July 1

How to Determine It’s Time to Buy New Tires


Caring for your new or used car is the best way to get the most value out of it, and that extends from what’s under the hood to the tires under your car’s body. Changing your tires out when needed keeps your car safe for you and your passengers. This guide provides you with everything you need to know to understand when it’s time for a change.

10 Signs It’s Time to Buy New Tires

Keeping your tires in peak condition is one of the most important safety decisions you can make with your car. When your car’s tires have their tread, they can provide you with the grip and control you need to operate your car, truck, or SUV safely, but if they erode too much, it can make your car unsafe. Fortunately, there are many signs you can use to identify when it’s time for your tires to be changed. Pay attention for any of these indicators, and take your car to your dealership for tire servicing if you notice any of them:

Check Your Wear Bars

Most modern tires’ designs feature elements to make it easy for you to assess the health of your tire. Most commonly, modern tires ship with wear bears, rubber nubs in the treads that are as tall as the minimum tread length. This means that once your tires have worn down enough that the wear bars are flush with the edges of the tread, your tires are due for a change.

Give a Penny Test

If your tires don’t feature wear bars, a penny provides a simple alternative for testing your tire tread depth. Safety recommendations generally call for changing tires once treads are less than 1/16“-inch deep, and a penny provides an easy reference. Place it in the tread with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see his entire head with none of it obscured, it’s time for a change.

Check for Visible Smoothness

Another simple visual check is to look at your tires for smoothness and erosion. In particular, you may note that one or more tires have eroded more than the others, and if any have reached levels of degradation where they do not look like they are providing sufficient grip it is time for a change. 

Look for Visible Damage

In addition to tires eroding, it’s important to check for non-erosion damage as well, such as bubbles, punctures, or leaks. A damaged tire is more likely to suffer a catastrophic failure like a blowout, and can also be more prone to grip-related difficulties as well, and you should address it promptly.

You’re Lacking Traction From a Stop

Besides visible signs, often the most noticeable indications of tire troubles come in the way it feels to drive. The first place loss of grip often presents is when starting from a standstill, particularly on wet or unsettled surfaces. If your car is spinning its tires frequently when you begin to drive, you may be due for a change.

You’re Slipping in Turns

Another area where you can notice that your car is struggling for grip is when going into or out of turns. As treads on a tire erode, your ability to maintain grip when facing the added forces generated in a turn can call attention to early erosion of your treads and your tires’ ability to grip the road.

Monitor Unusual Wobbling

Although loss of grip is a common feature for tires in need of change, it’s not the only physical change you can notice. If your car is wobbling or vibrating in ways that it did not before, the most likely culprit is the alignment of the vehicle, however it may also be a sign that your car needs new tires. Taking it in for a tune-up can help you identify the problem and correct it.

Bad Weather Feels Unsafe

Driving in inclement weather can amplify problems related to your tire functionality, so pay extra attention to how your car is operating when road conditions are not optimal. If you normally feel fully in control, for example, but notice some slipping when roads are wet or icy, that means your tires may be approaching the point where they need replacing.

Your Gas Mileage is Slipping

Your car’s tires play a big part in the efficiency of your vehicle, with a loss of grip resulting in a loss of fuel efficiency. If you notice that your car’s miles-per-gallon performance is declining, this may be the result of deterioration of the tire treads, so bringing your car into the dealership can help boost your numbers back where you are used to.

Check the Tire Age

One thing many drivers don’t realize is that tires also have an age-based lifespan. If you have a car that you do not drive for long distances, you may reach the lifespan of your tires before their grip deteriorates. When putting on new tires, check their lifespan and always replace prior to then, as expired tires are more prone to blowouts.

Why You Should Shop at a Dealership For Your New Tires

When your tires need replacing, the best way to get them serviced is to bring them to the dealership where you got your car. The service professionals at your local dealership can help you get the right tires at the right time. Here are the top reasons to visit a dealership for your tire care:

  • It May Be Covered Service: Depending on the warranty you took out on your car when you purchased it, tire replacement may fall under your warranty, allowing you to save on the service. 
  • They Know Your Car: Service professionals specialize in working on the cars they sell, so your car service professionals can offer focused care during your change.
  • Service You Can Trust: When you trust your dealership, you can trust their service station to provide the same caring and considerate service.

The service professionals at Huffines Kia McKinney are specially trained to provide the tire care you need. If you think you may need new tires, get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help with your tire needs.

Image via Pixabay.com


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