When it comes to your vehicle, it is important to keep track of the wear and tear that is constantly taking place on the many working parts. Your tires are no exception! The tires of your vehicle are made to travel, getting you to and fro, however, if you are running your vehicle on bad tires, this could potentially mean danger for yourself and the other drivers on the road.
The Dangers of Bad Tires
Driving a vehicle with worn or bad tires can be extremely dangerous, especially when driving in less than perfect conditions. If the roads are wet and your tires are worn, your car is not able to brake as quickly as it would with good tires, and because of the lack of traction, hydroplaning is more likely to occur on balding tires. Experiencing a blowout while driving at higher speeds, like on a highway, can be disastrous. One reason why it is especially important to have good tires on the front wheels of your vehicle is so that your steering isn’t compromised in the event of a blow out. Beyond just your safety, worn out tires do not hold air as efficiently as they should which can greatly reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy as well!
How do I Know if I Need New Tires?
There are a few warning signs that you look for when it is time to get new tires. If you aren’t sure, ask your mechanic to assess the status of your tires, that way you can feel confident on the road!
- Your Tires are Balding
The part of your tire that makes contact with the pavement is called the tread. When your tread is worn out, you will notice it because the grooves in the rubber will start to disappear until the rubber is smooth. This is what it means to have a “balding tire” and is very dangerous to drive on. In fact, you should replace your tire well before it has a smooth look to it in order to maintain safe driving conditions.
- Your Tires are Old
While most people have to get new tires every couple of years due to the mileage they put on them, the distance your tires drive aren’t the only factor. Even if your tread is still good, the rubber will still begin to degrade and wear out from the inside which is also dangerous and can lead to issues on the road. Regardless of tread, you should look to replace your tires every 7 or 8 years, but to be safe, have your tires inspected every 5 years by your mechanic.
- Your Sidewalls are Cracking
The sidewall of your tire is the side portion that is most visible from the outside. If you start to notice a very fine crack pattern appearing, then you should take your vehicle in to get new tires immediately. These can be caused from age, high mileage, or other outside damage.
- Your Car is Shaky
If you feel like your car is not driving as smooth as it should, this might be because of worn out tires. This might feel like a steering wheel that is vibrating slightly in your hands, or you might notice that your vehicle veers one direction instead of driving in a straight line. This could be an indication of poor alignment, but if your tires are not wearing evenly, this could be a reason as well!