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Driving around with worn out or damaged tires can be a major safety hazard, and under certain conditions, bad tires can directly result in you getting in a potentially serious accident. Unfortunately, knowing when it's time to buy new tires isn't also so easy. For this reason, you'll want to be on the lookout for all of the following factors, as each is a sure sign that it's time to buy new tires.
1) Too Little Tread
Spotting tires that are balding or have too little tread left is fairly easy enough, and in fact there's a trick that ensures it only takes a few seconds. All you need to do is take a penny and insert it into the tread so that Lincoln's head points down. The tread should cover at least part of his head, and if it doesn't, you'll need to buy new tires soon or else risk sliding on wet or slick roads.
Many newer tires also have an added in function that means you won't even have to do the penny trick. These tires have trend indicator bars, which you'll see as bars or lines that run perpendicular to the tread. You'll barely be able to see these bars when the tires are still in good condition, but they'll eventually begin to appear over time as the tire wears. Once you can fully see one of two of the bars on a tire, it's an indication that it needs changed.
2) Blisters or Bulges on the Sidewalls
A blister or bulge is a definite sign that the outer wall of the tire has weakened. If you continue to drive on the tire for too long, the continued pressure is likely to cause a blowout due to the weak spot. Unfortunately, blowouts tend to happen at higher speeds, which means it is vital for your safety that you change your tire at the first sign of this potential issue.
3) Cracks and Cuts
Similar to the above problem, cracks or cuts in the sidewall can also be a cause of blowouts. Therefore, it is important to inspect your tires for any visible cuts or cracks. Even small cracks will generally worsen quite quickly and can eventually lead to leaks or worse. Again, this means that you'll want to buy new tires from companies like Discount Tire Centers as soon as you spot the damage.
4) Increased Vibration
Any even moderately experienced driver can generally tell when a car begins to vibrate or shake too much, and therefore, when it needs to be taken into to a repair shop and inspected. The problem could be related to your steering or the axles, but it may also be caused by the tires. In some cases, having the tires balanced and rotated can solve the issue. However, it could be directly related to a problem with one of the tires itself. Either way, it's always a good idea to have a mechanic check it out to make sure.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways that a tire can potentially wear out or fail. This makes regularly inspecting your tires one of the best things you can do to ensure you and your family stay safe out on the roads. Accidents can and do happen at anytime, which means you'll want to make sure you replace your tires the second you spot any potential problems.