Driving Instruction

When Should You Replace Your Tires?

June 29, 2021

When Should You Replace Your Tires?

With winter approaching fast and our first big snow already here and gone driving conditions are going to get worse as winter progresses. With the potential for ice and snow this winter it is important to make sure your vehicle is prepared and ready to face the difficult driving conditions that may occur. One of the best ways to prepare for winter is to ensure your tires are in good condition. It is important to know when your tires are too worn and when it is time to get new tires for your car. Here is a guide to help you inspect your tires and stay safe this winter.

Check Your Tread

It is important to make sure that your tires have accurate tread left on them. This is critical to ensure that your car can maintains adequate grip on slippery surfaces. Go to your car and bring a penny. Place your penny in the groove of the tread with Lincoln’s head facing down towards the tire. If you can still see all of Lincoln’s head then your tread is definitely too low and could be dangerous especially in challenging driving conditions that winter can bring. Another way you can check your tread is to look at a tread indicator if your tire has it. In general, it is recommended that your tires have 4/32 of an inch worth of tread to ensure good grip. If your tires don’t pass the penny test is probably a good idea to idea to replace the tires on your car.

Check for Dry Rot

It is also incredibly important to check your tires for any visible damage and aging. Dry rot is often caused by exposure to the sun and disuse. Look especially close at tires on cars that are not used often as they can develop dry rot more quickly. Dry rot is often characterized by frequent and sometimes deep cracking of the rubber particularly on the sidewall of the tires. This can lead to leaks, blowouts, and other dangerous driving conditions.

Check Your Tire Pressures

It is incredibly important for your tire to have the proper tire pressure for them to provide optimal grip as you drive on difficult winter roads. Optimal tire pressures differ widely based on the particular vehicle and tires in use. In order to find the optimal tire pressure for your vehicle’s tires look in the door jam of your driver side front door. Usually, this will be located on the bottom of the door frame or on the right side part of the door frame. You can use a tire pressure gauge that can be picked up for under $6 here. You can find free air pumps at some gas stations like Sheetz and Wawa. Other gas stations will charge a small fee for their use.

Where to Buy Replacement Tires

You can obviously take your car to your mechanic but they often overcharge. Carefully consider different retailers and compare prices. Often times you can find better prices at big retailers like Sam’s Club. Pay attention to characteristics like what type of driving conditions the tires are designed for, what type of vehicle they are made for, and what the estimated lifespan of the tire is.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to stay safe this winter. If you find yourself in need of a driver improvement course please consider our driver improvement course. If you register online you will save $10!