How to Tell Tires Need Changing

Close up of unrecognizable auto repairman using socket wrench while changing wheel and tire in a workshop.

Did you know that bad tires account for one of the top reasons that tens of thousands of automobile accidents happen every year? Of course, driver error is atop the list of reasons, but following closely behind is the fact that many people are driving on tires that should have been replaced a long time ago. The issue, of course, is that people don’t pay much attention to their tires. It’s recommended that people constantly check their tires and keep a pressure gauge handy, but the fact of the matter is that most people don’t. They might look and see if their tires are inflated, and if so, they will just jump into their car and drive around, rarely wondering if it’s time for a change. If you truly want to be safe out there on the road, it’s vital that you start paying more attention to the state of your tires.

Good tires have a good amount of tread and are properly inflated and will stay that way. They grip well to the road to allow for the right amount of traction and stopping power. They also run smooth and quiet, so you get a comfortable ride without all of that rumbling noise. Though so many people will not go in for tire service until it’s too late. How can we change that? Well, the first thing we can do is insist that people pay more attention to their tires. Here are some warning signs that it’s time for a tire change, or at least to go in for inspection and service.

Signs That It’s Time to Change Those Tires

1: A Lot of Vibration

You’ve been driving your car for a while, so you know when something’s not right. Have you been feeling a lot more vibration recently? This could be a tell-tale sign that you need to change your tires out. You’re always going to feel some vibration when driving, but if it’s constant and getting worse, it probably means that your tires are misaligned, imbalanced, or that they’re just ready to be switched out.

2: Bulging and Blistering

You should also really look at your tires more often and you may be able to visibly notice when it’s time for a tire change. Do you see blisters and bulging rubber on your tires? They could be really small blisters, so you might have to look closely. If they’re really bad and very noticeable, then you know for sure that your tires are old, rotted and just too worn to use. Though you can also catch this happening in the early stages and get your tires switched out without having to risk an accident on the road from a blowout.

3: Cracks and Splits

The sidewall of your tire is basically the “flat” part that’s facing you when you examine your wheels. They should look like dark black supple rubber. If they’re looking grayish or bluish at all, you should really start inspecting them for cracks and splits in the sidewalls. These cracks may be very small, like little spider webs, but it’s a sign that your tires are basically rotting out on you and that they need to be replaced. Though the danger here is that the damage might barely be visible, so you have to carefully inspect them.

4: Tread Indicators

Every set of newer tires will come with tread indicator bars. These bars are actually built into your tires, and they will become highly noticeable once your tread wears down. Looking for worn tread is a great way to know if you need some tire service or a potential replacement, but these tread indicators being exposed will remove all doubt. You won’t have to use your best judgment here; you will know that it’s time for service if these indicators are exposed.

5: They Won’t Hold Air

With the weather fluctuating and with you getting constant use out of your tires, it’s not at all an issue if your tire deflates sometimes and you notice that you’ve lost some air. This is something very natural that happens and the reason why every gas station you visit is going to have a filling station offering you pressurized air. However, if your tire will not hold air and keeps losing it, then you know that you have an issue. It could be a hole in there, it could be that the seal isn’t holding, or it could be that you need brand new tires. The key point here is to take your car in if this is the case.

6: Old Age

How old are your tires? With the best brands out there, you can have them for a very long time and they might not even show any visible signs of damage. However, over the years, that rubber has been exposed to the elements and the tire isn’t what it used to be. So even though you might not see any visible signs, disaster could still be lurking due to their old age. If you have had your tires for many years, the least you should do is to take your automobile in for servicing and allow the professionals to take a look.

7: Bad Handling

How is your car handling these days? You drive it, so you will know if the wheels don’t want to straighten back out after a turn, or if it’s not stopping as easily as before. When these sorts of issues arise, most people are going to suspect things like brake pads and power steering issues. However, it could just as easily be your tires that are causing this. They could be imbalanced. Sometimes, having your tires rotated and balanced can solve this issue. However, other times this means that your tires are just old and about to give out on you, so you’re going to have to get them replaced. The important thing here is to pay attention for things like this, so that you can get in there and get your car looked at when it starts happening. Don’t let the issue get worse.

If you notice any issue with your tires, whether it’s listed here or not, you should contact the professionals for further assistance. The idea here is to prevent any serious incidents from arising.

About the Author


Be the first to comment on "How to Tell Tires Need Changing"

Leave a comment