Are Your Tires Tired? Here’s How To Test The Tread

flat tire

Between getting to work and back, transporting kids all over town, and striking out on those long summer road trips, our tires really take a beating. And, as much as we depend on them every day, it’s so easy to forget to check them for signs of wear as often as we should. Not to mention, we may not even really know what we need to be looking for. To help keep you safe on the road, be aware of these warning signs that your tires may be wearing out.

Too Much Vibration

Some vibration is normal, especially if you’re driving on rough or bumpy roads. But if it seems worse than usual, something may be wrong. Vibration could be an indication that you need an alignment or that a tire is out of balance. It could also mean there’s a problem with the tire itself. It’s important to have this checked out immediately, since continuing to drive your vehicle in these conditions could cause more serious damage.

Cracks, Bulges, or Blisters

A visual inspection can also help determine the condition of your tires. Cracks in the sidewall could indicate that a leak might be forming. Bulges and blisters are signs that the tire’s surface is weakening. All of these can ultimately lead to a flat tire or a blowout. So take your vehicle into a repair shop immediately to avoid ending up stranded somewhere on the side of the road.

Low Tread

As a general rule, the tread on your tires should always be at least 1/8 of an inch deep. To measure your tread depth, simply take a quarter and insert it upside down in between the treads. If the top of Washington’s head is visible, your tread is too low. Get to a repair shop soon, because that means it’s time for new tires.

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Tread Wear Indicator Bar

Many new tires come equipped with a tread wear indicator bar built into the tires themselves. As the tire wears down, these bars – strips of flat rubber running perpendicular to the direction of the tread – become visible. If you can see more than one or two of them, it’s time to replace the tires.

Your safety is our primary concern, so keep an eye on those tires as you’re out running the roads this summer. And let us know if we can help!

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