How to Check Your Tires for Signs of Wear  | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

How to Check Your Tires for Signs of Wear 

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Your vehicle needs tires that are in good condition, and unfortunately, tires don’t last in great condition forever. If it has been a while since you’ve had your tires checked, you could be putting yourself in danger on the road. As a driver, maintaining the quality of your tires begins as soon as you get them. Read on to learn about what healthy tires look like, and the signs that could mean it’s time that they are replaced. 

The Importance of Tires

We all know that we can’t drive without tires on the car, but driving with old tires isn’t good either. Every part of your car serves a purpose, but your tires are the only part of your car that have constant contact with the road. Having proper tires on your car can improve your fuel economy, handling, and your overall safety.

Risks of driving with worn tires can include issues when the weather conditions are good, but it can really put you at risk for problems when the weather is bad. Research from AAA showed that driving on relatively worn tires at highway speeds in wet conditions can increase average stopping distances by a staggering 43 percent, or an additional 87 feet — more than the length of a semi-trailer truck — when compared to new tires. With nearly 800,000 crashes occurring on wet roads each year, they recommend that drivers check tread depth, replace tires proactively, and increase following distances significantly during rainy conditions.

How to Check Your Tires for Signs of Wear 

To prevent poor tire maintenance, you need to know what to look for. Premature tire wear, flat tires, and even blowouts are all possible if you’re not regularly inspecting your tires. If you’re a vehicle owner, renter, or driver in general, it’s important to remember what signs could mean you’re driving on worn tires. AAA explains the signs of wear to look out for:

During a visual inspection:

  • Over inflation: Too much air pressure causes mostly the tire’s middle section to contact the road. This creates wear primarily in the center of the tread, with less wear at the tire’s edges.
  • Under inflation: Too little air pressure causes mostly the tire’s outer edges to contact the road. This creates wear primarily on both edges of the tire tread, with less wear in the center.
  • Tread wear on one edge of the tire: This typically occurs when the wheels are out of alignment.
  • Erratic tread wear: This is often called cupping, and may mean the wheel is out of balance, or that the shock absorbers or other suspension components need to be replaced.
  • Raised portion of the tread or sidewall: May indicate that one of the belts in the tire carcass has separated from those next to it.

While driving:

  • Unusual vibration or thumping noise: Vibration or thumping noises can indicate an out-of-balance tire, one with tread that has a flat spot due to locking the wheels in a panic stop, or a tire with a separated belt.
  • A pull to one side: While driving at a steady speed, pulling to one side may indicate an underinflated or damaged tire on the side of the car to which the vehicle pulls. If this is not the case, a brake problem or poor wheel alignment may be causing the pull.

Tire Care with Scott’s Auto 

At Scott’s Auto, we’re your one-stop-shop for tires and all of your auto repair needs. With our team of professionals, we can diagnose, service, and repair your tires using the latest in alignment and diagnostic equipment. Our vast knowledge base gives us the upper hand when it comes to getting new tires from one of the many brands we carry right here at Scott’s. 

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