4 Easy Ways To Check The Condition of Your Tires
Through years of daily work commutes, road trips, and driving your kids around town, your tires are no stranger to a life of wear and tear. Even with advancements in tire technology and material, tires are not eternally resilient.
From excessive wear to small leaks, making yourself aware of these issues is crucial to the safety of you and your passengers. Each year, nearly 6,000 vehicle-related casualties are caused by defective tires.
However, if you are like most, there is a good chance you have never taken the time to check the condition of your tires. Whether it’s because the thought never crosses your mind or you just don’t know what to look for, let’s explore 4 quick and simple ways to check the condition of your tires.
Of all tire issues, worn treads are the most common. Those channels and grooves in your tires aren’t to make your tires look cool. They are there to create traction between your tires and the road. The deeper the tread depth, the stronger the traction.
The Penny Test. New tires typically come with a 10/32” or 11/32” tread. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends replacing your tires when treads reach 2/32” (some states legally require a tread depth of 2/32” or greater). The penny test allows you to confirm whether or not your treads meet this depth.
Simply place a penny, with Lincoln’s head facing downward, into one of the tire’s tread ribs. If you can see his entire head, it is time to replace your tires.
Stop ignoring that ‘low tire pressure’ light. Proper tire pressure prevents uneven wear, maximizes traction, prevents tires from popping, and ensures maximum gas mileage.
How do I know how much air to put in? While the tire itself indicates maximum pressure allowed, check your driver’s side door jamb to view the optimum tire pressure for your vehicle.
How do I determine each tire’s pressure? Most of us don’t own a pressure gauge, so simply go to a nearby gas station. Ask for tire gauge (looks like a silver pen) and apply it to the tire’s air valve. A white ruler will pop out and indicate the tire’s pressure.
Tip: Don’t overfill your tire. An overfilled tire can be just as detrimental as an underfilled tire.
“Rotate my tires?”. “Aren’t my tires always rotating?”. Ever wonder the reasoning is behind rotating your tires? Uneven wear patterns. Depending on weight distribution in your vehicle, inflation issues, or common driving routes, your tires may be subject to uneven wear.
It’s important to conduct visual checks of your tires in order to detect uneven wear. The most common causes are the under and over inflation of tires. Excessive wear in the middle of a tire indicates an overinflation. Excessive wear on the outer edges indicates underinflation. If you detect these common wear patterns, make sure to check all tires. Even if other tires are properly inflated, the other tires may be affected.
If you do detect uneven wear, make sure to have your tires checked by a professional. Depending on the severity, they may suggest a rotation (in which the 4 tires are rearranged) or a replacement.
The simplest task on our list involves checking the manufacturing date of your tire. Because the compounds of your tires degrade over time, it is good practice to at least replace your tires every 10 years.
To determine the manufacturing date, look for a 4-numbered stamp on the outside of your tire. For example, a stamp with the numbers 1710 indicates that the tires were manufactured in the 17th week of the year 2010.
Keeping you and your family safe is likely your greatest priority in life. It’s also a priority for us. Ensuring the well-being of our community members is our greatest mission. Follow these 4 simple tasks and protect yourself from injury, accidents, and inconvenience.