1) The Penny Test Says "Low"
Are you regularly examine your tires’ tread? If you are not sure whether your tire tread is low, you can try the penny test. It works like this:
- Put a penny in your tire tread
- If the tread covers Lincoln's head, you're okay.
- If Lincoln’s head is visible, your tire tread has fallen bellow 1/16th of an inch. This means you should have your tires replaced immediately. Driving on tires with less than 1/16th of an inch of tread is risky.
2) Visible Tire Wires
You may have heard of tire cords before. The cords or wires of a tire are the fabric that helps keep the tire together and support the weight of a vehicle. If the cords are showing on a tire, your next stop should be your mechanic, because you are at significant risk of experiences a blowout. If the wires are showing on multiple tires, it probably means you need new tires all around and need to perform the penny test more often in the future. However, if the cords are only showing one or two tires, it is likely due to uneven wear caused by poor alignment or a tire that is out of balance. Whatever the cause, if you can see the cords, bring your vehicle to Jody's Automotive as soon as possible.
3) You Feel a Vibration
If your car has developed a vibration, worn tires could be the culprit. Tires wear excessively and unevenly when one is out of balance or there is an alignment or suspension issue. Some vibrations are caused by air pockets within the tire. If your tire has an air bubble, it will likely fail catastrophically. Whether your vehicle is vibrating due to tire wear or other issues, your mechanic can determine the cause and recommend repairs.
4) Your Tires Have Cracks
You may have a vehicle that you drive infrequently. Maybe it is an old classic in which you cruised Elkin back in the day. When tires are exposed to extreme conditions or sit unused for long periods of time, they can develop dry rot cracks. These cracks will grow, often leading to blowouts. If your tires are dry rotting, have them replaced before you hit the road again.
5) You’re Experiencing Poor Vehicle Handling
You know how your car is supposed to take to the curves and hills around Jonesville and Elkin. When something is amiss with your vehicle’s handling, do not simply dismiss it as you imagining things. Changes in vehicle handling are often cause by tires wearing unevenly, or simply losing their tread. Poor handling might include:
- Hydroplaning unexpectedly
- Less stopping power
- Skidding in corners at normal speeds
- Wheel-spin at stoplights upon acceleration
- Your car drifting or “pulling” to left or right
The good news is that new tires can make it feel like you are driving a new vehicle. However, if your car needs them, tires are not one of the fixes you want to put off till later. If you need tires, bring your car to Jody's Automotive. When can help you shop for and install your tires, as well as identify issues that may be causing uneven wear.