire Pressure. If you’re wondering if it’s time for new tires, check your tire pressure once a week for a couple of weeks. Tires deflate at a rate of about one pound per square inch per month. If you are losing an excessive amount of air, your tire either needs to be fixed or replaced.
Do a Visual Check Up. Whenever you are checking your tire pressure, take a moment and do a visual check up. Look for cracks in the sidewall, a sign your tires could be close to a blowout, as well as for bulges and blisters.Keep a record of when you get your tires replaced and any time you have them repaired. Make sure you check your tires a couple times a year at the very least to make sure they are still safe to use!