Are You Driving on Worn-Out Tires? Here’s How to Tell and What to Do About It
As National Tire Safety Month comes into focus, it’s time to take an honest look at the tires on all your vehicles. When kept in good condition, your tires not only help you ride in style but also stay safe on all your travels. Thankfully, it’s easy to confirm that they’re up to keeping you safe, comfortable, and in full control of your vehicle—and our team is here to help. Here’s what you need to know about the risks of driving on worn tires and how to ensure your safety.
Risks of Driving on Worn Tires
Your tires are your car’s only contact point with the ground. If the tires cannot grip the road, the lack of traction could cause you to lose control, even in dry conditions. When it’s wet outside, the dangers increase because worn tires have a much higher risk of hydroplaning over puddles.
Minimal traction also results in longer braking distances, putting you at risk of getting into an accident if you must stop fast. Eventually, the thin rubber may burst and cause a severe blowout that could potentially leave your car careening out of control.
How to Check for Tire Wear
The best way to ensure your tires maintain an excellent grip on the road is by checking for wear on a regular basis. You can do that by following these three steps:
1. Do a Visual Tire Inspection
During your weekly tire pressure checks, take a moment to visually inspect the condition of your tire’s tread and sidewalls. As you look at the tread, look for uneven wear patterns, missing chunks, or other damage. As for the sidewalls, look for bulges, bubbles, and similar defects. If you notice any of those issues, visit your ASE-certified tech in Canton CT for a tire inspection.
2. Measure the Exact Tread Depth
Your tires are only safe to drive on when the tread more than 2/32”. After that point, you need to buy replacement tires for your vehicle. To stay ahead of the game, check your tires once a month by grabbing a tread depth gauge and measuring the depth between the ribs in the middle of the contact patch.
You can use a penny if you don’t have a tread depth gauge. Hold the penny straight up and down with Lincoln’s head pointing downward. Then, put the penny between the ribs near the center of the contact patch. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head when you insert the penny, you need new tires.
3. Visit Your Trusted Canton Auto Repair Shop
Your tires can only remain in great condition if they’re regularly rotated to different positions on your car. Known as a tire rotation, this vital service ensures your tires can wear evenly. Without it, the tires on your drive wheels will wear much faster than the others. Ideally, you’ll want to have this service done at every oil change appointment.
While you’re at the shop, ask your ASE-certified technician if your car needs a wheel alignment as well. This important tire maintenance service also helps prevent wear by optimizing the contact patch and keeping your wheels tracking the road together.
When to Get Your Tires Replaced
The U.S. Department of Transportation strongly recommends that drivers replace their tires when the tread reaches a depth of 2/32 inch”. In Connecticut, vehicles will only pass inspection if their tread is at least that thick. So, if your tires are worn past that point, it’s definitely time to replace them.
You might also want to replace tires that are:
- Visibly damaged
- More than 10 years old
- Constantly leaking
If you have a tire puncture, you may be able to get tire repair if the hole is on the tread surface and less than ¼” wide.
Ready to Get a Tire Inspection? Our Team Can Help
To celebrate National Tire Safety Month in June, visit our team at Collinsville Auto Repair for a tire inspection. Our ASE-certified techs will help you assess the condition of your tires and provide our recommendations for tire service, like tire rotations and wheel alignments. If you need tire repair or replacement services, we can help with that, too.
If you’d like to book your visit to our certified NAPA AutoCare Center, please give us a call at (860) 693-4588. Prefer to stop by and schedule your appointment in person? You can find our auto repair shop conveniently located at 146 Powder Mill Road, Canton, CT 06019. Our team looks forward to helping you stay safe on the road, so please give us a call today.