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When Should You Replace Your Tires?

Nobody likes spending the money for new tires, but the alternatives are not good. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration blames tire failures for more than 11,000 accidents yearly.

You should check your tires once a month. Here are five specific things to look for:

  1. The Penny Test
    That penny test your Dad talked about still works. Put a penny into the tread with Abe’s head towards the tread. If you can see the top of his head, you’re overdue for new tires.

  2. Check the Wear Bars
    Most tires now have wear bars that are woven into the tire. If the tread is worn down and you can see them, head to the tire shop for replacements.

  3. Cracks or Bulges
    It could be a sign of low tire pressure, or a leak, or it could be the sign of something more serious.

  4. Low Tire Pressure
    You need to check this once a month, or more often if the air in your tires look low Low air pressure will increase the wear on your tires and mean replacements sooner.

  5. Vibration
    If you have anything but a smooth ride, there’s likely a problem. It might be the tires, the alignment, or suspension. A trip to the shop can help diagnose the problem.

It’s tough to say how long tires will last. Driving conditions, miles, type of tire, and other items are all variables. If you’ve hit the 5-year mark, you need to be vigilant. If you hit the 10-year mark, congratulations! At 10 years, tires should be replaced even if they look just fine.

Keeping an eye on the tread, the tire pressure, and rotating them regularly can extend the life of your tires. The way you drive can also play a significant role in your tire’s lifespan.

When the time does come for new tires, it’s best to do it in pairs – or all of them – for more even wear and longer life.

If you have questions or concerns about your tires, talk to the experts at Lanning Automotive & Tire in Columbus, Indiana.

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