Service Saturday at Buckeye Honda is upon us and we are discussing what some would consider to be the most important item on your vehicle… THE RADIO! No, not the radio your Tires!
In previous Service Saturday posts we discussed what your tires might be trying to tell you. How do you know if it is time to replace your tires? Well follow along and maybe this will help you out.
We all know that the tires main responsibility it to move the vehicle along the road… safely. The key word in that entire statement is “Safely”. Quickly is fun but safely is the key to what we are after. With all of us agreeing on that point let us get started.
The simple way to figure out if your tires need to be replaced is to bring it by the Buckeye Honda Tire Center and let one of our professional service and parts personnel take a look at the tires and give you some personalized feedback on your tires. Also whenever you have your vehicle in for service (even an oil change) we will inspect your vehicle’s tires for free.
Two parts of the tire to consider: The Sidewall and The Tread.
Determining if the tire is in jeopardy of failure based on the condition of the sidewall if pretty easy. Take a look at the side of the tire and inspect it for cracks. Cracks in the sidewall can be evidence of dry rot in the tire. Dry rot is when the oils and chemicals in the rubber compound start to evaporate or break down because of UV exposure. The rubber loses its flexibility and begins to crack at the surface, and the structure becomes more and more brittle (think of a really old rubber band), leading to sidewall damage and eventual failure. And we’re not talking “Oh, I’ll just fill it up and drive on it”; this is a complete loss of function.
If you notice cracks or dry rot bring your vehicle into Buckeye Honda and let us take a look at it.
The number one reason you have tread and tread patterns on your tires is to channel water and slush out from underneath the tire. Without tread the car would hydroplane or skid on top of the water at higher speeds, it would be very dangerous to steer and stop. Tires become unsafe when they are worn, and once the tread is at 1/16th of an inch or less, the tire is no longer safe.
Every tire sold for the road has a tread pattern to divert the water away from the tire. Inside the tread pattern are “tread wear bars”. “Wear Bars” go between the tread and when the tire is new the bars are “down in” the tread. As the tire tread starts to wear away the bars get closer to the top of the tread. Once the tread and the wear bars are even it is time to replace your tires. Your tires might start to sound differently as well as the wear bars are now hitting the road.
Many of us have heard of the “Penny Test” this is when you place a penny and place it upside down with Lincoln facing you in the thickest part of the tread.
- If you can see the very top of Lincoln’s head or the copper above it, replace the tires immediately.
- If Lincoln’s hair on the top of his head is partially visible, it is time to go shopping for tires.
- If you cannot see the hair on the top of his head (if the coin is inserted enough that the tire tread is at least as deep as Lincoln’s forehead), your tires do not need replacing yet.
You could always get a tread depth tool and measure the tread depth with it, stop by the dealership we have plenty.
Lastly, pay special attention to your tires tread for irregular tread wear. Irregular tread wear could indicate a number of problems. For a listing of these check out this post. If the tires have severe uneven tread wear they are typically working against some other force and this will wear the tires down prematurely costing you money.