How Do I Know When I Need New Tires?

How Do I Know When I Need New Tires?


Ever wonder when to replace your worn car tires? Barring any irregular or unsafe wear patterns, the usual life of a tire is most often
determined by the amount of tread left on it. The primary function of tread is to
divert water from beneath the tire, to improve traction, and avoid
hydroplaning on wet roads. Tires become unsafe when they’re worn. Specifically once the tread is
down to one sixteenth of an inch. Many people prefer to replace their tires even sooner, especially when driving in adverse weather conditions. All tires sold in the United States today,
have what are called tread wear bars. These are small raised bars of rubber
in the grooves of your tire’s tread. Look at the tread pattern and you’ll see
these bars running between the tread blocks. As your tires wear, these bars will become flush with the tire’s tread. When this happens, it’s time to replace the tires. An easy way to check the tread on
your tires is to do the penny test. Take a penny and place Lincoln’s head
in one of the grooves of the tire tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head on the
copper above it, it’s time to replace the tire. These are unsafe to drive on. If the penny is inserted enough that the tire
tread is at least as deep as Lincoln’s forehead, your tires are generally considered safe, and do not need replacing. Make sure when you’re administering the
penny test that you check all four of your tires. While you’re at it, make note of any irregular tread wear. This could indicate a wheel misalignment,
and need for tire rotation or both. Talk to one of our tire experts if you
think your tires are wearing unevenly. Thanks for watching, and thanks again
for making Les Schwab your tire store.

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