It's important to know when it's time to purchase New Tires. It's extremely unsafe to drive on worn out Tires! Continue reading below as we answer the question, "How Do I Check My Tires?" We will give you 5 different things to look for, to help you decide when it's time to Replace Your Tires. You can also watch our YouTube Video. Our Service Advisor, Rob will show you step by step what to look for when checking your Tires.
5 Ways to Check Your Tires
1. Check the Tread Depth
At 3/32 it's Time to Replace Your Tires
You can watch the YouTube Video to see an example of How to Check the Tread Depth of Your Tires.
The easiest, most straight-forward way to Check Your Tires is to use a Tread Depth Gauge. You can buy one at any of your local Auto Parts Stores. It's very simple to use!
Step 1 - Insert the Tread Depth Gauge into the Tread of your Tire. Check the Tread in multiple locations on your Tire - sometimes Tires can wear down faster in different areas of the Tread.
Step 2 - Push down on the Tread Depth Gauge to read the Measurement of your Tread. (see the photo above) Some Tread Depth Gauges show red when your Tire Tread is too low; and yellow when your Tire Tread is getting low. However, not all Tread Depth Gauges are in color.
Replace - For your safety, at Graham Auto Repair we recommend that you Replace Your Tires When the Tread is at 3/32. Especially in seasons with extra rain, slush, etc. (weather that is very common in WA State). We want to make sure that the Tread Depth on your Tires is not too low. We want to keep you safe!
Note - The Washington State Legal Tread Depth Limit is 2/32 ("two-thirty-seconds").
Caution - If your Tread Depth is at 4/32 that is getting low, and you should plan to replace your Tires soon.
Good - New Tires typically begin with Tread Depth of 10/32 to 11/32. A Tread Depth of 5/32 and above is still good. Please make sure that you check the Tread Depth of your Tires regularly; especially as the Tread begins to get lower.
2. Check the Wear Indicator Bars
The Wear Indicator Bars are the visual reference point that you can use if you don't have a Tread Depth Gauge. You can use these to judge approximately where the tire is in its life. You can find the Wear Indicator Bars in the center of the Tire Tread. The Indicator Bar is raised up so that you can visually tell when your Tires have worn down. When the Tread is worn down too far it will become flush with the tread; or disappear altogether. When this happens, you know that it's time to Replace Your Tires!
3. Check for Cracks & Bald Tires
Cracking in the Tires is another Indicator that it's Time to Replace Your Tires. Cracking is due to age and weathering. You can find cracking in the Sidewall or inside the Tread. When you start to see Cracking that means that the structural integrity of the tire is failing, and it's going to be time to replace your Tires soon. What's even worse is when the Cord (which is the inner portion of the tire that holds everything together) starts to come apart and show through. At that point your Tire has been driven on for too long and it has become "bald." This is definitely an unsafe condition to be driving on!
4. Check for Debris
This step is pretty self-explanatory. Especially if you start to notice that your Tire is losing air more than normal. Check your Tire to make sure there isn't something stuck in your Tire - like a nail.
5. Check for Bulges & Blisters
One more indicator that your Tire Needs to be Replaced would be Bulges and/or Blisters in the Sidewall of your Tire. Once the Cords (the inner portion of the Tire that holds everything together) start to separate and come apart, they will push through; all of that pressure will push out and you will begin to see Bulging and Bubbles in the Sidewall of your Tire. That is UNSAFE to drive on, and your Tires will Need to be Replaced.
Vibrations While Driving
Your Tires Need to be Balanced. When you purchase New Tires, they will be Mounted and then Balanced on a Machine, using Weights. That helps with Vibrations as you're Traveling at Higher Rates of Speed.
If you start to feel Vibrations While Driving, it could be several different things:
- Tire Balance Issues
- Separated Tire
- Steering or Suspension Concerns
Vibrations may not be because of your Tires at all. If you are getting any Vibrations at High Rates of Speeds, we recommend that you come into the Shop for Diagnostics. You can Contact us at Graham Auto Repair 253-847-2221 and schedule an Appointment if you're concerned about Vehicle Vibrations. We can schedule Vehicle Diagnostics to find out what needs to be done to correct your concerns.
We Sell Tires!
Here at Graham Auto Repair we are a Full Service Shop. We Sell Tires here as well. All of our Tires come with Free Rotations, and Free Flat Repair. It does take us a day to get the Tires; so if you are in need of New Tires, please give us a call. 253-847-2221
We look forward to serving you!
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