When is the last time you checked your car’s tires? If it’s been a while, don’t fret—many Americans overlook this critical step of maintaining their car. However, if you don’t check your tires at all, you can be running the risk of getting into an accident, and you may be spending more on gas than you need to. Learn how to evaluate whether it’s time to replace your tires and how to properly take care of them to prolong their life below.
Evaluating Your Tires
Here’s two different methods that can help determine if you need to replace your tires:
1. If you look at your tread pattern and notice the beginnings of the tread wear bars starting to form between the treads or running across the tires, and then become flush with the tires’ tread, you should replace your tires.
2. Conduct the penny test by placing a penny upside down with Lincoln facing you in the center of the tread.
If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, replace your tires immediately.
If Lincoln’s hair is partially visible, start comparing tire prices, as you will need new ones soon.
If you notice that your tire wear is extremely uneven or that your tires have worn out much faster than you expected, visit an auto shop. They will check your suspension and make any necessary corrections before replacing your tires.
Keeping Your Tires in Tip-top Shape
Use the following tips to help keep your tires in the best shape possible:
Rotate your tires every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
If you drive a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle, replace all four tires when it is recommended in your service manual.
Since tires do not wear evenly, perform the penny test at several points from the outside to the inside of the tires.
Test and replace all of your tires at the same time.
By taking the time to prioritize tire maintenance, you can prolong the life of your tires and have peace of mind when you get behind the wheel.