When Should I Get New Tires?
Tires are something many drivers take for granted. They come brand new when you first purchase the vehicle, and unless you have a tire pressure monitoring system that alerts you to low tire pressure, there is a good chance you spend little time thinking about them. Tire wear and tear can be critical to vehicle performance, however, so start asking yourself the question — when should I get new tires?
To help you answer that question, here are some common warning signs that new tires are needed on your vehicle:
The more you drive, the more the rough roadways wear down your tires. So, how much tread wear is too much? You have probably heard of the penny trick. Stick a penny into the tread with Abe’s head pointing down, and if the tire tread doesn’t cover the top of his head, it’s definitely time for new tires. You can also do the same with a quarter and compare to Washington’s head, which can be a good indicator of where your tread depth should safely be for winter weather conditions.
Cracks, bulges or bubbles
Inspect your tires at least once a month for any embedded objects or damage. Harsh weather and aging can cause the tires to develop cracks, which might mean you need to consider replacing them. Bulges, on the other hand, are a sign that your tires could be underinflated, leaking air or another problem.
Any tire should have a code printed on it that begins with “DOT.” Look at the last four digits of that code. Tires made from the year 2000 to now should reveal the week and exact year it was manufactured, with the week displayed in the first two digits and the year in the second pair of digits. Though there is no expiration date, the manufacturing date can tell you how old your tires are and allow you to use your best judgement.
After learning how tires can wear out, hopefully you begin asking yourself, when should I get new tires? If you think yours need replacing, be sure you get the right tires for your vehicle, your driving needs and the time of year. If you are concerned or have questions, always get your tires looked at by an automotive professional. Schedule an appointment with our service department at Mazda of Lodi to make sure your vehicle has healthy and proper tires.