Have you ever wondered when to replace your worn out car tires? Just like your feet get sore after a walking a long journey, the car tires take a beat every time you drive. Well, this isn’t a sign of bad driving. Rather, it is an inevitable fact of life. Tire failure while driving can be catastrophic and may result to loss of control. That is to say that the performance of the car tires is critical to its efficiency and the safety of the occupants. Here are a few tips that should guide you if it is the right time to shop for a new set of tires.
Recommended Thread Depth
The primary function of the tire threads is to divert water from underneath the tire so as to avoid hydroplaning and improve traction on wet roads. Once the tire thread is down to 1/16th of an inch, it means that they are worn out hence no longer safe for use.
All tires sold have “thread wear ball” which are small bridges like bars that form between the tire threads. As the tires get worn out, the bars tend to level with the tire’s thread. It is advisable to shop for new tiers if they have reached this point.
Be aware of the Legal Requirement
As a matter commonsense, worn out car tiers should be replaced for safety purposes. Actually, there are legal requirements in some jurisdictions to replace worn out tires. For instance, in the United States, the minimum depth of the thread on tiers is 1.6 millimeters.
Lincoln Penny Tread-Depth Test
This test involves taking a penny and placing it upside down with Lincoln facing you in the center of the tire thread. If it happens that you see the top of Lincoln’s head, replace the tire immediately. Also, If Lincolns hair on top of the head is partially visible, go shop for new tires. Otherwise, if it happens that you can’t see the hair on top of his head, the tiers don’t need be replaced.
Check for any odd bubble or bulge in the sidewall of the tires. A bubble or sidewall bulge signifies that the rigid internal frame of the tire is either cracked or totally damaged. Consequently, this allows the air pressure to reach the flexible outer layers of the car tires. Regardless of the thread status, any tire with abnormal bulges should be replaced immediately.
Replace the Tires at least Every 6 Years
Finally, replace the tires at least after every 6 years. This is the minimum time period recommended by the NHTSA. In addition, check the specification recommendation in the manual that relates to your vehicle.