Ah the famous penny test, take a penny and place it upside down between the tread blocks of the tire and if you see the top of Lincolns head then it’s time for new tires!

Despite this method of tread testing being the most well known among drivers, it is not the most accurate. Remember, there can be plenty of other factors affecting your safety on the road. Before we get too deep into those warning signs, let’s talk about used tires and why despite the price cut, you should not buy them!

  1. Tires might have suffered misuse while previously owned, damages like this tend to be internal and are not as easy to detect unless taken to a trained technician.

  2. Making sure that the tread on all of your tires match is also important for their grip on the road both level and pattern wise. This is why people tend to stick with one brand and make of tires.

  3. And lastly, depending on the brand and make of the tires there can be unknown side effects of aging specific to that brand pointed out by the manufacturer.

Bald Tires

What exactly are bald tires you may ask, well, do your tires look like the top of Danny DeVito’s head? As in, smooth, hairless, and like you can see into the future?

Then you’re are the owner of bald tires! And should consider getting new ones.

I want to emphasize that you should never wait for your tires to go completely bald, this just happens to be the most obvious sign that you can put off a new tire purchase no longer.

If you look at a new tire you will be able to see little ridges on your tire that make up the tread pattern that helps with traction on the road. Tread patterns around the tire should be visible to the naked eye, typically the patterns are easily detectable to most consumers.

If you look at a new tire you will be able to see little ridges on your tire that make up the tread pattern which  help with traction on the road. Tread pattern is broken up into sections on your tire and just like the whole tire can go bald each section can wear individually too.

  • Center wear
    On a tire is the result of an over loaded tire; always make sure to consult your manual for tire pressure details.

  • Shoulder wear
    On the tires or side wear are the result of under inflated tires

  • Feather wear
    On a tire is more noticeable to the touch than to the eye, if you turn corners or make sharp turns at a high speed than you might want to consider looking at your tires.

  • Flat spot wear
    Is exactly what it sounds like, a random flat spot on the tire with the remainder of the surface still having tread pattern. Slamming on the breaks is what brings on this type of wear, we recommend having your tires inspected by a technician in order to avoid any surprises.

Tire Cracks

Other visible signs for a new set of tires are the cracks on the surface. These cracks or tire rot as it is known among the pros, comes from ozone, road salt or the age of a tire.

Remember how I mentioned that certain manufacturers recommended not using tires after a certain number of years? The cracks develop while tires sit not being used, and depending on the material they are made of some tires will crack sooner than others. Being the reason behind that recommendation.

Tire Tare

If you’ve driven a little recklessly or have a new driver in the family, it’s always a good idea to keep a closer eye on the tires and even the rims!

Running over potholes or driving a little close to the curb can mess up tires a considerable amount by producing tire tears and even scratching up and denting the rims. This is often how hub caps end up on the side of the road.

Keep up with your tire maintenance to avoid a blow up on the road! It’s in good practice to have your tires rotated every oil change.

For pictures of what a damaged tire looks like and instructions on how to read the funny numbers you would need to know before a new tire purchase check out our video below! Or visit our website to schedule a visit.