Unveiling the Facts About Worn Tires and Essential Tire Replacement
You should always check your vehicle’s tires for wear and air pressure each month. You’ll keep abreast of issues arising with the tires, and if you catch a problem early enough, you can save money by making the repair that is causing worn tread before it damages the tires too much. If you are not comfortable checking the tire tread and air pressure yourself, you can stop by Little Wolf Auto in Antigo WI, and we’ll check for you.
Why Tires Wear Unevenly
Tires can wear unevenly for many reasons, and if you don’t catch the problem, you’ll be replacing them sooner rather than later. Proper tire maintenance not only keeps the tires in good shape but allows you to find problems before they wear out the tires.
Some of the reasons tires can wear out include:
- The tire pressure is too high or too low. If the pressure is too high, the center of the tire wears before the rest of it. If the pressure is too low, both outside edges of the tire wear before the center.
- The alignment is off. If the wheels are not aligned properly, you will see uneven wear – usually on one side of the tire. Alignment issues can be caused by hitting a pothole or curb or because something in the suspension is worn or broken.
- Driving on gravel roads. Gravel wreaks havoc on tires. The stones are sharp and wear tires quickly.
- Aggressive driving. If you constantly brake hard, take corners too fast, or accelerate quickly, you can wear out the tires.
- Burnouts and spinning the tires. This is a given. If you do a burnout or are constantly spinning the tires, you wear the rubber down quickly. It’s like taking a huge piece of sandpaper to the tread.
- Overloading a vehicle. If you put more weight in the vehicle or tow a trailer that is over the recommended weight limit, the tires will flex more than they are designed to. The extra flexing causes wear, especially on the sidewalls.
- Tire defects. Every once in a while, you might get a defective tire from the manufacturer. The tire will wear out faster than the other tires or may even blow out.
- Age. Even if you don’t drive very often, a tire’s lifespan is about six years. The rubber deteriorates from sitting, heat and cold. Once the tires reach six years, they’ll wear out faster – even if they look new.
Buying New Tires
If your vehicle has summer tires, you change them to winter tires every year. They will still last just six years. Before putting the summer tires on your vehicle, check them carefully for dry rot (cracks), bubbles in the sidewall and uneven wear. If you see anything wrong with them, you’ll have to buy new summer tires.
You should also check your winter tires the same way to ensure they are safe for the rest of the winter season.
Check the tread depth on both types of tires to ensure you have enough. While the industry standard is to change the tires when the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch, it’s better to buy new tires when the tread depth is 4/32 of an inch, which ensures you have plenty of traction in the rain and snow.
Whether you choose summer tires or all-season tires depends on your driving habits, especially in the winter. If you frequently drive on roads that plows take longer to get to or don’t do at all, switching from summer tires to winter tires is most likely more beneficial.
However, if most of your driving is within the city limits and the roads are frequently treated and plowed, you may be fine with all-season tires.