It can be hard to know when your tires need replacing. You might not think much about them during your everyday travels, but if you don’t replace them in time, you could experience a blow-out. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a mechanic to know when your tires need to be replaced.
Take a penny and place it in the tread so that Lincoln’s head is upside down. If you can see his forehead just below the hair, plan to buy new tires soon. If you can see the top of his hair or the blank space above it, you should replace your tires immediately.
Check the wear bars in the tread patterns. These are the small markings between the larger treads and they grow larger as the tire wears down. When they become flush with the deeper treads, you need to replace the tires.
Look at the tread on different locations. Tires wear down unevenly and while one part may seem to be solid, another may have worn down far past the point of needing to be replaced. Perform the penny check on several locations or check the wear bars at multiple points. If the tread has worn thin at any of those points, replace the tire.
Compare the tread on all four of your tires and note any large discrepancies between then. If you see such a discrepancy–particularly between the right and left front–it might mean that one end is out of alignment and should be repaired before much longer.
Check to see whether any cords or cables are showing or whether there is any visible damage to your tires. Visible damage includes bulges in the rubber, punctures, cuts, or anything which can’t be fully repaired immediately. Any signs of damage mean that the tire needs to be replaced, even if it continues to perform normally.