Car tires are an important part of any vehicle. Just like the soles of your shoes, your tires lose a bit of durability every time you drive your car. Tires become worn down especially quickly when driving on the pothole-ridden streets of San Diego. No matter your experience with cars, there are several simple ways to check the condition of your tires. It is important to regularly check your tires for any decline in quality in order to save time, money, and more importantly, your life.
It is important, and often legally required, for your tires to remain over 1/16 of an inch (1.6 millimeters) in depth. The most effective and cheap way of checking the depth is to purchase a gauge from your local auto parts dealer. You can use this device to test tread depth by balancing the base across the molded tread and pushing down the central probe. When the gauge is removed, it should report the measurement of your tire tread depth. As an alternative option, feel free to stop by at your local tire shop and have professionals check the depths for you.
Another thing to consider is the tread pattern on your tire. The tread of your tire is designed to divert water from beneath your tire and improve traction. Every modern tire has intentionally placed “tread wear bars” as easy indicators of tire deterioration. When tires are first purchased, these bars are invisible, but they gradually appear as the tires are worn down. If you notice the flat rubber bars running perpendicular to your treads, it may be time to look into new tires.
Irregular Tread Wear
It is important to be aware of any early or irregular tire wear, as this can be an indication of major problems with your car. There are two common causes for this situation: improper inflation pressure or out-of-spec alignment. Improper inflation can cause tires to wear rapidly or unevenly. Checking your tire pressure with a pressure gauge is recommended every time you fill your car with gas. Make sure you inflate your tires to the manufacturer specifications, which can be found in your driver’s manual. If you find that your tires are properly inflated but you are still experiencing irregular tread wear, your car’s suspension, or system of shock absorbers and springs, may be in need of repair. There are many ways that your tires can be improperly aligned or connected to your suspension, so it is best to bring your car to a service center for professional help.
Sidewall Cracks and Bubbles
Some problems can appear on the outside of your tires, and luckily for you, these are easily noticed. Drivers in San Diego are all too familiar with potholes. Driving through a bad pothole or hitting a curb can cause a sidewall bulge or crack, which in turn will cause a slow leak or even a dangerous blowout when driving at high speeds. Tires with sidewall bulges must be replaced immediately for safety.