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When is it time to buy new tires?

October 9, 2015
When is it time to buy new tires? Stack of 5 new tires.

Are your tires road ready for the winter season? Since the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a snowier and unseasonably cold winter, there’s no time like the present to have your tires checked.While we don’t like to be reminded of the cold and snow quite yet, it’s so important that your tires are roadworthy anytime you drive but especially when driving in snowy and icy conditions.Need new tires?Have you driven more than 30,000 miles? If you answered, yes, then you could be due for new tires. The life of your tires depends on your driving and braking habits, road conditions and how old the tires are (regardless of miles driven).Here are four quick tips to determine if you need new tires.

  1. Check the tread depth. Legally, you must have 2/32 inch tread on the tires, which you can check with a penny. Place a penny into several tread grooves across the tire. If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32 inch of tread depth remaining. To check for 4/32, do the same thing, except use a quarter and see if the tread touches Washington’s head.
  2. Important tread-wear indicators. Most tires have bars of hard rubber, known as tread-wear indicators that appear across the treads as the treads get worn down. When these bars are flush with the adjacent areas of the tire that means you have 1/16th of an inch of tread left, which is the legal limit in most states. When you start seeing those bars become more obvious, it’s time for new tires.
  3. Bulges, bubbles or protrusions. A bubble in any part of the tire indicates that the inner liner has been damaged to the point that it’s allowing air to escape. This means there’s an increased chance for a blowout. It’s safety issue that can’t wait for your next scheduled appointment.
  4. Don’t “sidestep” the sidewall. Check for tracks, cuts or grooves in the sidewall, which could mean the tire is developing a leak or is about to blow out.

Not sure about the condition of your tires? Stop in today at Auto Lab in Libertyville and we’ll inspect them to ensure your tires are roadworthy.

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