All tires wear out eventually and, unfortunately, damage happens. It’s important to quickly determine if your tires are safe to drive on, are in need of service, or need to be replaced.
Here are some simple ways to tell if you need new tires.
If your tire is damaged there is a good chance that your tire can be repaired if:
- The tire has not been driven on when flat.
- The damage is only on the tread section of your tire.
- The puncture is less than ¼”.
However, you need to have an authorized tire retailer or technician remove the tire from the wheel and inspect the tire from the inside.
This inspection is absolutely necessary because internal damage is not visible while the tire is mounted. The proper way to have a tire repaired is to patch the tire from the inside and fill the puncture hole. If someone offers you a plug repair, refuse! Plug repairs do not involve taking the tire off the wheel for a proper inspection. A plug is simply inserted into the punctured area. Plug repairs are not reliable and can lead to tire failure. Insist on a full inspection and patch and fill repair on the inside of the tire.
If your tire is worn it’s a good idea to check your tires once a month for visible damage and excess wear. Here are two ways to tell if your tires are worn out: Look for wear bars *. Narrow bands may appear in the grooves across the tire’s tread. See the wear bars? When the wear bars are even with the tread depth, only 2/32” of tread remains,1 replace the tire. The penny trick 2. Place a penny in the most shallow tread groove with Lincoln’s head down. See the top of his head? The tire should be replaced.
* If the tread is worn below 2/32 of an inch, water can’t be channeled away from the tread. This can cause hydroplaning at high speeds. Snow traction is also reduced as well.