There are a number of ways to tell whether you need new tires, and you shouldn't wait until your tires are obviously worn before replacing them. Relying on visual inspection alone isn't enough to know when it's time to replace your tires, or whether you need an alignment. To tell if your tire tread is within specs, you will need to measure it.
It's always a good idea to know when to replace your car tires so that you can avoid the potential of a dangerous blowout on the road. Follow our guide to determine when to replace your tires, and drop by Mississauga Kia the next time you're shopping for new tires.
5 Warning Signs You Need New Tires
1. Tread Depth
The general rule for tread depth is that your tires should never be below 1.6 millimetres in depth. We're assuming that your car doesn't run drag radials here (and if it did, you probably wouldn't need this guide). If you regularly drive on slick or wet roads, then you'll want tread at least twice that depth in order to maintain a safe level of traction. In order to check your tire tread depth, you will need either a tread depth gage from your local auto parts store or a penny. (They don't make those anymore!) If you're using a penny, place the penny in the tire groove with the Queen's crown facing down. If you can see the top of the Queen's crown, then you need to replace your tires. If you're using an American coin, and you can see the top of Lincoln's head, then you need to replace your tires.
2. The Tread Wear Indicator Bar
New tires have a more convenient way to check for tire wear (perhaps they foresaw a penny shortage). New tires have 'tread wear indicator bars' built into the tires that only become visible when the treads have worn beyond their safe depth. These flat rubber bars run perpendicular to the tread direction, and if you can see them at the same level as your tread, then you know that it's time to get your tires replaced.
3. Cracks in the Sidewall
It's important to check your tire's sidewalls as well as your treads. Watch for cuts, grooves, or hairline cracks. If they're visible to the naked eye, then they're a problem and could signal the start of a leak that could lead to an eventual blowout. If you see cracks, then it's time to get your tires replaced.
4. Bulges and Blisters
As the exterior of a tire weakens, it may bulge or blister outwards in a weak spot. This spot can cause a sudden blowout, so if you spot one then you should replace your tires right away.
5. Excessive Tire Vibration
While a certain amount of vibration can be normal, and misaligned or unbalanced tires can also cause vibration, if wheel balancing doesn't correct the problem then there could be an internal problem with your tire itself, and you should have your tires looked at by a professional.
Even if your existing tires don’t need to be replaced yet, you may want to consider a new set when the season changes. It’s the right time to switch to winter tires once the temperature drops below 7°C. Check our Winter Tire Offers.