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How to Know When to Get New Tires for your Automobile

One of the most important systems on your vehicle is the tires. Your tires are what helps you steer, brake, and operate your vehicle safely. bad tires can lead to operational failure of many different systems in your car and may also be the cause of an accident. 

Knowing when to replace your tires is important for your overall safety. All tires are different, and what you purchase is as important as when you make the purchase. 

Checking Your Tires For Safety 

Tires have tread on them to help them grip the pavement and operate smoothly. This tread wears down over time, which poses a risk. Tread depth, the the tread wear indicator should never reach the 1/16th height. This is the minimum that you should drive safely. Have you ever heard of the penny test?  Even though a penny doesn’t have exact marks for measurement, a good reference point to estimate 2/32 inches is the top of Lincoln’s head. The distance between the edge of the coin and the top of Lincoln’s head should be close to 2/32 inches.  In most cases, the metal bands are already showing on the tires at this minimum height, and they are unsafe to drive.  Check tread wear and tread depth each time you refuel to be safe and you will know when it is time to replace the tire or tires.  Remember road conditions can impact tire wear.

If you see scratches or large knicks, or cuts on the outside of your tires, it may be time to replace the tires. This can happen from road debris. Depp cuts or knicks can affect the integrity of the tire and may make them more prone to a blowout. 

Bubbles can occur on the side or in the tread of the tire. This can cause the vehicle to feel like it is shaking or thumping while driving. If you have abubble with your tire, it needs to be replaced immediately. This is very dangerous and will eventually lead to the tire blowing out. 

Purchasing and Knowing When to Buy New Tires and The Right Tires 

Purchasing the right tires and tire size for your vehicle or tire size is as important as knowing when to change them. Your vehicle has specific tire requirements to operate slowly. All vehicles have the tire requirements listed in the operator’s manual. However, if you do not have the operator’s manual, you can look on your tire. The specifications are imprinted on the tire itself. 

The numbers will look something like this: 255/55/R17. This gives you the following information. The 255 represents the width of the tire necessary to operate the vehicle safely. the 55 represents the height of the sidewall, and the R17 represents the radial diameter of the wheel.  

It is always recommended that you have all the right sized tires on your vehicle so that it operates smoothly. Having the incorrect size can cause your vehicle to drive differently than intended, placing you at accident risk. It’s always to buy a set of tires instead of just one.  Tire balancing will also help prevent uneven wear and will extend the life of your tires.

When you replace your tires, it is also recommended that you replace them in sets of 2 or 4. Since tire tread does have a significant impact on how your vehicle operates, each axel should have tires with equal amounts of tread so that the axel moves the same way. Ultimately, having all four wheels with the same tread levels is preferred, but you can safely replace two wheels at a time.  Tires also have a manufacturing date you should be aware of.  Tire products can make your tires look shiny and new but this is just cosmetic.

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New Car Tire Warnings  

Many new cars have sensors built into the tire systems that will tell you when pressure is too low or when tire treads have reached unsafe levels. Even with these precautionary sensors in place, you should always take time to physically check your tires for road damage and bubbles. Damage to your tires can occur at any time and to old or new tires. 

Things To Remember About Your Tires 

It is also important to understand that there are different ratings of tires, and not every rating would be best for your vehicle. The most common tires by types are:

– All terrain 

– All season

– Summer tires 

– Winter tires

– Snow tires 

– Mud tires 

– Standard 

– Run Flat

– Trailer

There are additional specialty tires that may also be available in your area. it is important that you purchase the right type of tires for your vehicle so that they last for a long time and keep you safe.   

For example, purchasing snow tires or mud tires for someone that lives in an area that does not have these road conditions is not only a waste of money it can also make your driving experience unpleasant. These tires are meant to grab the road differently from regular tires, and you may find your vehicle harder to control or experience excessive road noise while traveling. 

On the opposite side of the issue, not purchasing specialty tires such as snow tires or mud tires when you live in an area that experiences these conditions could also be dangerous. You may need the extra traction to stay safe and get the most control from your vehicle. 

Additionally, if you purchase the wrong tires, you may find that they wear down faster or have other negative effects on your vehicle. 

It Is All About Taking Care Of Your Vehicle 

Checking your tires is just as important as checking all the other systems in your vehicle. Make it a habit to check your tires at least once a month to remain safe and perform a tire repair if necessary. 

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When Purchasing A Vehicle

Always remember to have a VINsmart report run on the vehicle before making any vehicle purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, has been involved in a major accident, or has been listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a history of every time the vehicle has been registered as well as a history of the mileage.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.


To get started with VINsmart, click here.

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