Tires are your car’s first defense against icy conditions and dangerous terrain. It’s crucial that you have a set that is durable and well outfitted for the road. Here are some easy ways to tell if it’s time to change tires to ensure that you, your family, and your fellow drivers remain safe on the road.
Check the Tread
One of the major qualities of your tires is the tread. These grooves help your car grip the road in order maneuver around traffic and deal with the natural elements on the road. A tire’s tread can also play a major role in how your car breaks. If you’re already experiencing difficulty breaking or that you seem to skid to a stop, you might have worn tires in addition to breaking issues, so be sure to get this checked out.
Begin by looking at each of your tires to see if the tire treads still look prominent or seem faded. The more faded the tread is, the less of a grip it will have. If you’re driving in snow or rain, this will make your car more susceptible to spinning out. Don’t just trust your eyes though, make sure you feel the accrual tire to see if you can make out the indentations and curves of the tire. If the tires feel flat this is a sure sign that you need replacements. At that stage of wear and tear, the tires are a major safety risk and damage liability. Another common trick to test the tread is to take a penny, or coin, and see if you can fit it into the tread. If the coin can’t be inserted into the grooves, it’s time to change tires beyond a doubt!
As colder temperatures become more prominent, the air in your tires will become denser. This then lowers the pressure of air in your tires. It’s natural to see low-pressure warning lights in winter but make sure to fill your tires’ air as soon as possible in order to avoid a flat. However, you may notice that one or more tires are consistently losing pressure even after you put in air. This could mean that the tire (or tires) has damage that’s keeping it from having steady pressure. You might also have a slow leak which could leave you stranded in winter. If you suspect this, consider buying a replacement tire, or at the very least, getting a mechanic’s opinion on repair options. If the tire isn’t reliable in retaining air, it might be better to purchase a tire that is. Remember, tires protect your life.
Tire longevity tends to vary based on several criteria ranging from how much you drive, the kind of roads and terrain your driving through, and how long you’ve had the tires in question. Generally, tires last around 4 years depending on the make and model of the tire. This is where careful and occasional inspection of your tires is very important. If you’re actively taking care of your car, odds are you can hold off on new tires immediately, but by around 6 years you should definitely get replacements. Aside from tread and air pressure, your tires are constantly facing the brunt of the environment which will weaken the rubber’s resolve. If your tires are looking haggard, get replacements now and save yourself from potential repairs and insurance costs!
Good tires are just another way for you to be safe and avoid costs in winter, but it’s never a bad idea to make sure you have adequate protection on your auto insurance. Call us at Freedom Insurance Agency today to talk about your Carroll County car insurance if you are concerned about your coverage heading into winter.