When the construction, tread design, tread depth, and tire type of all four tires on your vehicle match, your tires’ reaction to road conditions and driving stress will be completely uniform. Additionally, your vehicle’s safety, balance, stability, and overall handling will be improved.
How to tell if your tires are worn out
Inspect your tire regularly and look for:
- Uneven or shallow tread wear
- One easy way to check for wear is by using the penny test. All you have to do is grab a penny and follow 3 easy steps
- Take a penny and hold Abe’s body between your thumb and forefinger
- Select a point on your tire where tread appears the lowest and place Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves
- If any part of Abe Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the legal and safe amount of tread. If your tread depth gets below that (approximately 2/32 of an inch), your car’s ability to grip the road in adverse conditions is greatly reduced
- Look for nails, screws, anything that can or is causing damage
- Damaged valve caps
- Check your tire pressure
- Ensure your tires are properly aligned
Inspect your tire regularly and look for:
- A rough ride may indicate tire damage or excessive wear
- If you notice vibrations or other disturbances, immediately reduce speed, drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road and stop, and inspect your tires
- If a tire is damaged, replace it with your spare. If you do not see any tire damage or cannot identify the source of the vibration, take the vehicle to a tire dealer for a thorough inspection
- If you see anything that you are not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by a professionally trained technician at A-Z Auto Repair
What damages tires?
- Age of tires
- Wear and tear
Neglecting basic tire maintenance:
- Air pressure
- Not routinely checking for damage or wear
- Routine alignments and rotation
- Neglecting to get a professional tire inspection in the event a tire has sustained damage (stop by A-Z Auto Repair to have our professional technicians take a look)
- Not balancing tires after they are installed
- Quick stops, starts, and emergency braking
- Driving on damaged roads
- Failure to notice a change in handling, noise or vibration
- Speed bumps
- Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
- Rain, snow, and ice
- Oil, grease, and other chemicals
What if I only need to replace 1 or 2 tires?
Ideally, with proper tire rotation and routine maintenance, done by professional technicians at A-Z Auto Repair, in Winchester, VA, all four tires should wear evenly on your vehicle. If you do not rotate your tires at regular intervals on a front wheel drive vehicle, it is likely that the front two tires will wear out faster than the rear. It is best to replace all four at the same time, there are times where this may not be an option, in these cases ensure that:
- You match the size, construction, and tire type of the older tires as closely as possible
- We recommend purchasing no less than two new tires at the same time
- The two new tires should always be installed on the rear axle of any vehicle. If you are only replacing one tire, select the older tire with the deepest tread and install it along with the new tire on the rear axle.
New tires have deeper tread grooves, this provides more traction and hydroplaning resistance. By installing new tires on the rear axle, you gain better control of your vehicle, even if your front tires are worn. Conversely, if you mount your new tires on the front axle, your vehicle is prone to lose its grip on wet roads, which could lead to the rear end of your vehicle swinging around, out of control.
If you have any visible perforation, cut or deformation, your tires must be checked thoroughly by a tire professional. A-Z Auto Repair’s trained tire professional can tell you if your tire can be repaired or has to be changed.
In some cases, the vehicle manufacturer may specifically advise against replacing less than all four tires. Always check and follow the recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. For all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles, even small differences in outside diameter may cause drivetrain damage or mechanical malfunction.