Most of us use our vehicles regularly, and are quite particular about their routine maintenance. Such maintenance is very important for the efficient functioning and longer life of vehicles. However, timely replacement of tires is vital, if you want to drive safely. Most tires come with a warranty period, and the expiry of warranty period does not mean that you have to replace them. So, vehicle owners continue using those tires, assuming that they are in good condition, until one of them blows out, or gets flat, all of a sudden. Apart from spoiling your trip, such incidents may also result in accidents.
How do You Know When to Replace Tires
We all know that replacing worn-out tires is very important for the performance of the vehicle, as well as our safety. After the expiry of the warranty period, regular inspection of the tires is necessary. (In fact, it is not necessary to wait for the warranty period to expire, for checking tires). There are so many ways to identify a tire, which has to be replaced.
Inspection of Wear Indicators
Signs of wear and tear indicate that it is time to replace the tire. Most tires have built-in wear indicators, which may not be visible on new ones. As the tire gets worn out, these treads made of hard rubber become visible. As per law, the wear indicators appear on the tire, as the treads get worn down to 1/16th of an inch from the surface. This is the specified tread depth to replace tires. If you find these wear indicators in two to three different parts of the tire, then it is time to replace the tire. These wear indicators must appear at different parts, which are less than 120 degrees apart on the circumference of the tire. This is how we can interpret wear indicators to determine when to replace the tire.
Penny Test for Measuring Tread Depth
All you need is a U.S. penny, which has to be placed in between the treads on your tire. The penny must be placed in such a way, that the top of the President Lincoln's head faces down. You have to check whether the head part is covered by the treads. If you can see the top of the head, it means that the tire is worn out completely. Even if the top of the head is covered, you can use the tire for some more time. If not, it's time for replacing it. This test has to be performed every 12 inches along the circumference of the tire.
You have to make three rounds, as the outer, middle and inner treads have to be tested. If half of the head is always covered, there is no need to change the tire. If the top of the head is seen throughout the circumference, then you have to replace the tire. If the problem is located in a particular region only, then, wheel alignment should be done; and tire replacement is not needed.
Mentioned above are some of the common and simple methods to find out the wear and tear of tires. There are various other factors that indicate worn-out tires that need replacement. If the tires have cracks and breaks, through which, the inner steel threads are seen, then replacement is needed. If the sidewall of the tire have bulges, bubbles, slits, and holes, then also, you have to check for wear and tear.
If the required air pressure of the tire is not maintained, it could be a sign of air leakage; and continuous air leakage is another indication that the tires are worn-out completely. You may also check the expiry date of the tire, which is deemed to be 10 years from the date of manufacture. As most of us do not use tires for ten years, this point is not that important. However, try to check the date of manufacture, which is encoded on the side of the tire.
So, check the condition of your vehicle's tire, at regular intervals. Replace them when necessary.