Do you know when to change your tires?

A family of six people with three cars inspired this article. When they brought two of their vehicles in for service, one of our mechanics immediately noticed that both cars needed their rubber replaced. When he approached the woman, she admitted that it had been a while, and she did not know what to look for to tell if a tire was worn out.

At the bottom of the tire, those spots of rubber are the ONLY parts of the car that touch the ground. Making that contact point count is the #1 way to stop from flying off the road during a corner.

So how do you know when to change your tires?

Criteria #1: Checking your Treads

The treads of the tire are the little valleys molded into the tire at its creation. These are made to direct moisture away from the flat areas of the tire to maintain traction in poor conditions.

These treads become shallower as rubber wears off your tire, and when these deep valleys start to seem shallow, that’s when you know its time to replace the tires. Most mechanics recommend 1/16th of an inch as the depth required for treads, however, our mechanics told us that at 1/8th of an inch depth you should be looking for a new tire.

How do you measure the depth easily? Use a ruler, find your deepest tread, and place the ruler in there.

Criteria #2: Tire Wear Indicators

Is checking the threads consistently too much of a hassle? Many newer tires have a built in feature that you can keep a lookout for. On new tires, There is a solid strip of rubber, buried deep in the tread. This strip runs perpendicular to the tread, and is usually only 1/16th of an inch tall. When this line starts becoming more pronounced, then you know that you need to change your tire.

Criteria #3: You “Feel” too Much of the Road

When you drive, you are bound to feel some vibration from the road. Not every road is perfectly flat or with impeccable paving, so feeling a bit of the ride is inevitable. However, take notice when you start to feel those vibrations more and more.

More vibration means that there is far less tire between you and the road than you are used to. Once you start feeling these forces, it’s time to see your mechanic to talk about replacing your worn tires.

Pete Wise is a content developer and white-hat SEO Jedi. This article was written for AAMCO Centers of Colorado who perform expert Transmission Repair and Total Car Care. Follow Pete on twitter:  @MySEOHeadache

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